Top tips for Spinning beginners.

Do bring a towel and a water bottle to an indoor cycling class. Youll need the towel to mop sweat off your face and prevent your hands from slipping on the handlebars during the ride. The water is a must to prevent dehydration.

Do ask an instructor to set you up on the bike properly before your first class. The positioning of your seat height and fore-aft status, in particular, are crucial for safe leg extensions and smooth pedal strokes during the ride as well as for providing comfort and preventing injuries (especially to the knees and back).

Do familiarize yourself with the three hand positions. With Position 1, the basic hand position, hands are placed in the center of the base of the handlebars; this position is used while youre seated, especially during warm-ups and cool-downs. In Position 2, your hands are placed on the handlebars base a few inches apart; this position is used for seated flats and climbs, jumps, running with resistance, and sprints. In Position 3, your hands grasp the long ends of the handlebars, with your knuckles facing out and your thumbs over the top; this position should not be used while youre seated.

Do pay attention to your form throughout the ride. Your butt should be on the widest part of the saddle, you should be hinged forward at the hips, and there should be a slight bend in your elbows. Your shoulders should be down (away from your ears), your knees should be aligned with your feet and your elbows should be in line with your knees (no chicken-winging allowed!).

Do breathe smoothly during the class. When your resistance and pace are light, youll be able to breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. When the ride gets more intense, youll transition into mouth breathing. In both circumstances, keep your oxygen exchange smooth and consistent to enhance your performance.

Dont pedal without any resistance on the flywheel. This is called free Spinning and its dangerous because it can cause you to lose control.

Dont off-load your weight onto the handlebars. When youre in a standing position, your body should be positioned over the center of the bike, you should feel the tip of the saddle against the backs of your thighs, and your weight should be applied to the pedals.

Dont overdo your intensity. Be aware of how hard youre working throughout the classnever mind how hard your neighbor is workingand train at a level thats comfortable but challenging for you.

Dont abruptly stop pedaling and get off the bike. Instead, slow down the pace and gradually do cool down to prevent dizziness from setting in when you dismount.

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