Spin Class Guide: What Is Spinning, Format, Benefits of Spinning

As you probably realise, cycling is excellent for your fitness and has many other benefits. But sometimes, going for a ride isn’t the best way to get your workout done.

Bad weather, late nights, and shortage of time can often prevent you from riding or have you looking for a preferable way of exercising. An excellent way to get some exercise is with a spin class

In this article, we will answer the following questions:

  • What Is Spin Class?
  • Is A Spin Class A Good Workout?
  • What Are The Benefits of Spin Class
  • What Is The Best Spin Bike Form
  • What Muscles Does Spinning Work?

Are you ready to work up a sweat?

What Is Spin Class?

A spin class is a high-intensity indoor cycling workout. It consists of a group of people in a studio with a spin bike each, following directions from an instructor.

A spin bike is unlike a regular exercise bike, as it has a flywheel that is directly connected to the cranks. Therefore, you need to use your leg muscles to not only speed it up but to slow it down too.

The handlebars and seat are adjustable to ensure your bike fits you and you get the feeling of riding a real bike.

The instructor will ride a spin bike facing the class and shout out how fast to pedal and how much resistance to add during a spin class. You add the resistance to the flywheel with a mechanical dial on the spin bike’s frame.

Is A Spin Class A Good Workout?

Classes are set to high tempo music; combined with encouragement from the instructor, you get a very motivating workout. The intensity can result in you burning up to 800 calories in an hour.

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This may sound like a lot of calories, and you may be asking the question of, how long is a spin class? Well, a typical class can last between 40 to 60 minutes, but it doesn’t feel that long due to the energy in the room.

So if you struggle with motivation from time to time, a spin class might be a good option for you.

What Are The Benefits Of A Spin Class?

A spin class is tough work, so people who go to them regularly see several benefits pretty quickly. In this section, we will break down the main benefits of a spin class to highlight how good it is for you.

1. A Spin Class Is Low Impact

Just like cycling, a spin class is a low impact activity, making it easy on your joints. Pedalling on a spin bike is less damaging to your hips, knees and ankles than running.

If you have mobility issues, a low-intensity spin class may benefit you. It can even help your joints as you use your entire range of motion.

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2. A Spin Class Is A Great Stress Buster

During these classes, you get an adrenaline rush and an injection of endorphins. This comes from the motivation from your instructor, the music and the exercise.

All of these things relieve stress and boost your mood. The classes also help you take your mind off anything stressing you out in your life.

3. Its A Calorie Burner

As we mentioned earlier, you can burn off lots of calories during one of these classes. You burn so many calories because you need to keep up with the instructions and tempo of the music.

You are in control of how much you push yourself, as you can add and remove resistance how you see fit. However, if you get a particularly tough instructor, they will come round and crank it up a bit for you!

The intensity of a session, especially when it is a HIIT workout, increases the calories you burn after your session. Therefore, a spin class is a very effective cardiovascular workout.

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4. A Spin Class Builds Muscle

When you have been to a few spin classes, you will start to build muscle, but you won’t bulk up. Once you get your proper cycling form mastered on the spin bike, you will work your arms, legs and core.

Each spin class has a different goal. For example, certain sessions will have segments that focus on arm strength, leg strength, endurance or cardio.

5. It Trains Your Mental Strength

No matter who you are, a spin class is a challenge, as you need to do your best to keep up with the rest of the class and your instructor.

You should listen to your body to determine how far you should push yourself, but a spin class trains your mental strength too.

Your instructor will constantly throw out different choreography sequences to keep you on your toes. They may tell you to increase the resistance to build muscle and spike your heart rate. Alternatively, they may tell you to reduce the resistance while giving you more choreography. This will improve endurance and strengthen your mind.

A spin class is excellent for your brain and prevents age-related issues, keeping your brain on point as you get older. This comes from increased blood flow from regular exercise.

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6. A Spin Class Is Great For Your Core

During a spin class, you spend a lot of time standing on your pedals. This upright position requires your core muscles to keep you balanced.

Your core is engaged so much during a spin class, which means that it becomes stronger. A strong core is excellent for cycling, and it gives you functional strength for day to day life.

7. A Spin Class Makes You Feel Part Of Something

Exercising together reduces stress and improves emotional well-being. It also gives you support, as everyone is in the same boat, sweating it out together.

Most people push themselves harder when there are other people around. This will come from encouragement, a community feel or a sense of competition, even if you don’t realise it.

In addition to this, this sense of community will likely make you come back again and again.

8. It’s Great For Your Heart

Going to a spin class is an aerobic activity, which improves the health of your heart. A healthy heart is less susceptible to high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes and more.

A spin class will get your heart pumping, so going every week will go a long way to keeping you healthy. It will also improve your aerobic capacity, cholesterol and triglyceride levels, blood pressure, and body composition. What’s not to love about that?!

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What Is The Best Spin Bike Form?

The good thing about a spin class is that all the guesswork is taken out of it. Your instructor’s priority is to make sure the people in the class are using the correct technique and form.

Using the correct technique and form, you will get an efficient cardio workout. You will also prevent injury by following your instructor’s directions.

It is a good idea to turn up to your spin class a little early. This is so you can set your bike up properly and warm up. Your instructor will be on hand to help you do this.

You may want to clip into the pedals, just like you would on a road or mountain bike with clipless pedals. This is not essential to clip in if you don’t have the correct shoes, but it helps.

Clipping in stops your feet from slipping off the pedals. It also helps you pedal faster and with more resistance.

You have a few things to remember when riding with proper form during a spin class.

Be mindful of your lower body and what it is doing. Start with your feet by ensuring that they are pointing forwards. Then keep your knees over the top of your ankles and in line with your handlebars.

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Push your hips backwards with your bum hanging off the back of the saddle slightly. In addition to this, you should always have your core engaged by pulling your belly button towards your spine.

For your upper body, think about riding with a flat back and your shoulders rolled back and away from your ears.

Your arms should be relaxed and slightly bent at the elbows, just like riding a regular bike. Also, don’t grip the handlebars too tightly, as it will waste valuable energy.

All this sounds like a lot to remember, but don’t forget, your instructor will be there. They will keep reminding you about proper form throughout your spin class.

After a few weeks, you will automatically ride with proper form. This will allow you to concentrate on getting the most out of your sessions.

 Now Book A Spin Class

You will find that most gyms and leisure centres have spin classes every week. They are great fun and a very efficient way of getting a good workout in a short space of time.

If you want to improve your cycling fitness, you may want to check out the following blogs:

Cycling Interval Training Workouts: Boost Your Speed And Power

FTP Test: What Is Functional Threshold Power

Or in the mood to diversify your cycling? Check these out:

What Is A Triathlon? Complete Triathlon Guide

15 Triathlon Transition Tips To Save You Time

Photo of author
One of BikeTips' regular content creators, Tom lives in the French Alps. When he isn't writing, he can be found charging downhill on a mountain bike or snowboard. Tom's other passion is fitness, which goes a long way to help him make the most of the Alpine lifestyle.

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