Remember the freedom you felt riding your bike when you were a kid? Still recall the feel of soft wind on your cheeks, the rush of adrenalin on your veins as you guided your bicycle thorough steep inclines and yes, even bumps on the road? Those were truly remarkable experiences worth reliving.
Now, cycling has found its way into fitness gyms as a form of high-intensity cardiovascular workout for strength training and endurance. Riding on exercise bikes, especially when crazy weather doesn't permit any form of outdoor workout, has become a recommended alternative for those who still want to continue with their workout routines. One 40-minute session on the bike burns as much as 600 calories. And because cycling is relatively low-impact, it's preferred over running on the treadmill.
A technique known as spinning, further minimizes stress on the knees. It involves the cyclist using low gear and the stepping on the pedals at 85 to 95 revolutions per minute. Now, spinning bikes are all the rage because it maximizes the workout on the lungs and heart without putting undue strain on the knees. Classes using spinning bikes make use of music, motivation and lots of enthusiasm to enable students to achieve their fitness goals by simulating real-world topography in riding a bike outdoors. Wind resistance is even incorporated in some classes to add intensity to a spinning bike workout. What's more, visualization, contagious group energy and motivation make spinning classes incredibly fun. If you're thinking of enrolling yourself in a spin class, always make sure that you have comfortable clothing and cycling shoes on and lots of water to keep yourself hydrated during the entire session. It's also advisable that you have your heart rate monitor on so you will know if you should push harder, slow down or maintain your current pace. Because of this, you can maximize your workout efficiency and minimize your risks for injury or overtraining.
Spinning bikes are different from a regular stationary bike primarily because of a weighted flywheel in the front that mimics the effects of inertia and momentum of a real bike. The effect? You feel like you're riding on a real bike. Tightening the resistance actually leaves you with the impression that you have just ridden up a sheer slope.
The various hand and body positions on a spin bike serve various functions and target different muscle groups. Standing and sitting positions serve to tone and define the glutes, hamstrings and leg muscles even as it develops endurance and overall strength. Aside from the resistance of your bike's flywheel, you can achieve more intensity in your workout by your cadence or pedal rate and your body position as you pedal either by standing or sitting on your bike.
If you're thinking of purchasing a spinning bike, look for the following features: height, fore and aft seat adjustments and height, fore and aft handle adjustments. Cheaper models only have height, but fore and aft adjustments are equally important particularly if you need to adjust lengths for your torso, arms and legs to avoid knee pains and neck strain during your workout.
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