The five biggest spinning mistakes beginners make and how to correct them

Entering an Indoor cycling studio for the first time can be pretty overwhelming and stressful. The last thing a beginner wants to do is slow down the class, and therefore, many beginners shy away from asking for help when setting up their bikes. In this article, we will talk specifically about the five biggest mistakes beginners make when they join a spinning class and how to correct them for good. I want to emphasize that there’s a big difference between a spinning class and what we call a rhythm cycling class. If you want to learn more about the exact differences, I recommend reading this complete guide about Rhythm Cycling.

Showing up late to your first class

There’s a lot going on in a spin class. And you’re definitely not making yourself a favor by wasting time in the changing room or showing up last minute to class if you aren’t familiar with the studio. Respect yourself and the time of others enough to show up at least 15min early to your first classes. This way, you avoid feeling stressed and overwhelmed in class. If an instructor has to set you up a minute before the class is about to start, your ride will be rather painful.

Riding on the wrong bike setup

Setting your bike up to your personal needs is the most critical first step to ensuring a successful class. Your bike setup may differ depending on the class type and bike brand. That’s why it is so crucial for beginners to understand their correct setup first. Don’t shy away from asking the instructor or your neighbors for help; we’ve all started as beginners once and know how intimidating it might feel at first. You can find a complete guide on setting up your bike for rhythm cycling in this article.

Ignoring the instructions of the coach

There are many things to consider in a rhythm cycling class, from form coaching, choreography, and resistance to hand weight choice for each class. There’s nothing worse for an instructor than having a beginner in class who completely ignores their instructions and doesn’t take the class environment seriously. Put your phone away, humble yourself and be present; the coach is trying to help you maximize your experience. Listen up, ask questions before the class starts and pick up light hand weights if you’re new to rhythm cycling. Better safe than sorry.

Rocking the hips side to side

When you join a rhythm cycling class for the first time, you might find it confusing to understand where the bounce of the riders comes from, which looks like “dancing on a bike.” The bounce is created by pushing the pedal stroke down on the downbeat of the song while pulling up on the upbeat with the opposite leg. As you can see in the image below, the bodyweight of the riders stays in the back while riding, hips steadily hovering over the saddle. This setup helps the riders engage their core and ensures that the grip on the handlebar stays light. To learn more about how to master riding on the beat, I recommend reading this article about it.

Wearing the wrong outfit

You don’t necessarily need to own a pair of biker shorts to be able to join a cycling class. However, there are a few things to avoid when spinning. Loose shorts will create more friction between your tights and take your focus away from the ride. As a woman, it is essential to keep in mind to bring a supportive sports bra, as you will be moving in and out of the saddle a lot. I recommend always bringing a shirt as a man, as it is forbidden to ride without it. The ventilation system in the cycling rooms is relatively strong, and the room temperatures vary from start to finish. Make sure you bring something to throw over if you quickly get sick or feel sensitive to fans.

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