SPIN class - setting yourself up on the bike
In all the Spin classes I attended, no one ever checked to see if I was set up correctly on the spin bike. Maybe because they didn't feel confident enough in their own knowledge, perhaps they wanted to start the class on time or maybe they just forgot. What ever the reason, this is one of, if not THE most important part of taking Spin.
This part ensures the client is safe, comfortable and not prone to injury. It also gives you a hell of a lot more enjoyment on the bike.
To not set up correctly on a bike is like a person going for a walk, right foot wearing stilettos and the left in sneakers. Unbalanced, uncomfortable, not enjoyable and not all EFFICIENT.
Just like with any movement. Technique is important. You need to look after your joints. You should always ensure that you're using energy economically too. SO much of this is about adjusting the machine to your individual needs.
Remember that a Spin bike is different to a bike you find on the gym floor. A spin bike should actually be mimicking a road bike.
So here I go in trying to explain to you how you should be set up - via a blog post. Maybe I should learn how to download a video on here ;)
1. Saddle height.
The myth goes that you should set your saddle at your hips. WRONG. Everyone's body is made differently.
Instead, set your saddle around waist height. Now get on the bike and slowly rotate the peddles. There should be an ever so slight bend in the knee. No more - no less. I find that most people need to adjust the height of their saddle after this simple step.
2. The FOR and AFT position of the saddle (aka - the saddle moves frontwards and backwards) YOU NEED TO adjust this to suit your body.
This has made a crazy difference to my riding. Too far back and you are extending your hips, too far forward and you aren't giving your legs room for a full rotation. In short - this prevents injury and discomfort.
To find the correct For and Aft position, get on the bike and rotate, stopping your right foot at the 3 o'clock position. At this point your knee shoulder be in a straight line with the middle of your foot. Get someone to check if you are not confident with your view.
3. Handle bars (Mimic the road bike) * REMEMBER - you must tilt from the hips. NOT hunch the shoulders.
Your handle bars should be an inch or two above the saddle height for beginners and THE SAME height as your saddle for experienced riders. I- KNOW. Most new people to my class look at me like I am nuts when I explain this. Rest assured though... they always come to me at the end of the class happy with what a difference it has made to their ride.
4. Handle Bar FOR and AFT position.
Do this adjustment last. Your handle bars will slide forward and back.
This adjustment is entirely up to you and what you are comfortable with. Please keep in mind that you want to have your shoulders down, a slight bend in your elbows, tilting from the hips and your upper body is relaxed.
If you haven't tried Spin before I recommend you give it a go. It's a fun fat burning workout where the time goes quickly and the atmosphere motivates and inspires.
I hope this helps you on your Spin journey.