Is Spinning Good For Weight Loss

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Is spinning good for weight loss? What if you ask me is it good for losing fat and gaining muscle? This is a common question asked by spinning enthusiasts, who are eager to get the best results after their hard work in the spin class. A lot of people gain enough knowledge about the exercise aspect. But they do not pay attention to how they can achieve a healthy weight loss and aesthetic body.

What is spinning?

These days, walking into a gym expecting to see at least a few spinning bikes is a safe bet. These stationary bikes may look like the indoor equivalent of cycling, but they can offer a far more intense workout in many ways. Research suggests that spinning may be even more beneficial than ordinary bicycling for physical fitness, blood constituents, and body composition.

While you can choose to cycle on your own, most gyms also offer spinning classes. Typically, these classes last up to an hour, and an instructor sets the pace. You can adjust the tension to make pedalling use more energy, which imitates the uphill or downhill motions of outdoor cycling.

Many people enjoy spinning classes for the motivation provided by the instructor. Classes are normally set to music, and it’s also not uncommon for people to go primarily for the fun atmosphere.

Whatever your motivation, spinning can be an effective way to improve your fitness and build your leg muscles. It can also help you to manage your weight if this is your goal.

 Reasons Why Spinning Is The Most Fun Way To Lose Weight

Spinning is one of the best cardio exercise one can do. Creator of spinning Johnny Goldberg started this program in his garage. He wanted to make a stationery bike that can give the feel of an outdoor bike. So he decided to make the Spinner which used the same mechanics as that of an outdoor bike. Spinning is one of the most effective fun filled way of keeping yourself fit. Spinning expert, Gagan Deep Khajotia, discusses the health benefits spinning has to offer.

1. Full body exercise.

Spinning is a full body workout so you don’t need to do anything extra, one class and you are done. It focuses on all the aspects of training right from cardio to strength.

2. Motivating.

Since it is a group workout, all the participants are able to motivate each other which makes them perform better than conventional workout.

3. Improves cardiovascular strength.

Spinning is based on heart rate training, so it helps in improving the cardiovascular endurance.

4. Fun workout!

While you tend to get bored of running on a treadmill or by riding a conventional bike, this is a way to add spice to your workout. The loud music and electrifying energy of the spinning class makes it so interesting that you would want to go on and on.

5. Low risk of injury.

Since there is no locking of the knee, people with bad knee problem are advised to do spinning to increase the strength, while the treadmills and cross trainer are strictly restricted.

The Pros of Spinning

1. It encourages the group dynamic:

The most successful fitness methods are always the ones that develop a strong culture and a tangible sense of community, and group cycle classes tick these boxes. The group dynamic keeps us accountable, both in terms of turning up and pushing ourselves beyond where we might go on our own. The emphasis on the community and the social aspect of course also makes the whole process more enjoyable, so that we return for the people as much as the exercise, which is key to long-term sustainability.

2. It’s inclusive and fun:

Whilst becoming a good cyclist requires focus, practice and a high degree of technical competency and efficiency, spinning is not the same as road cycling, and the barrier to entry in terms of competency is actually pretty low. The fact that the bikes are stationary, with most of them in a fixed position, means that we do not need the technical ability that we need out on the road in order to push our physical boundaries, stay safe and injury free. What that means is that any of us, from experienced cyclists to absolute beginner, can sign up and get involved.

3. We are in control of the workout:

 Although the instructor will come to the class with a pre-planned session, we are in control of our own resistance and cadence, meaning that ultimately, we determine how hard the workout is. Most spinning studios do not link up their bikes to power output monitors, some purposefully, to avoid the anxiety that comes with comparison, which means that we can go though the workout at our level, and in line with our energy levels on that particular day, meaning that we can focus entirely on our own workout, rather than being preoccupied with what the person on the bike next to us is doing.

The Cons of Spinning

1. We already spend too much time sitting:

Perhaps the biggest physical problem that we face as a society is how much time we spend sitting down – it causes all sorts of problems thanks to the structural and physiological adaptations that we develop. And whilst I understand that we are not sedentary during a spinning workout, we are still reinforcing a position and posture that most of us already spend too much time in – it is, essentially, more sitting. For some of us this can lead to postural issues and structural imbalances, both of which will more than likely lead to discomfort and in some cases pain, mostly thanks to tight hips and rounded shoulders.

