Beginner’s Guide to Maximize Your Ride
When you’re new to the world of indoor cycling, words like “resistance” and “posture” can seem a tad overwhelming. In the midst of a 45-minute, calorie-blasting cardio workout you’re trying to figure out the lingo, find the rhythm, and learn the dance moves all while trying to keep your legs moving. That can be A LOT- but don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. We consulted a pro (aka elite instructor Kathryn) for some tips to help you spin smarter so you can get the most out of your ride and crush the BREAKTHROUGH22 challenge!
It All starts With Settings.
If you’re unsure, never really checked it, new to our new bikes, or anywhere between your first ride or 500th- check your settings! The smallest little adjustments can completely change your ride.
Seat height and seat distance are the two biggest factors. Rule of thumb: your seat should be at your hip bone. When you’re seated next to the saddle, let your legs extend at the bottom of the pedal stroke—you should have a slight bend to you knee when you’re clipped in.
Handlebar height is personal preference. Higher handlebars give more stability which is great for new riders! To further engage your core, set your handlebars to be even with your seat.
Distance between your seat and handlebars should be roughly the distance between your elbow and fingertips. It is a balance between give yourself room to move around, but still being able to reach the handles.
No Resistance, No Results
This may seem a little obvious, but the resistance is what can make or break your ride. Our motto is “NEVER ride at Zero!” For one, without resistance you aren’t maximizing your workout, but two, you can actually hurt yourself. Resistance helps weigh you down so you can control your ride. Your can get bouncy and unsafe without enough, plus, the more resistance you use = the more calories burned!
“There’s this awful myth that more resistance will make your legs big- SUPER untrue.” –Kathryn
The Core of Your Ride
You’ll hear it a hundred times every class: “ENGAGE YOUR CORE!” Alright great, but what does that mean? An easy guide is to imagine squeezing your belly button to your spin, basically just flexing those abs!
The key to engaging your core is all about posture- your hips have to be far back in the saddle with the nose of your saddle in between your thighs. The further back your booty gets, the more your glutes are fired up. Your arms should extend out, with a slight bend in your elbows. From there, the lean forward comes from the hips- think of them as a hinge- and your back stays strong and flat (try to stop your back from arching.)
Whenever you are doing choreography on the bike, you need to keep your core engaged. When you drop downs, don’t make your arms do all the work, curl your core muscles like you’re doing crunches. Anytime you bounce to the side, move your body from your core not with your shoulders. Finally, when you do a tap back, squeeze your abs to pull your booty to the back of the bike.
Armed & Powerful
Step one with arms is posture and core. I know, I know, we just went over this, but you’ll only get the most out of arms if your whole body is engaged. Sit up nice and straight and roll your shoulders back to open up your lungs. Make sure your core is nice and tight. Pro tip: whenever you change your arm routine, remind yourself to sit up straight and squeeze that belly button.
When you are trying to tone your arms remember reps > weight (high weights and low reps actually make you bulk). You are doing arms anywhere from 4-8 minutes, so it is important to pick a weight that you can maintain. If you are feeling like you are going to drop, it is better to put down your weights and continue the sequence without weights or using your towel. The repetition of arms is what makes them tone and strong!
We hope these tips help you get on your grind and find your groove. Remember these 45-minutes are all about YOU. Work hard, push through, and have a little fun with it because hey, you’re dancing on a bike in a dark room after all—no one can really see you. 😉