If you’re looking to take your fitness to the next level, start taking indoor cycling classes today. Not only will you get an incredible calorie burn, you’ll strengthen and shape your lower body like never before. As chief ride instructor at Cycle House, I’ve seen a lot of mistakes newbies make in spinning class. Here are the top five rookie cycling mistakes — and how to fix them.
Rookie cycling mistake #1
Wrong bike setup
Often when people are trying a new exercise for the first time they are too nervous or intimidated to ask for help.
Cycling solution: It’s critical that your bike is set up correctly the first time you ride. If you’re new, let someone know right away. The instructor or someone else working there should be able to make sure your bike is properly set up to ensure a safe ride. Any place worth going to will take the time to help you with that. Use them! That’s why they’re there to help.
Rookie cycling mistake #2
Not knowing the right positions
In indoor cycling there are standard positions that everyone uses. It’s important to know these before you begin.
Cycling solution: Your teachers should go over bike positions with the class before starting so you know where they want you to ride. Position one is with hands in the middle of the handle bars. Position two is hands out on the part of the handle bars closest to you. Position three is the hands out at the end of the handle bars. This way when the teacher tells you a position number, you’ll know how to position your body on the bike.
Rookie cycling mistake #3
Lack of resistance
If you’re like most people, when you first start taking indoor cycling classes, you may be conservative when adjusting the resistance on your bike during class. If the resistance is too low, you won’t get a good workout.
Cycling solution: Resistance is an integral part of your workout. It’s important to add and subtract resistance based on what the instructor asks you to do. I like to tell my classes that 100 percent resistance means your legs can’t move at all, so work from there accordingly. Also, pay attention to how it’s supposed to make you feel. If the instructor says you’re going up a hill, add resistance until you feel like you’re going up a hill. If the instructor says you’re on flat terrain, reduce resistance until it feels that way. Adjust your bike according to how you’d feel if you were cycling outdoors; this is a good way to ensure you stay on track in terms of resistance.
Rookie cycling mistake #4
Your form when cycling is critical not just for your safety, but also your enjoyment of the workout.
Cycling solution: It’s important to maintain correct form. Keep your shoulders relaxed, core engaged, a slight bend in your elbows, your backside hovering just above the seat when out of the saddle. This form best engages the body in the safest way, while maintaining a physical challenge.
Rookie cycling mistake #5
Poor listening skills
Trust your cycling teachers — they know what you need to do.
Cycling solution: It’s very important to listen to your instructors. As you get tired and your form starts to break down, good instructors will remind you of all this while cheering you on. They should be able to tell you everything you need to do during class to be successful. So no matter how you’re feeling, keep listening, keep trying and keep learning, and you’ll be well on your way to becoming an indoor cycling expert in no time!