You’ve probably heard people talking about how spinning class helped them achieve a tight butt. Sounds far-fetched, right? After all, how is it that cycling on a stationary bike in a group while listening to the hit parade has anything to do with your butt muscles?
You’ll be surprised to learn that these spin classes you’ve been avoiding have benefits that go beyond burning fat and aiding in weight loss. There must be reasons why everyone is raving about indoor cycling and how spinning makes the glutes rounder and firmer.
Read on to discover these reasons, along with some tips on how to turn your spinning workout into the best butt-sculpting exercise you’ve ever had.
The Effect of Spinning on Your Overall Muscle Tone
As an impact-free, non-weight-bearing exercise, a spinning workout is expected to just burn the extra calories and work your leg muscles to a certain extent. However, what most people don’t know is that cycling on an exercise bike is a full-body workout that doesn’t only train your legs comprehensively but also your abs, chest, back, and glute muscles.
That’s because it takes lots of work to stabilize your core while performing such a workout. This helps build muscle in this area. It also aids in burning fat because the more muscles you move, the more power you’ll need to fuel these movements, which means more calories burned during the exercise.
Does the Spin Bike Make Your Buttocks Bigger?
The spin bike neither increases nor reduces your butt size. What it actually does is that it gives you tighter, more-defined buttocks due to its muscle-building capabilities. But it won’t give you a bigger butt.
If anything, the fat reduction will result in a smaller bum after a few months of regular spinning. However, the increase in the size of your glutes won’t be enough to make your whole bum bigger.
Is Spin Class Good for Toning Butt Muscles?
Yes, spinning trains butt muscles. And to understand how, you must first know how your body powers the cycling motion.
When you ride an exercise bike, your legs don’t move on their own. Other muscles get involved in supporting this movement, namely the glute muscles.
The glutes consist of three muscles: the Gluteus Maximus, which is the largest of the group, the Gluteus Medius, and the Gluteus Minimus. These are called hip abductors, as they help you rotate your legs and draw them apart from your hips, so they automatically move with the movement of your legs while cycling.
The repetitive movement of your glute muscles results in building muscle mass in this area, especially the Gluteus Maximus. Therefore, after a couple of months of attending a spinning class, you’ll feel that your butt has become perkier and more toned. That’ll become even more apparent after shedding the extra body weight that hides these defined muscles.
Tips to Tone Your Butt With Spinning
Now that you know that spinning strengthens the glutes and helps you get a better butt, here are a few tips to help you get the best out of your spinning classes.
Maintain a Proper Form
Having the right form on the spin bike is essential. Not only does it minimize your risk of injury, but it also helps you focus your workout on targeted areas.
When spinning, your spine should be relatively straight while your hips are bent back slightly. Also, your core should be engaged, and your elbows must be bent slightly to keep the pressure off your shoulders.
This posture helps protect your back from injuries by applying more pressure on your glutes than your lower back. It also allows you to lift your butt a bit while spinning, which helps work this area.
If you have a problem achieving this form, don’t hesitate to ask a trainer to help you adjust your posture the first couple of times in your spin class.
Adjust the Seat and Handles
Just like how you need to adjust your form, you need to set your bike appropriately to your body measurements.
For one thing, this will help you put your glutes in motion while cycling. And for another, you’ll spare yourself the stress and aches that come after a few exercises on the bike with the seat adjusted improperly.
A too-high seat will cause your hips to ache the morning after spin class, while a too-low one will limit the range of motion of your lower body, causing your glutes to work less, and you don’t want that.
The correct seat adjustment would be to keep the seat level with your hips while standing. This position will allow you to divide the work between your hip flexors and glutes while spinning.
Moreover, the handles should be set appropriately, high enough to keep your shoulders relaxed and your back extended.
You can adjust them to whatever level that makes you comfortable, but always keep them above your seat level to avoid slumping excessively or hunching your back to reach them.
Clench Your Butt
Just as runners tighten their abdominal muscles while running to engage their core, you should squeeze your butt while spinning to engage your glutes.
Besides the involuntary movement of your glutes during cycling, this action applies more pressure on your butt, activating them even more.
You’ll feel a burn in your bum after you try this technique for the first time. This is an indication that you’ve worked these muscles fully during the workout. And it’ll only be a matter of months before you see a clear difference in your rear body shape.
To apply this method right, alternate between clenching and relaxing your butt with each pedal stroke. Also, make sure your upper body isn’t taking the pressure off your glutes by supporting your body too much.
Amp Up the Resistance
For a more toned butt, you might want to consider increasing your bike’s resistance.
As we said before, your glutes move before your legs when you cycle. So the more resistance you cycle against, the harder your glutes will work to push your legs away from your midline.
Just don’t go overboard with the resistance not to hurt your joints and tendons. A good resistance level would be the one that doesn’t leave you aching the next day but feeling your muscles tightened nonetheless.
Squeeze in Climbing Sessions
Sprinting and climbing sessions are two crucial parts of any spinning class, and while the first is favored by most people as it’s easier, the second is more effective as a butt workout. A heavy standing climb focuses the work on your glutes rather than any other body part.
To sculpt your bum by climbing, ensure that you’re keeping your posture straight, your hips relaxed, and your butt cheeks squeezed.
Stand Up – Sit Down
Spinning works your lower body, whether you’re doing it while sitting or standing.
However, when standing, your butt becomes the highlight of the workout. With the seat out of the picture, it becomes more engaged to support your lower back and thighs while cycling.
So why not pedal while standing up all the time? Because that will tire you extremely fast, cutting your workout short. Although stand-up cycling helps you activate your glutes and torch more calories at a quicker rate, it won’t be any good if you can’t do it for more than 5 minutes max.
That’s why, unless you’re a professional cyclist, it’s more practical to alternate between standing and sitting intervals to reap the benefits of the exercise without tiring out too soon.
Spinning Alone Isn’t Enough
Spinning won’t do it alone. Sure, it helps melt the fat deposited in the butt and activates the glutes. But to tone the muscles in this area, you’ll need to throw in some strength training to the mix.
Incorporate exercises that work the butt from all angles into your exercise program, including glute bridges, hip thrusts, frog pumps, clam shells, fire hydrants, and kettlebell swings.
Conclusion: Does Spinning Tone Your Bum?
A round, perky butt is everyone’s dream, whether you want to flaunt it in skinny jeans or have it make you look absolutely dashing in your swimsuit this summer.
If you’re not a fan of squats and lunges or have tried them before and didn’t get the desired result, spin classes are what you’re looking for.
Despite being seated all the time, you work your glutes while cycling on a bike. You just need to keep the correct posture, tighten your butt, and mix up your spin class with strength training exercises to achieve those toned glutes.
Emma James, 29 years old professional fitness trainer with Bachelor’s degree in Physical Fitness Technician from Boston University.