Spin class can be a great stress buster after a long day of work. In fact, it’s a great low-impact exercise for people of all ages looking to get a cardio workout. Lately, we’ve been talking to patients about their spin classes, and we’ve been seeing a trend where spin classes are adding more advanced movements including weights into the game plan. That’s not a bad thing, but for those of us with pre-existing shoulder or wrist injuries, you may be susceptible to more harm than good.
So how can you make sure that you are using proper form, and least likely to injure yourself or experience pain during spin class? We’ve put together a short checklist for you next time you decide to attend a spin class.
Injury-Free Spin Class Checklist *
Adjust your seat before you pedal – Get to class early so you can adjust your seat correctly. Riding too low will cause great tension and stress on your joints and ligaments. While standing with your feet flat on the ground, adjust the seat height so the top of the seat reaches your hip. Optimally, you want your down stroke to produce only a slight bend in your knee.
Adjust the distance to the handlebars. – Don’t crunch yourself up while riding. You want your knees and back to stay aligned during your workout, so make sure your knees are right above the balls of your feet in your riding position.
Don’t use your arms to support your body. – Your arms are not supposed to hold the entire weight of your upper body during your workout. Concentrate on using your core to keep your upper body supported, so that you can avoid shoulder and wrist injuries. If you find yourself needing your arms to support you, then you should consider adding in more core strengthening exercises as part of your workout regimen.
Stabilize yourself before lifting weights while on a bike. – If you must lift any weights while riding, don’t let momentum do the work. Stabilize your body with your core before attempting to move any weight. If you feel any pain, or find that you can’t support yourself with your core, you’ll have to lower the weight, or get rid of it altogether.
Warmup Properly. – We always talk about this one. No athlete should start working out without properly warming up. Get to class early, adjust your bike, and start pedaling at 10-20% intensity. Do that for 3 minutes, and then up the intensity by about 10-20% for the next 2 minutes. Up the intensity one more time by 10-20% for the next minute. And don’t forget to do any dynamic stretches that are specific to your needs.
Try some of these tips next time you go to workout so you don’t experience shoulder or wrist pain during spin class. Remember that the goal is to get a great workout, not injury yourself!
Schedule a FREE consultation with us at any of our SportsMed Physical Therapy locations in Ridgewood/HoHoKus, Clifton, Fair Lawn, Franklin Lakes, and Glen Rock.
*Please consult your physician if you are experiencing severe pain.
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