Get caught up in the cycling cyclone. Spinning is an intense static-cycle exercise class that has swept the nation in recent years and taken up a firm position in the timetable of every self-respecting gym. It’s a sweaty, high-octane class that’ll push you to the limit in pursuit of those steely thighs and sculpted bum.
A lot of gyms will have special spinning studios. The exercise bikes you’ll use are simplified, high-quality versions of your average exercise bike with just one knob to adjust the resistance and none of those fiddly programs or computer screens. Almost every spinning class also has an upbeat soundtrack of dance or rock music from the get-go to spur you on to work your hardest.
A class will normally start with a warm-up pedal and stretch to get your legs limber. To do your stretches, you’ll need to dismount, but the bike is often a useful prop to either lean against or put your foot on while you’re stretching those pins.
Each spin instructor will run their class slightly differently, but most will recommend you try to keep your pedalling speed the same as the rest of the class and adjust the resistance on the bike (making it more or less difficult it is to pedal) if you're finding that it's your head that's spinning rather than your legs.
The class will move through bursts of higher and lower intensity cycling, also switching between sitting and standing positions. Your instructor will keep you motivated and make sure everyone knows what’s going on and what’s coming next. Most classes are between 45 minutes to an hour long, making them fantastically good for burning fat as well as a great work-out for your heart and lungs.
When it comes to sweaty sports, spinning really opens the floodgates, so wear light comfortable clothing and make sure you remember a bottle of water. Bringing a small towel to wipe down the bike afterwards is also good spinning etiquette.
Spinning is hard work, but by the end of the first class you’ll already be able to feel your lower body tightening up. Everyone knows it’s great for shapely legs and a pert bum (just think of those Tour de France cyclists), but the standing sections are also great for your abdominals too. So, if you want a low-impact, high-intensity workout to burn fat and get you those lean legs you always wanted, spinning could be the class for you.