5 Mistakes You’re Making on a Spin Bike

It’s not enough to just hop on a spin bike and begin your workout. There are a few things you should know about spinning regarding the right technique, how to create more of a challenge, and how to maximize your workout while keeping your body safe. 

So, if you are new to spinning or you think you’re not getting the results you’re looking for, here are a few possible mistakes you could be making, all explained by Sayre Masters, Studio Three Master Cycle Instructor.

Sayre Masters on five mistakes you're making on a spin bike

You don’t keep your hips back over the saddle

When in a standing position, keep those hips pulled back over the saddle to get the most out of the position.

“You should be creating as much space in front of you (between the hip bones and the handle bars) as possible, while still keeping a slight bend in the elbows when out of the saddle,” Masters says. This will protect your body from injury and help you ride easier.

You don’t use proper form

Whether your body is too hunched or your arms are locked straight, not using the right form will put strain on your body and make it harder to ride.

“Body alignment!” Masters emphasizes. “Knees should track over the toes and under the hip bones. Elbows should always have a slight bend to them with the forearms in line with the handlebars.”  If you are unsure, always ask an instructor for help with form.

You don’t crank up resistance enough 

“Always make sure you’re riding with enough resistance! The resistance is there to challenge you, but also to SUPPORT you,” Masters explains. If you come out of the saddle or start to sprint and feel out of control (like you’re going to face-plant on the handlebars), chances are you need more resistance on the wheel.

And the reverse also applies—if you’re sprinting, you don’t want it as heavy as you would for hill work, because then you can’t move as fast as you should be in that interval.

You forget about your core

Core muscles should always be activated.

“It’s especially easy to forget about the abdominals when seated, and as a result you’ll find that you feel heavy or like you’re sinking into the saddle,” Masters says.

The core should be so engaged that you almost feel like you’re floating throughout the ride, she says. Keep them tight to get that lovely burn and tone.

You don’t set up your bike right

The bike must be set according to your height and arm length. If you are reaching for the handlebars and can’t bend, you need to adjust and bring your seat closer. If you are too high up and are bending down, that will cause strain on your back and lead to bad form and a potential injury.

Make sure to arrive before spin class a few minutes early to set up your bike and ask an instructor to help you if you’re unsure. They’re happy to assist and are encouraging—so don’t sweat it!

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About Isadora Baum

Isadora Baum is a freelance writer, author, and certified health coach. She writes for various magazines, such as Cooking Light, SHAPE, Men's Health, Women's Health, Health, Prevention, POPSUGAR, Runner's World, Bustle, and more. She is also the author of the book "5-Minute Energy." She can't resist a good sample, a killer margarita, a new HIIT class, or an easy laugh. Beyond magazines, she helps grow businesses through blogging and content marketing strategy.