Spinning, or cycling on a stationary bike with a control dial, is a great workout. Because it is very low impact, its an especially great exercise for those who have body or back pain, knee strains, and women who are pregnant! But spinning can get very boring if you don’t have a set program planned ahead of time — so give this one a try before the next time you head out to the gym.
Most spinning instructors teach on a scale of 1-10 of perceived exertion. You will use the control dial on the bike in order to set the difficultly of your ride — 10 should be the most difficult and you should hardly be able to push the peddles through a full spin. One should be so easy that your feet are practically spinning on their own (this level should never be used because it is dangerous for the knees). Before you get into your ride, experiment a bit with the different levels.
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- Collect an exciting, upbeat soundtrack. This is very important because you want to listen to music that will keep you motivated throughout the workout. Choose about 8-10 songs that you would like to spin to and use this as your soundtrack.
- Warm-up. Like all good exercise regimes, your spinning program should start with a 5 minute workout. Begin on a flat road (about level 4) and keep your feet moving quickly. After about 3 minutes, increase the dial to a level 5 and continue.
- First Hill Climb. The next 5 minutes you will be spinning up a hill. Immediately increase to a level 6 and do not let yourself slow down, but keep up the same pace. After 2 minutes, increase to a level 7 without slowing down. One more minute, and then increase to a level 8. After 1 more minute, stand up out of the saddle and spin in a standing position. After 1 minute, drop down to a sitting position to finish off.
- Sprint Set. Then next 6 minutes you will spend sprinting on and off– every 30 seconds you will sprint at about a level 5, then spin at a steady pace for 30 seconds, and then switch until your 6 minutes are up.
- Second Hill Climb. Repeat your first hill climb but this time begin at a level 6 and work your way up to a 9. You may stand up earlier if this helps you.
- Jumps. Starting at a level 6, you will spend the next 5 minutes doing jumps. Begin in the saddle spinning at a steady pace and every 10 seconds you will stand and spin, then sit back down and spin.
- Cool down. Beginning at level 7, you will slowly release the dial until your legs are relaxed, your heart beat is back to normal, and you feel sufficiently cool. End at a level 3.
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