5 Mistakes You May Be Making in Spin Class

Five people at spinning class in gymNew to spin class? You may be intimidated by those neat rows of bikes, or by the veteran pros who waltz over to a bike and know their exact settings. But don’t be nervous! The best part about spin is that you control your resistance – so you can tailor the class to your specific needs.

The benefits of attending spin class are many. From building muscle through isolation, increasing stamina with rolling hills, and burning a boatload of calories with interval cardio, you will fall in love with the fast-paced, music-blasting, encouraging atmosphere.

If you’re thinking about trying spin this year, be sure to avoid making these rookie mistakes:

  • You Show Up to Class Late

Spin is not an appropriate class to show up tardy to. Life happens! But you’ll want to do your best to arrive to class at least 10 minutes early. Setting up the bike takes a few minutes, especially if you’re just starting out. If it’s your first class, introduce yourself to the spin instructor so they can help you with the best settings for your height and experience level. You’ll also want to save time to ensure you have plenty of water and a fresh towel. Which brings us to our next rookie mistake:

  • You Forget to Bring Water

You cannot survive a vigorous spin class without hydrating. Make sure you bring plenty of cool water to drink before, and during class. If you forget to bring water, you will want to purchase some at the front desk. Trying to tackle a spin class without water will be like trying to cross the desert without water. You. Will. Need. It.

  • You Set Your Seat Height Too High

If you’re an experienced road-biker, you may be used to raising your bike seat higher than it needs to in spin class. Placing your seat too high in spin class has numerous negative impacts on your joints and alignment. Not sure where your seat height should be? Stand to the right of your spin bike, with your hips facing forward. Raise or lower the seat so that it is in line with your hip bone. Most spin bikes will have a letter or number indicating the level your seat is raised to. Remember that number, so you can quickly adjust your seat next class.

The perfect height will keep some bend in your knee when your bike pedal is pushed down. You do not want any hyper-extension of your knee. Proper seat height allows you to transfer full muscle-power through the pedal.

Have questions about your seat placement? Speak to the instructor! They will be able to quickly evaluate whether your seat should be higher or lower.

  • You Don’t Add Enough Resistance

Beginners often complain of soreness on their bottoms the day after spin class. It’s true that the bike seat takes some getting used to. However, the soreness you experience after your first couple classes will go away – we promise!

One way to minimize this soreness, and to ensure your safety when moving from seated to standing positions, is to add enough resistance to your bike.

Resistance keeps you from “bouncing” uncontrollably in the seat, because your legs have enough foundation to drive your movement downward. This is especially true of seated “pushes” (sprints) where you will be moving your legs at maximum speed. It’s better to add a bit of resistance and move a little slower, than to take off all your resistance and be bouncing around on your seat.

Not adding enough resistance can also be dangerous when transitioning from position 1 to position 2 or 3. Failure to have a solid base beneath you can put unnecessary pressure on your knee joint, causing soreness or hyper-extension. When in doubt, find your “flat road” and add a half turn.

Spin class should be challenging, so push yourself! Crank up that resistance and you’ll feel accomplished at the end of class. In fact, your biggest mistake in spin class could be that:

  • You Don’t Push Yourself

You have between 45 minutes and one hour to give it everything you’ve got. Do not give up! It’s a small portion of your day that you made a commitment to be present for. Remember why you showed up to class, and push through the pain. You’ve got this!

Now is your chance! Try one of Jersey Strong’s spin classes for free today! Not a member? No problem. Just sign up for our no-commitment free pass. Your free pass grants you access to all of our group exercise classes for the duration of your trial.