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By: Tiffany Wink, PT, DPT, ATC
“Spinning” is a type of indoor cycling normally performed in a class setting to provide a fast-past workout to help build a cyclist's strength and endurance on the bike. Classes will be led by an instructor to guide you through an intense workout. The class setting and upbeat music provide a fun environment with instruction on when to standing to mimic going up hills, increasing or lowering the resistance to provide interval type training.
“Spinning” is a term created and trademarked by a Mad Dogg Athletics, a company in California, to designate their bikes and accessories made for indoor cycling.
“Spinning” or indoor cycling provides a great cardio and lower body workout. The primary muscles worked during the pedaling motion are the quads and glutes. Your core is engaged as you focus on maintaining a good posture in the seated and standing position on the spin bike. To make it a full body workout some classes may have you use small weights in your hands during a portion of the class and instruct you on different arm movement to incorporate the upper body.
For any workout, including “spinning” it is wise to alternate activities to avoid excessive muscle fatigue or overuse injuries. It would be appropriate to participate in a spinning class 2-3 times a week and on alternate days perform another exercise you enjoy such as yoga, swimming, jogging, or strength training. If you are new to spinning you may want to start with twice a week for a shorter time, 20-25 minutes. As you become stronger, you may be able to increase the time and frequency of the spinning workout.
Knee or hip pain is usually due to the repetitive motion of pedaling. Things to help prevent knee or hip pain are to make sure your seat is properly adjusted to you. If you are beginning to have knee pain you may try lowering the resistance to reduce the strain on the knees and hips. Outside of spinning class performing you should be stretching and exercises focused on the lower body to help you maintain good knee alignment while on the bike.
Neck pain can occur from looking up at the spinning instructor placing the neck in an extended position. This can be prevented by occasionally changing neck position, readjusting the seat so you are in a more upright position, and performing neck stretches.
Low back pain can be caused by poor posture, a poor fitting bike, or weak core muscles. Things that will help decrease low back pain are adjusting your seat, focusing on engaging your core to maintain your back in a neutral position, and outside of spinning class performing stretches and core exercises.
Handlebar palsy or numbness in the ring and pinky fingers can occur with indoor or outdoor cycling. This injury is due to pressure on the ulnar nerve in the palm of the hand. This can be prevented or managed by intermittently changing your hand grip or obtaining cycling gloves which have padding in the palms. To learn more from JOI and JOI Rehab, please go to our medical library at LIBRARY.
Related Articles: Low Back Pain Causes, Cyclist's Knee and Road Biking in Jacksonville.
Jacksonville Orthopedic Institute has a team of highly specialized orthopedic doctors and therapists to help you with your injuries. To schedule a physical therapy appointment at JOI Rehab, please call 904-858-7045.
To schedule an appointment with a JOI Orthopedic Specialist, call 904-JOI-2000, schedule online, or click the link below.