What to Expect from Your First Spin Class | Part Four

Jumps, Presses, Tap Backs, Oh My!

Spin Class Pt1

During your first class, you might be intimidated or wow’ed….depends on your outlook. But, trust me although the moves look crazy and impossible, you’ll get it after a couple of classes! If taking a class at a spin studio is just too overwhelming, take a class at a big box gym so that you can familiarize yourself with the bike and master the simple moves first. Here is a simple recap of what you can expect from a basic spin class

The Basics

The workout typically focuses on two opposite routines: sprints {pedaling as fast you can on low resistance} or climbs {riding at the highest resistance you can handle}. At big box gyms, they will go through cycles of springs and climbs in and out of the saddle to vary your workout.

In addition, the instructor will sometimes instruct riders to go to position 1, 2, 3, or 4. This is in reference to where you should position your hands. {see diagram below}  Sorry 

hand positions

Let’s Get Fancy

  1. Jumps {in and out of the saddle/hand position 2/resistance of 6-7} this is where you quickly move from sitting in and out of the saddle in a controlled, smooth move. You have to have use a lot of core to control you moving in and out of the saddle so that you’re not just crashing onto your saddle and pushing yourself out of the saddle by pressing on the pedal. The key is using your core and pedaling fast. Even after countless spin classes, I still struggle with this sometimes. I also found that it helps to have a low resistance on your bike (around 6-7 out of 10) and moving you legs so fast it’s almost like you’re jogging/running.
  2. Jogging – {out of the saddle/hand position 2/resistance of 6-7} this is done out of the saddle with your body directly over the pedals and standing straight. Your hands should be on position 2 and you should essentially just Jog!
  3. Presses {out of the saddle/hand position 3/resistance of 7-8} this is my favorite move. In fact, sometimes when I hear a song on the radio with a sick beat, I find myself wanting to do presses… ya I’m addicted…anyways…this is a full body workout. When you are doing a press, your arms will perform a similar motion to a push up. Sometimes the instructors will ask you to go out (that means your elbows face outward as you push down) or in (bring your elbows closer to the body). During the same motion you will bring you butt far enough back that you hover slightly over the saddle (but you don’t actually sit in it!) You might be tempted to do this at a low resistance as a higher resistance means your legs work harder. But don’t do it! Because this move is very rhythm based, the increased resistance does help you go through this move smoothly and not just let your legs roll out of control. If you’re a visual person, he’s a great visual instruction.
  4. Tap Backs – {out of the saddle/hand position 3/resistance of 7} You start in the same position as the Presses, but your hips will go back far enough so that your tush touches the back of the saddle and then go straight back up. The count for this exercise can vary. Some instructors will time it so you tap back on every 4th count and some like to go back every 3rd count. If you’re a visual person, he’s a great visual instruction.
  5. “Out of the Saddle and Slow It Down” – {out of the saddle/hand position 2/resistance of 7-8} I don’t know if there is an actual name to this exercise.   But this is a move done out of the saddle either standing up or hovering over the saddle. The goal here is to keep upper body still and (use that core!) and only use your legs. Sounds easy because you’re going slow, but it really focuses your energy in your core and upper legs.
  6. Figure 8 – {out of the saddle/hand position 3/resistance of 7-8} This …will take some coordination. But you will essentially lean your body towards the top right of the Bike {lead with your shoulders}, then towards the left of the Bike, towards the back right of the bike, towards the back left of the bike, and then back towards the top right of the Bike. PLEASE make sure you have enough resistance. because your moving so much on your bike, you can easily clip out your bike if you do not have enough resistance on
  7. Oblique Crunches {out of or in the saddle/hand position 1 or 2 if you’re in the saddle and hand position 3 if you’re out of the saddle/resistance of 7-8} Bring your elbow down on side and a time to perform an oblique crunch

No matter what position you’re doing just remember to keep your chest open so that you don’t restrict your breathing. Also, even when you’re doing arm exercises, don’t put all your weight on the handlebars, keep your hands light and use your core to help support your upper body during the exercise. Most of all, Have Fun! If you can’t do everything the first, second, or even third time. Don’t worry about it. It will come with time and practice.

Hope this guide was helpful for those of you taking a spin class for the first time. I love it and I hope you guys will too!

-P

Want to read the rest of the Spin Series? No Worries! Find it here>>

What to Expect From Your First Spin Class | Part One

What to Expect From Your First Spin Class | Part Two

What to Expect From Your First Spin Class | Part Three

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