Avoid pain and stiffness these spinning mistakes you could be making without even knowing.

When I first starting spinning I had no idea what I was doing. And after a few classes, I thought had this spinning thing down! But I couldn’t figure out why I was still feeling sore and stiff after so many weeks. So I turned to Google (mainly because I was too intimidated to ask the spinning instructor for pointers) and boy was I due for a wake-up call.

I had so much to correct, but after a few sessions, the stiffness and back pain started to fade. Here’s my round-up of the 7 common spinning mistakes you’re making.

  1. You’ve set your bike up incorrectly

Have you ever walked into a spinning class and struggled to get onto the bike? The seat is too high, the handle bars are too far away. That’s because after every class, your gym resets all the bikes to a “default” setting. Not all bodies are equal, so you have to set the spinning bike up to suit your particular measurements. If you’re not sure what those measurements are, read this post on how to set up your spinning bike correctly. Make sure you get to your spin class at least 5 minutes before it begins so you don’t have to rush through the setup.

  1. Wrong hand positions and movements

One of the most common pain complaints people have after a spinning class is a sore back. That’s mainly because they’re not following good form. You need to make sure your hands and body are moving into the correct positions as the instructor guides you through the ride. You need to know where your hands should go when you’re standing or seated or heading into a sprint. Check out this post on hand positions and movements.

  1. Bad form

Your back should be straight, at all times, in all positions. Never arch your back up or down. Especially when you’re tired or out of breath. We tend to forget about our form when we’ve just fought our way to the top of that hill, but you must keep your form in mind at all times. Remember that back pain I was referring to in mistake #2? Well, arching your back is the quickest way to a painful morning-after. Also, don’t drop your head. Keep it up when seated and in a neutral position when you’re in arrow position over the handlebars. You’re restricting your air passageways when you drop your head, making it even harder to breathe.

You’re not in an Ariana Grande music video. Click To Tweet
  1. You’re gripping… everything

I have to constantly remind myself to reset my form and ungrip everything after a sprint or race. That’s because of the intense concentration I put into my sprints. Also be mindful of how you’re holding the handlebars. You should be able to stretch out your fingers without losing your balance because all your weight shouldn’t be in your arms. If you find you’re leaning too heavily over the handlebars, shift your weight back a little and engage your core to help hold your body upright and keep your back straight. Then check in with your toes, and uncurl those if you need to. Next, make sure that you’re pulling as well as pushing on the pedals. Your legs shouldn’t be pistons firing up and down, you need to think of circular pedal strokes, both legs working on pulling and pushing.

  1. Too much movement

The only things that should be moving during a spin class are your legs. That’s all. There should be no swaying back and forth or side to side. You’re not in an Ariana Grande music video.

  1. Not drinking enough water

Don’t wait until after the class to rehydrate. You’re going to be sweating a lot during a spinning session and you need to keep replenishing your reserves throughout the 45 to 60 minutes. Otherwise you’ll feel dizzy as soon as you unclip and climb off the bike. And no one wants to faint at the gym.

  1. You’re not stretching

This goes for before and after class. During an intense workout, lactic acid often builds up in the muscles. Lactic acid is the main culprit for stiffness. Stretching them out (or form rolling) helps get rid of this acid. You’re not doing yourself a favour by skipping out early and running off without stretching.

Keep these common spinning mistakes in mind the next time you’re on the bike. They’ll definitely save you from the pain and stiffness in the morning.

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