What are the advantages and disadvantages of a spinning bike workout?

12 October 2019

Fitness

The spinning bike trend is here to stay. Chances are you’ve thought about trying a class, if you haven’t done so already. Spinning is essentially indoor cycling – but whereas traditionally exercise bikes were a solitary phenomenon, lined up with other machines in the cardio room, spinning bikes tend to get a studio of their own and are arranged in a way that favors the group dynamic. So, let’s take a closer look at some pros and cons of using a spinning bike.

What are the benefits of spinning?

Spinning is obviously safer than road biking, which means it’s a good option for those that feel they lack the technical ability or confidence to get out on the road. No danger = maximum fun. You can enjoy spinning next to your friends without the need to stay alert to oncoming traffic or watch out for potholes in the asphalt.

Spinning classes are generally instructor-led and often accompanied by pumping music, making them hugely motivational and easy to follow. The instructor will guide you through a planned session, although ultimately you are in control of the workout and can adjust resistance and level of challenge to suit your energy on the day.

Last but very definitely not least, the physical benefits of spinning are undisputed – it is absolutely awesome cardiovascular exercise. It gets your heart pumping and the potential calorie burn is impressive – on average between 400-600 calories in an hour-long class.

So, what are the downsides of a spin bike workout?

Well, first off, spinning is not a one-stop workout. It offers little by way of upper body and core strength training, so you’ll need to supplement with other forms of exercise to get a complete workout: resistance training to build upper body muscle, and yoga or similar to stretch all those muscles out.

For those of you who like to mix it up in your workouts, spinning can feel a little… repetitive. Some classes attempt to combat this by projecting different tracks onto a screen at the front of the class – one day you might be cycling through the dappled shade of an ancient forest, another you may find yourself (virtually) hurtling down a mountain track. But fundamentally, the format is the same from session to session.

There’s no doubt that spinning is a very valid form of exercise and one you should definitely consider giving a go. If you enjoy it then it’s certainly going to provide you with a good workout – and stickability is key when it comes to getting fit. Just remember it’s fine to mix and match too – your body and your mind will thank you for it!

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