Benefits of Spinning Every Day & How to Get Started

In the fitness landscape, one class that has seen an increase in popularity over the past 3-5 years is the spin class. Also referred to as Spinning or Indoor Cycling, this group fitness class involves performing aerobic workouts while seated on stationary bikes.

These classes are fast-paced, high-intensity interval training (HIIT) that can help you burn calories and lose weight.

If you’re considering trying out spin classes at the gym or perhaps even taking an instructor training course, you’ve come to the right place! This article covers everything you need to know about spin classes, their benefits, and how to get started if you’re so inclined!

What Is an Indoor Cycling Class?

Indoor cycling or spin classes refer to performing aerobic workouts on a stationary bike in groups under the supervision of a spinning instructor. The studios where these classes are held typically offer amenities like private locker rooms, showers, towels, and certified spinning instructors to lead you through the class.

Similar to outdoor cycling, indoor cycling classes include a rhythm of pedaling, shifting body weight, and manipulating handlebars in order to maintain a consistent speed and rhythm. These classes are fast-paced and feature energizing music, which means you’ll break a sweat quickly and leave feeling invigorated. They’re ideal for people who find it hard to stay motivated on their own.

While the spin bike is stationary, the instructor will often instruct you to adjust the tension of the flywheel to change the amount of resistance in the class. 

Usually, you’ll be doing a high-intensity exercise by pedaling throughout the entire class. In more advanced cycling classes, the instructor might guide you to perform some upper-body exercises while your legs pedal, giving you a full-body workout.

Benefits of Taking Spin Classes Every Day

Spinning is a whole-body workout incorporating strength training, interval training, and core work, all in one class. You will work your legs but also feel it in your abs, back, and arms! There are many other benefits to indoor cycling, but these are the top three. Let’s see what other benefits await you in a spin class. 

For Your Body

Weight Loss

Spinning is high-intensity interval training (HIIT), which means that you are pushing your body to the max for short periods of time, followed by brief but adequate rest periods. This type of exercise has been proven to burn more calories than low-intensity steady-state cardio workouts.

Of course, the number of calories you burn during spinning depends on several individual factors, including your gender, age, body composition, and starting weight. However, the general estimation is that you can burn 600 calories per hour of spinning. 

To shed one pound of fat, you need to burn 3,500 calories. That means if you participate in a spin class for 45 minutes daily, 7 days a week, you can expect to lose 3-4 pounds in 4 weeks. 

If you are hoping to lose even more weight by spinning, you will want to be sure to mix your workout routine with a calorie-deficit diet. Then, within a couple of months, you should be able to see noticeable weight loss results. 

Incorporates Strength Training

Besides being a very effective cardio workout to burn fat and keep it off for good, spinning is one of the best ways to incorporate strength training into your workout. You will be using your body weight as resistance, so it doesn’t require any equipment, and it can be modified for everyone, from beginners to advanced goers.

Works out All Your Muscles

You might think that your legs and thighs are the only body parts benefiting from this exercise. That’s far from true, though. Spinning is a full-body workout that activates your core, back, and upper body as much as it engages your lower body. 

The muscles involved in this workout include:

  • Thighs: Pedaling involves two main movements (pull up and push down). During the push-down motion, your quadriceps do most of the work, while your hamstrings are responsible for the up-stroke. 
  • Calves: As you pull up the pedal, your calves work together with your hamstrings. That’s why the full calf definition is most likely seen amongst the top sprinters.
  • Abdominal Muscles: By maintaining the correct form and avoiding learning on the handlebars, you engage your abdominal muscles, as they’re responsible for stabilizing your body during the ride.
  • Hips and Glutes: Your strokes’ power comes mainly from your hips and glutes rather than your thighs. When you push on the pedals, you add some pressure on your lower back, so your hips get involved, acting as a brace for your lower back muscles. Also, as you force open your hip angle on the downstroke, your glutes get engaged in the exercise.
  • Upper Body Muscles: Your biceps, triceps, and shoulders work to maintain your posture and balance during the ride.  

Improves Your Cardiovascular Health

Another physical benefit of spinning regularly is that it dramatically improves your blood circulation. As a vigorous aerobic activity, it increases your heart rate and pumps your blood through your body more frequently, which helps lower your blood pressure, strengthen your heart muscle, and improve your lung function.

After a while of cycling on a daily basis, you’ll find that you’ll be able to breathe deeper and maximize your performance, even on non-exercise-related tasks. For example, climbing the stairs to your apartment or office won’t be a sweat-inducing task that causes your lungs to wheeze anymore. 

Spinning also improves your future cardiovascular health. According to a study published in the Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports, people who cycle regularly have a lower risk of experiencing a cardiovascular event or acquiring a heart disease. That’s under the condition that they follow the right procedures in preparing their bodies for the exercise through proper warm-ups and cool-downs. 

Low Impact

One of the biggest perks of spinning is that it’s a low-impact exercise that applies minimum to no pressure on your joints without being any less effective than other high-impact workouts. In addition, when you cycle, your knees, hips, and ankles are spared from carrying your weight, so the risk of acquiring a joint injury is almost non-existent. 

That also means spinning doesn’t require high levels of physical skills or any other-worldly flexibility levels. Anyone at any age can join a spin class and benefit from it the same. Not to mention, it’s the ideal exercise for those who have arthritis or suffer from joint injuries, as it helps strengthen these joints without applying additional stress or exacerbating the pain. 

Boosts Endurance

Spin classes are designed to keep you motivated and increase your endurance. With the blasting music and spirit of your colleagues, you will find that you are able to go further on the bike than if you were exercising alone, even from the very first class.

Moreover, the more classes you attend and the more you spin, the more your body will get used to exerting these amounts of energy, and you will be able to push yourself harder and longer than when you first started.

