Most of the time, getting yourself to a workout class in between early morning meetings and your 18th bridal shower of the year feels remotely impossible. Which is why when it comes to finding the time to get your sweat on, we don’t blame you for wanting to get the most out of your workout with the time you do have.
If spinning is your thing, then you’re in luck. New research reveals that the trick to killing your next workout and improve your aerobic capacity on the bike, is in your stance. According to researchers from the University of Miami in Florida, incorporating more running and standing climbs into your workout is the key.
In the study, researchers recruited 11 adults who were taking at least one spinning class a week for six months, minimum. After completing 12 cycling combinations including varying positions, oxygen consumption levels and breathing raters were higher with these two upright positions compared to when seated.
Okay, standing ride, got it. But there’s more to maximizing your workout than just the positioning of your torso. We caught up with Peloton cyling coach and NASM-certified personal trainer Jessica King for her five tips to maximize your spin workout:
1. Set goals: “Maximize any workout, especially on the bike, by setting goals,” suggests King. “You’ll get more of a well-rounded, fun experience without the monotony of the one-two pedal stroke that cycling lives in.”
2. Set up your bike appropriately: “Proper bike setup is essential for efficiency and safety,” says King. “A lot of it is preference. There are certain rules to follow as far as saddle height being up at the hip bone, but everyone’s body is different. Definitely have a professional check out your setup and then play with it. If you feel too much pressure in your knees, you might need to pull the seat up a bit. If you have lower back problems or you’re pregnant, then your handle bars should be set up higher.”
3. Remember your core: “You want to be able to hold your own weight by engaging the core muscles and lifting the abdominals, so you’re not dumping weight into the saddle and into your joints,” says King. “Once you’ve established really wonderful, supported form in the core, then you can make choices; get a little dance-y on the bike should you want to, trust yourself in the longer sprints, take the resistance heavy because you know that your power is coming from the right place, derived and rooted in a place of safety and strength.”
4. Push that extra bit: “When you hit that place of fatigue, when you can’t go anymore, go ten more seconds,” urges King. “Trust me, you’ll be surprised of what your capable of when you push that extra bit.”
5. Enter the workout with the right mentality:“Have an intention behind showing up,” suggests King. “Come to the bike with purpose. Odds are [the reason you’re on the bike] is bigger than you. What brought you to the bike is consuming, it’s bigger, and it’s important. The work you do in the saddle or out of it should reflect that, that place, necessity. I personally come to the bike with a need. Whether it’s to make my wrongs right of what I ate the night before, I’m facing a cross in the road and I don’t know what path to take, or I’m hurt emotionally, or I’m simply expelling frustration or seeking forgiveness. We are emotional beings whether you want to recognize it or not, and what a waste it would be to push your body to such an extreme and not connect to a higher purpose.”