Spinning is an indoor aerobic conditioning program utilizing stationary exercise bikes or your bike and a trainer. It is performed in a group setting with the help of an instructor and/or spinning DVD. During the class you vary your pace -- sometimes pedaling as fast as you can, other times cranking up the tension and pedaling slowly from a standing position. This helps you to focus inwardly and work on your mind as well as your body.
What are the specific benefits?
- Increases aerobic capacity and endurance
- Increases leg strength and protects against injury
- Pedaling in smooth circles improves efficiency
- Pedaling in smooth circles recruits and trains more muscle groups, not just the quads, improving muscular endurance
- Increases suppleness or the ability to change cadence quickly and smoothly without changing gears
- Keeps your butt "broken in"
- The group setting improves individual motivation
- The presence of the instructor ensures a properly performed and efficient workout
- Instructor feedback wiil cure you of bad habits and improve your cycling technique
Who's doing it and why?
Over the winter, indoor spinning is a great way to maintain the aerobic base you worked so hard for over the cycling season. In the fall, when inclement weather keeps us off the roads, spinning is an effective fitness bridge for cross country skiers. In summer, indoor spinning is the safer alternative to a hard workout on the road. Tourists and Sportifs who find they can only get out for one long ride a week appreciate the intensity and specificity of the workout for maintaining their fitness. Because of the variable resistance you still have complete control of the intensity of your workout, so you can start at your own level - all levels of rider are welcome.
Why we love it:
Spinning burns serious calories (about 450 in 45 minutes) and offers an awesome aerobic workout that makes your heart pump fast. It also tones your quadriceps (front thigh muscles) and outer thigh muscles like nobody's business! Because you stay in one place with the same basic movement throughout, Spinning doesn't involve a lot of coordination; it's easier to concentrate on your form than in other types of aerobic classes. And although you follow the general instructions of the spinning teacher, you are in control when it comes to your pace. You can finish a spin class, regardless of your fitness level, simply by adjusting your pace or the tension knob on the bike.