Indoor cycling is one of the most effective workouts available, benefitting both your strength and cardio abilities. However, to get the most from the workout, you need to make sure you are doing it correctly.
Here at Hale Country Club & Spa, we want to help you push yourself to the max the next time you sit on the saddle, so here are 5 common mistakes you need to avoid:
Improperly prepared equipment
Unlike the cross trainer or treadmill, altering the settings of the bike is key to ensuring your body is in the correct position to train.
If your seat is too low, your legs won’t be able to reach full extension so the power of each stroke won’t be as effective. If your seat is too high however, you will have to bounce your hips to reach full extension, which can lead to knee and hip problems and detract from your workout.
The seat should be in line with your hipbone when you are stood on a flat surface next to the bike.
When the handlebars are in an incorrect position you can put pressure on your back, groin and shoulders.
To avoid this, make sure the handlebars are level with your seat; this will put your body into the ideal riding position.
The death grip
Holding onto the handlebars with a death grip is going to cause tension in your upper body and waste essential energy! Channelling your energy through your fists can lead to problems in your shoulders, upper back and wrists – instead, you should be supporting your body weight with the big muscles in your legs!
So, next time you’re spinning and you start to feel the burn, engage your core, tilt your hips back, squeeze your glutes and release your grip!
Spinning is tough and does require both power and endurance, which is why it is important that you go at your own pace.
However, if you want to see positive changes from each workout you need to push yourself, and riding without resistance is the path to failure.
Furthermore, when you are cycling against minimal resistance whilst out of the saddle, you risk damaging your hips too.
Having your bike fixed at the right settings will help you avoid a poor position whilst cycling normally, however when you have to attack climbs or take part in tap backs you need to actively ensure your back, legs and shoulders are in the correct place:
- Climbs: start by holding the lower, outside part of the handlebars, opening your shoulders up and giving you a strong bend at the hips. When you get tired and your back and shoulders begin to hurt, instead of losing your position, move your hands closer together to push your hips back and torso up.
- Tap backs: always keep your arms straight out with a slight, loose bend in the elbow. This will help target your quadriceps and glutes rather than your shoulders.
- Out of the seat: resist the urge to thrust your hips and body as close to the handlebars as possible. Instead, keep your hips close to the seat to help isolate your core and glutes.
Failure to stretch
Shaking legs, quivering glutes, cramping hip flexors, burning core – the sign of a good workout? Yes! Your muscles have worked hard and you have pushed them to the limit, so make sure you look after them so they are ready for the next session by giving them a good stretch!
If you’re interested in putting our top tips into practice, book a spinning class online or call us on 0161 904 5939.