For Your Soul

Improved Mental Health

While spinning has many physical benefits, you will also notice mental health benefits. Ever heard about the “cycling high”? That’s the state of mind that many cyclists report having after a good day of spinning.  

Spinning improves your blood circulation, pumping blood throughout your body, which spreads the endorphins and other “happiness-inducing hormones” like serotonin and dopamine all over your body, including your brain. That’s why you experience a boost in mood after a spinning session, and this state is maintained if you cycle every day.  

Reduced Stress

With the pump-up of endorphins in your body, the production of stress hormones decreases, which relieves symptoms of anxiety and helps you relax. Regular spinning also improves sleep, enhances memory, and promotes creative thinking. 

Extra Motivation by Exercising in a Group

Working out in your own bubble gives your mind the chance to zone out and get distracted, reducing the effectiveness of the exercise. Not to mention, it could become dull after a couple of sessions, and you might find yourself ditching the workout for lack of motivation or boredom with your current exercise regimen.

On the other hand, jumping into a group ride in a spin class will keep you on edge, prompting you to go further and faster than you would on your own. You’ll share the effort and build some side competitions that’ll keep you excited and motivated to work hard and push yourself. It’s also way better for beginners to improve their abilities guided by their more experienced comrades. 

Drawbacks of Taking Cycling Classes Every Day

We can go all day talking about the benefits of spinning. However, just like any other sport, it comes with its bad sides as well. You need to be aware of these adverse effects to avoid injury and dropping out of the spin class before having the chance to benefit from it.

No Rest Days

One of the most significant drawbacks of spinning every day is that it can take away from rest days. The body needs rest days to repair muscles, keep hormones regulated, and so much more. If you don’t give your body rest days, you are more likely to overtrain or injure yourself. 

Creates Bad Habits 

When people begin to spin regularly, they may start to develop bad habits. People often forget to engage their core, don’t pedal for the entire duration, and don’t get enough resistance.

Going Overboard Could Cause Injury

Joining a spin class 3-4 times a week is the recommended amount to stay in good health and improve your physical fitness. Too much of it can reverse all these benefits and cause physical burnout and cardiovascular stress due to overtraining. Besides, muscle and joint overutilization can eventually lead to injury.

That’s why it’s best to baby-step your way to regular spinning, especially if you’re a beginner. Discuss your fitness and activity level with your instructor and let them build you a periodized training program with recovery and rest days at first until you build enough stamina and physical strength to be able to join a daily spin class.  

Dehydration & Headaches

If you’re not careful enough, you might end up with a dehydrated body and an awfully persistent headache due to cycling daily.

Losing fluid during exercise is a natural thing. However, if you don’t compensate for this fluid loss immediately, you’ll suffer from dehydration, which causes your brain cells to shrink, putting pressure on your nerves and causing the pain you perceive as a headache. 

That’s why it’s essential to have a water bottle or electrolyte solution at hand when cycling. And even after your spin class, you should make sure you’re getting your daily recommended water intake to avoid post-workout cramping, soreness, and fatigue.  

How to Get Started With Spinning

There are a few ways to get started with indoor cycling. First, find a spinning studio close to where you live. You can use websites like ClassPass or to find studios near you and browse their schedule.

You can also find spinning classes at your gym. Many gyms offer spinning classes, and they are usually the same as those you would find at a specialized spinning studio.

If you’re more of an introvert or don’t like the pressure that comes with exercising with other people, you can invest in a “spinning bike for home” and work out from the comfort of your home.

To compensate for the absence of an instructor, you can subscribe to an app that provides structured live and on-demand online classes like Peloton, Zwift, Sufferfest, or TrainerRoad

How to Prepare for a Spin Class

If it’s your first time attending a spin class, here are a few tips to help you make the most of it.

Invest in the Right Gear 

If you know you’re going to be doing a lot of indoor cycling, you may want to invest in a pair of indoor cycling shoes. These shoes are designed to clip into the pedals of the spin bikes, allowing you to pedal more efficiently and engage your lower-body muscles more.

You might also want to consider wearing padded shorts to cushion your sit bones and provide you with extra comfort on a long cycling session. Other things you need to bring to your spin class include a water bottle to stay hydrated, a hand towel to wipe your sweat, a change of clothes, and a post-workout snack.

Arrive Early 

You might be tempted to stop being punctual for once and come to class a bit late. Well, we understand the pressure of having to be “on time” all the time, but arriving late to a spin class won’t be your most brilliant move.

You’re going to spend the next 45-60 minutes on a bike that isn’t yours. You need to make sure it’s comfortable enough with the seat adjusted to your height and the handlebars set up to suit your form. You also don’t want to miss out on the warm-up to avoid muscle strain and potential injury. 

Understand What a “Tap Back” Is

The Tap Back is one of the most popular moves in spin classes, and it’s designed to engage your core and glutes in the workout by moving your body from the front of the saddle to its back without fully sitting. 

The instructor is going to ask you to do this move multiple times during the class, and you might find yourself tempted to do it even without the instructor’s orders, which isn’t a bad thing. However, be careful not to lean too much on your arms while doing a Tap Back, as this will take the pressure off your core and glutes and put it on your shoulders instead.  

Final Words from StayinFitness

Spinning is a great way to get a full-body cardio workout that will help you burn calories and lose weight. You’ll also be strengthening your core, improving your blood circulation, and enhancing your mental health. So, if you’re looking to try a new workout, a spin class is an excellent option.

Just remember, if you are just starting out with indoor cycling, it’s a good idea to do a couple of low-intensity spinning classes first. This way, you can get the hang of the spin bike and get used to the resistance before trying a high-intensity exercise.

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