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Fitness Trends: Spinning

Updated February 20, 2019
Professional headshot of Nikki Prosch

Nikki Prosch

SDSU Extension Health & Physical Activity Field Specialist

About Spinning

Spinning, or indoor cycling, is a popular fitness class offered across the nation. Seated on an indoor bike, spinning involves a series of movements in and out of the saddle (bike seat) at various intensities. A reason this fitness trend is so popular may be because class participants can select intensity of their workout by applying appropriate resistance to the flywheel of the bike throughout class.

Class Format

In a typical Spin class, a number of different movements are performed in a seated or standing position on the bike. Class instructors guide participants to increase resistance of the flywheel by turning a knob on the bike to adjust intensity levels, leaving the level of difficulty up to the participant. Instructors suggest a variety of movements throughout the class which include jogging, sprinting, jumping, hovering and climbing. Lights are usually kept low and music is set to match your workout. Different cadences are presented throughout the class to keep participants engaged and alternate between intensity levels.

Health Benefits

Spinning can improve an individual’s endurance and strength. This form of activity will strengthen your core and leg muscles and also offer a great cardiovascular workout. Calories burned will vary on length and intensity of class, but spinning classes have been known to burn high amounts of calories. Individuals can burn anywhere between 300-600 calories in an average 45 minute class. For being a high-intensity workout, spinning is actually a low impact activity. When exercises are performed correctly, there is low impact on the knee, hip and ankle joints. According to American College of Sports Medicine, continuous cardiovascular activity (including interval training often present in indoor cycling) can help lower blood pressure and LDL cholesterol and an individual’s risk for coronary artery disease.

Getting Started

If you are new to spinning, arrive to class early and notify the class instructor you are new to the exercise. Proper safety, bike set-up and class instructions should be shared with you prior to starting. If you are new to exercise, seek medical clearance if necessary, start slow and gradually progress forward in your activity levels.

Related Topics

Physical Activity, Health