5 Tips For a Better Spin Class

Work your abs while you spin - here's how
Work your abs while you spin

I’ve always been a little intimidated by spin class. I never knew what to wear on my feet (total shoe confusion), or how much tension to add to the bike or when to sit down or stand up. But determined to turn my fright into fire, I signed myself up for a class at Studio 360, a Valley spin institution for almost 20 years. Now, I should note that 360 isn’t your usual indoor cycling studio. For starters, it’s a “drop-saddle” studio, meaning your seat is out of the seat the whole tune-pumping time. That way you not only work your legs with each wheel spin, you work your tummy and tush too (nice!). The other thing that struck me where my fellow riders: I don’t think I’ve ever been to a class so full of fab physiques – total advertisements as to why the workout works. I was surrounded by all the “after” photos! Not that I felt intimidated; on the contrary, there’s a warm and fuzzy vibe to the place, no doubt set by owner Denise Shorall, who’s all smiles and encouraging words – and a total spit fire on the bike. When the class started, absorbed by the music and motivation of the room, I cranked my heart out –- and kicked my spintimidation to the curb. Good riddance!

For all those who suffer spintimidation, or just want to get a better burn out of their spin class, here Denise tackles her top 5 spin class tips:

Spin and sip - it's important to stay hydrated
Spin and sip – it’s important to stay hydrated

1. Come early and come prepared! Give yourself enough time to get a bike, get on the bike and make adjustments, put on your shoes, drink some water, etc. If you’re new to spinning coming early is a MUST.

2. Shoes are huge! Clipping into the pedals with bike shoes is the best way to spin. Make sure your shoes fit properly and your feet don’t slide in the shoe. I’ve seen plenty of toe nails fall off because of bad shoes. YUCK!!

3. If your goal is to get the most benefit out of your spin class, then the most important tip would be to spin with the proper form. When you are out of the saddle, your weight needs to be back over the seat so that you engage your core. Your chest should be up and open with your shoulders relaxed.  If you ride with you weight forward you will not get any benefit to your core.

4. As with any group fitness class, asking questions really helps. You are not getting one on one instruction, so asking your instructor questions when you don’t understand something about the class will definitely enhance your experience.

5. Stay hydrated. Spinning in an intense cardio workout, so make sure your drink plenty of water. I drink two 24 oz waters during every class.

Denise Shorall with her daughters after a charity ride
Denise Shorall with her daughters after a charity ride
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