Indoor cycling

aerobic exercise Indoor cyclingIndoor cycling, as an organized activity, is a form of exercise with classes focusing on endurance, strength, intervals, high intensity (race days) and recovery, and involves using a special stationary exercise bicycle with a weighted flywheel in a classroom setting. It is commonly called spinning.

Classes generally use specialized stationary bicycles. Features include a mechanical device to modify the difficulty of pedalling, specially shaped handlebars, and multiple adjustment points to fit the bicycle to a range of riders. Many have a weighted flywheel, which simulates the effects of inertia and momentum when riding a real bicycle. The pedals are equipped with toe clips as on sports bicycles to allow one foot to pull up when the other is pushing down.

They may alternatively have clipless receptacles for use with cleated cycling shoes. Padded shorts aid comfort and avoid the chafing caused by the sewn seams in underwear.

There are five core movements in the Spinning programme.

Seated flat, with hands at the center part of the handlebars. This is hand position one. This position should be used only when seated, for flat road simulations and during the warm-up and cool down. Cadence between 80 and 110 RPM.
Standing flat (also known as running), with hands wide on the back 12-14" part of the handlebars that crosses the rider's body. This is hand position two. Proper form for standing while running requires the body to be more upright and the back of the legs touching or enveloping the point of the saddle, with the center of gravity directly over the crank. The pressure of body weight should never rest excessively on the handlebars. Cadence is between 80 and 110 RPM
Jumps, (also known as lifts), a combination of seated and standing with riders hands at position two for durations of between two and eight seconds. Cadence between 80 and 110 RPM.

raning menSeated climb with hands at position two, increased resistance and lower cadence of 60-80 RPM.
Standing climb with hands wide and forward so the thumb tips are touching the far end of the handlebars (hand position three). The rider is canted slightly forward so that maximum force can be exerted onto the pedals with heavy resistance and a cadence of 60-80 RPM.

These five movements each work a different part of the body and focus on different leg muscle groups. The rider should always maintain control of the flywheel by having resistance applied and remaining below a cadence of 110 RPM. Not all bikes have a freewheel, or 'smart release', and it is possible that the flywheel will 'run away' with the rider with the potential for causing injury. The rider should be able to maintain perfectly even pedal rotations at high resistance. This becomes difficult below 60 RPM cadence and failing to make 'perfect circles' increases the risk of knee and hip injury. A road cyclist will normally have a natural pedal cadence, of about 85 RPM and will control changes in terrain by changing gear to maintain this rate. The goal of the spinning programme is not to exceed this natural rate by more than 25 RPM higher (110 RPM) or lower (60 RPM)

There are five further advanced movements based on those listed above.

Running with resistance
Jumps on a hill
Seated flat sprint
Seated hill sprint
Standing hill sprint

Most indoor cycling classes are coached with music. Riders may synchronize their pedalling to be in time with the rhythm of the music, thus providing an external stimulus to encourage a certain tempo. Often, the music chosen by the instructor is dance music or rock music set to a dance beat (i.e. 4/4 time), but not necessarily. This tends to help motivate participants to work harder than they might otherwise. The instructor also may choose specific songs for sprints, climbs, and jumps. While the music provides a tempo cue, the cadence does not need to be a multiple of the beat in order for the rider to feel in rhythm; the music therefore helps a rider maintain any constant cadence, not just a cadence that matches the beat. It may depend on the level of exertion whether or not someone changes position or the instructor can tell the class to change.


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