Spinning Workouts

Spinning is a cardio exercise done on a stationary bike. It's arguably one of the most popular classes at health clubs around the country and you can even find stand-alone spin studios. Spinning workouts can be fun and challenging at the same time, as you are constantly changing your pace.

What Should I Expect During a Spinning Workout?
When you take a class, you'll be in a room of spinning bikes. An instructor will lead you through an imaginary bike ride. He or she will ask you to change positions, speed and resistance to mimic biking up and down hills. Music is also a big part of the class and can help motivate you and help you stay at the same pace as the rest of the class.

Spinning classes are a great way to blast a lot of calories quickly. Most classes are 45 to 60 minutes and will knock out 450 or more calories. The workout can be very intense, but since you control your own individual bike, beginners can decrease the intensity by biking at a slower speed or lighter resistance.

Benefits of Spinning Exercises
During the class, you'll strengthen and tone your legs, specifically the quadriceps and outer thigh muscles. To prevent imbalances, be sure to do some cross training activities like running in addition to your bike workouts. Another drawback is that the repetitive movement of biking can cause overuse injuries in the knees, hips and lower back, so it's important to strengthen your buttocks, inner thighs and hamstrings too.

Since you'll be taking the class at a gym or studio, you won't need a lot of equipment. The bike will be provided for you, but you should be sure to adjust the seat height and handlebars appropriately to prevent discomfort and injury.

Ask your instructor to help you during your first class. Sneakers will do the trick for this workout, but a stiff-soled pair will be more comfortable than soft running sneakers. And you might notice that the spin enthusiasts in class often invest in special shoes that clip on to the pedals. Because you're in an enclosed room during the intense workout, expect a lot of sweat. Bring a towel to drape over your handlebars. Many instructors reference heart rate throughout workouts, so a heart rate monitor is a good accessory for frequent spinners.

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