2. It does not offer a balanced approach to fitness:

Spinning might improve our cardiovascular fitness, and help us develop some lower body strength at first, but it won’t come close to offering a good fitness programme that covers all bases. It doesn’t address core strength, upper body strength, overall functional strength or postural and structural balance, all of which we should consider. It is of course ideal for cycling specific fitness, but it is by no means an integrated approach to getting fit, and should be balanced with other forms of training.

3. It doesn’t teach technique:

Whilst most spinning bikes come with toe clips and modifiable resistance to mimic the feel of a road bike, with more experienced instructors designing sessions that simulate what we might experience on an actual ride with climbs and sprint sections, the reality is that the riding position and the fixed nature of the bike won’t replicate the feel of being on the road. It is also fair to say that most classes, whilst fun, with flashing lights, loud music and enthusiastic instruction, have too many people in for the instructor to teach a proper pedal stoke and other techniques, which can, over time, lead to injury.

In the end, there are plenty of differing opinions about what works best in fitness. The reality is that most of these opinions are driven by personal bias, and the fact of the matter is that the best form of fitness is the one that you will do regularly, which is going to be the one that you enjoy most. If that is spinning, then spinning is great exercise, although I would suggest that, unless you have cycling specific goals, you balance it with other forms of training, such and resistance training, Pilates or perhaps yoga.

 Insider Tricks to Losing Weight in Spin Class

Tip #1: You should use every muscle in your body.

Are you “dancing” through your spin classes and not feeling it the next day? That’s fun, but it’s not a workout. “I created the Cyc method to focus on targeting the whole body the whole time,” says Hudoba. “Every sector is designed to target the small muscle fibers as well as the major muscle groups,” Hudoba says.

Tip #2: Change up your resistance.

“Pedaling fast at low resistance—a ‘sprint’—is amazing for endurance, getting the blood flowing and heart rate elevated,” says Hudoba. But to really burn fat, you need to train in intervals. Translation: “Going from light resistance to heavy to light,” Hudoba says. Why it’s important to crank it up: “Running through high resistance is amazing for a tabata-style metabolic interval, which helps improve glucose metabolism and fat burning,” Hudoba says. His bikes have a “break” (think of an emergency break on a car) that you can hold down periodically to really challenge your runs and instantly create a quick high-intensity interval.

Tip #3: Work up to the tempo.

Most spin classes are paced so that you’re working your legs at the same tempo as the music. For many beginners, it can be hard to keep up, so Hudoba recommends “focusing on adding resistance gradually while trying to maintain the set pedal stroke tempo.” Don’t be afraid to lower your resistance in order to keep in time with the music—but definitely make sure you’re working at your max. Next class, challenge yourself by adding a little more each time until you catch up to everyone else.

What happens to your body during spinning?

“Spinning is an effective, low-impact way of improving fitness and helping to manage weight,” says personal trainer Laura Williams.

“Your lower body muscles (quadriceps, hamstrings and glutes) all work hard during a spinning session, while standing during a session means your upper body and core all play a role too.”

Your lower body muscles

  • Quadriceps (commonly called ‘quads’) – the muscles on the fronts of your thighs. Pushing the bike pedals down engages these muscles.
  • Hamstrings – the muscles on the backs of your thighs. Pushing the bike pedals up engages these muscles.
  • ‘Glutes’ – the three muscles in your hips and butt (gluteus maximus, gluteus medius and gluteus minimus). You engage these muscles while pedalling and particularly when you accelerate hard.

These leg muscles are some of the largest in your body, which means you’re exerting a lot of energy. This kind of high-intensity workout burns a lot of calories and builds up these muscles, which can result in legs that have less fat and are more toned.

Other muscles you engage

  • Calves – the muscles at the back of your lower legs. These are engaged for the complete rotation of the pedals.
  • Back and upper body muscles – these muscles support your torso during spinning.
  • Core – includes both your upper and lower abdominal muscles. Correct posture that holds tension in your core (pulling your belly button in and a straight back) and setting high resistance on the spin bike can engage your core.
  • Heart – this muscular organ also gets a workout during spinning. The heart must work harder to pump enough blood through the body to supply the tissues with nutrients and oxygen.

Exercise bikes also have a weighted disc called a flywheel attached to each pedal. As you pedal, this speeds up and stores the rotational energy that you generate, which gives you momentum. Heavier flywheels require an exertion of energy to get them moving quickly, increasing the workout intensity.

Williams points out the added benefits of spinning with weights: “Even small weights can add to intensity, helping to strengthen upper and lower body muscles even more. They will also help elevate the heart rate further, which will continue to increase cardiovascular fitness over time.”

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