Quick guide to: spin class

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What to expect if you fancy giving spin class a whirl.

 

Spin classes have been around your local gym for quite some time now. But with Soul Cycle building a cult-following with their indoor cycling class, it seems like the bike trend is here to stay. We give you the lowdown on what to expect if you’d like to try your first spin class.

The basics

Spinning is essentially an indoor cycling class. It is usually done in a room with an instructor facing the participants and with music to accompany. The class time varies between 40 to 60 minutes and can range from a more leisure ‘road’ ride with intensity bursts, or a mixed intensity body pump ride, incorporating simple dance moves that can be done on the bike and also with the use of weights.

Why we like it

Spinning is great for all types of people as you can control your own pace and intensity level. It’s neither complex in movement or rhythm (unlike Zumba or dance), meaning that anyone can pick it up quickly and exercise effectively. It is also a great form of cardio exercise for those who have joint problems.

As music plays an important role in a spin class (you ‘ride’ to the music) and everyone rides to the rhythm, more often than not, you would catch yourself asserting more energy than you might normally find when riding a bike. The standard spinner can burn an average of 400 to 500 calories in a 45 minute bike ride!

What to expect from your first spin class

For first-timers, setting up your bike can be a bit confusing and sometimes intimidating, particularly when you’re seated next to a seasoned pro. We walk you through the beginning and the flow of a class, so you’ll have a basic understanding of what to expect.

What to bring: Pack a gym bag with comfortable fitting clothes, a small towel (lots of sweat guaranteed), a big bottle of water and socks. If you like, bring a friend or two. Most classes these days allow you to book your bikes online if you’d like to sit next to each another.

A specialty spin class will usually provide you with the proper shoes to ‘click’ on to the pedals of your stationary bike.

Your bike: Always ensure that you are comfortable with your bike. Adjust it accordingly to your height or comfort level. As a gauge, the bike seat should be the same height as your hips and your bike handles should be at a comfortable length when you’re on top your bike. The instructor will usually come around the room to ensure that all first-timers are set up correctly. Familiarize yourself with your bike once you’ve clicked your shoes on to your pedals. Adjust the knob found below your handlebars to get comfortable with the intensity levels by turning it clockwise and anti-clockwise.

Tip: For those who think the seats might be too hard, ask if your spin class might have any gel-padded seats on hand.

Once your bike is set up, you are ready to go.

Listen to the instructions of your instructor, who will guide you through the moves and intensity levels. And don’t forget to have fun!

Do you spin? Share your tips below.

 

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