I recently started indoor group cycling also known as spinning as a cross training activity for running. I never thought I would like it, until I actually tried it.
2019 Update: I rediscovered indoor cycling as alternative, low impact and low risk activity during the third trimester of my pregnancy and absolutely love it.
Spinning is actually a registered trademark name for indoor group cycling. However the concepts of other group cycling classesbare quite similar: a group of people is cycling indoors on special watt bikes guided by an instructor. The instructor defines a basic program with a warm up, hills, intervals, maybe arm exercises and a cool down. The riders cycle to the beat of the music and adjust the resistance according to their own abilities.
So why did I fall in love with spinning or indoor cycling classes?
1) Spinning is a low impact exercise
All types of cycling are low impact because you will support your own bodyweight by sitting in the saddle or because you are pedaling. There is also less lateral impact compared to running. It is therefore easy on your joints, which makes it a perfect cross training activity. It might also be a great type of exercise if you suffer from certain injuries and can’t run. As indoor cycling has no accident risk and is easy on your pelvic floor it can be a great exercise routine for expecting and new moms. But as always: consult your doctor if they are okay with you performing the sport.
2) Spinning trains your cardiovascular system and burns calories
Despite being a low impact exercise Spinning and group indoor cycling burns a significant amount of calories and trains your cardiovascular system. But only if you work at least a little bit and turn up the resistance. Don’t worry! If you’ve picked the right spin class you will cycle to the beat and definitely burn some calories.
3) Spinning is weather independent
As much as I love working out outside, (read my blogpost on how to run in the cold here) even I have my limits. Cold weather and snow in winter or super hot and humid weather in summer is just never ideal. Spinning is an indoors activity and therefore weather independent. Which makes it great to keep a consistent training schedule over these periods.
4) You can take a spin class with friends
In Spinning classes every participant sets the resistance to his or her own ability. The instructor will give guidance based on the beat of the music. Therefore friends with different fitness levels can work out together.
5) Good music and an instructor will make you workout harder
The most important bits of a spin class are the music and the instructor. Cycling to a beat that you like will automatically make you push yourself more. Combine that with an energizing instructor and you will definitely give it your all during your ride.
Have you tried a spinning or indoor cycling class? Let me know how you liked it!