Spinning or Indoor cycling has enjoyed a spectacular increase in recent years due to benefits such as quite rapid weight loss and the improvement on a muscular level, and low body strength and core. It has made lots of people interested in fitness to not miss a single class of spinning. Do you want to know a bit more about this fashionable activity? Spinning is a collective activity, led by a certified instructor who following the rhythm of the music creates a structured session which develops on a stationary bike designed especially for this activity. In each spinning session you can work both cardiovascular resistance and interval work, or speed training or resistance strength work, depending on the structure of the session that the instructor has set up.
Spinning is very popular as it is a group activity done with music, which makes it really fun. Plus everyone feels that they are doing a full hard core work out. The best thing is that it is totally customizable because each one regulates his or her own resistance whilst following the instructor. So, all that said, let’s now dive a little deeper into the spinning sessions and analyse all its important features.
THE SPINNING BIKE Maybe it seems very obvious, but it is important to mention that you cannot do a spinning class on a normal exercise bike. The biggest difference (as well as the design) is that the spinning bike has an inertia disk that keeps the inertia wheel moving even if we stop pedalling.
This inertia wheel accumulates kinetic energy from pedalling, which makes us perform a more natural movement, especially when standing up, preventing the knee from getting stuck when pushing. During a spinning session we can control the resistance and pedalling rhythm on our bicycle, making a session more demanding or less so. This resistance control is possible thanks to a magnetic resistance system developed in each model of spinning bike (some old ones still use a brake shoe system). RESISTANCE AND RHYTHM In a spinning session there are two important factors: the resistance of the bicycle and the cadence of pedalling.
• The resistance of the bicycle is regulated in a personal way where the instructor gives instructions, but it is the responsibility of the student to raise it, increase it or decrease it, according to the ability of each one to follow the session.
• The pedalling rhythm is determined by the music of the session, previously chosen by the instructor and guided by him or her during the session. Having talked about the two most important factors that determine spinning sessions, we should now look at the objectives of the sessions. Each spinning session can focus on different objectives (where the instructor plays a crucial role and where it is very important that the instructor prepares the class before doing it, choosing the music, beat, rhythm and structure of the session. This will create the objective you want to achieve. Doing a spinning session is not putting on one song after another and inventing the session on the spot (unfortunately many instructors do it). All lessons need to be prepared in advance. ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES Like all activities, spinning has its pros and cons, so let's analyse them:
• It is a collective class with a feeling of a very large group and community as we all do the same exercise at the same pace.
• Generally the instructors correct, encourage, shout, dance, monitor the students, enjoy it, live it, give off energy… etc. This is contagious and they end up creating a great environment.
• It is an activity where you burn a lot of calories in a short time and where you strengthen the lower body and core (these changes are evident in a few weeks).
• The work is personalised (each person finds their resistance point depending on their ability and the type of session.
• Music, in general, tends to include all the biggest hits, helping students get into training and give it their all, creating a fantastic atmosphere in the class.
• It is an activity adaptable to all levels, from beginners to experts. Excessive coordination is not necessary and anyone with cardiovascular capacity and without any specific injury can participate in spinning sessions.
• You can use your usual bike shoes or specific cycling shoes (shoes with a special click adapted to the pedal of the bike). 2. DISADVANTAGES
• A bad position on the bike can lead to injury (it is very very important that the instructor is attentive in positioning the students before and during the session).
• Be careful with injuries in general. If you go to a spinning class or any activity in general) and you have any type of injury, you must inform the instructor before performing the session for advice.
• Being a personalized job, this can go from being an advantage to a disadvantage, since it may happen that we do not get the most out of the session, choosing just go a bike ride instead
• The instructor plays a very important role in all of this. He or she has to be clear about what he wants to work on in each session and follow safety rules (not making sudden changes in cadence, jump on the bike, increase cadence but not resistance , making inappropriate changes of position on the bike ... etc.) can lead to very serious injuries, and not only temporary, if not permanent. Instructor training is the key to safety. TIPS FOR OUR FIRST SPINNING CLASS What do we need for our first spin class? Comfortable clothes (if possible cycling shorts with padding), bottle of water, towel and a lot of motivation. In the first session we must take into account:
• We probably won’t be able to keep up with the entire session, but don't be discouraged, it gets better pretty quickly.
• It is important that we position ourselves correctly on the bicycle (let the instructor know that it is your first class) to maximize effort and avoid injuries. You have to adjust the saddle, the handlebars and the distance between them. Being well placed on the bike will not only help us avoid injuries, but also to enjoy the session more and improve our performance. Personally, I LOVE spinning, it is one of my favourite activities. It’s a fun and enjoyable class where you can end up having a fantastic training session. It is important to mention that it is necessary to compensate this type of training with a good strength training.
So I want to invite you to participate in coming SPINNING SESSIONS with Technogym Qatar!!