• Sarah Ballan

Sarah's Spin Secrets

Updated: Nov 27, 2018

Sup guys!

I know it’s that time of year where non-stop eating is inevitable. And you absolutely should partake in every and all feasts, parties, what have you. To stay in shape, find a workout that works for you, specifically some form of cardio to burn the fat. If you do choose to make spinning your thing, make sure you get the most out of class by riding CORRECTLY!!! Below are a few key tips I’ve picked up over the years from the hundreds of classes I’ve both taken and taught. Enjoy <3

1. Keep your core engaged.

I’m sure you’ve heard every single fitness instructor on the planet say this at least once during EVERY session, not just indoor cycling. Your core is the epicenter of your body. Having a strong core will give you stability and allow you to work out safely in order to make change happen! Flex your stomach muscles. Tighten your tummy, clenching it as as you would your fist. Try and visualize pulling your belly button back towards your spine. It helps if you sit up straight and have good posture. Why? To protect your lower back and to get stronger. Keeping your core steady when cycling allows for direct focus on power being exerted in your legs.

2. Upstrokes Matter

When you’re pedaling on your stationary bike, your feet are clipped into the pedals. They aren’t going anywhere so don’t be afraid to pull upwards on your shoes while keeping your foot flat. NEVER point your toes. Instead, focus on sending the movement back through the heel. The “upstroke” is just as important as driving your heels downward. In fact, if you place more of an emphasis on the “up,” it becomes easier to handle more resistance underneath your feet. Your legs become levers, one pushing to the floor, the other pulling up to the ceiling at the same time. Instead of just focusing on down, down, down, train your body to be mindful of the simultaneous pull. This awareness will give you better muscle control and will help with fatigue. It makes your ride more efficient.

3. Perfect your Posture

Posture plays a role in efficiency. Relax your shoulders and lift your chest to open up the airways. It will make it easier to catch your breath if and when you’re feeling winded. Try to remain as tall and straight as possible when you’re seated and in second position: Second position is really about lifting your body a few inches taller, as you move from a seated to a standing position. Although you remain straight, second position requires a bit more core strength to stabilize. When you move into third position (standing with your arms extended) the most important rule is to not lean forward. Always slide your hips back so you feel something poking you in the butt (you get used to it, promise).

4. Do Not Ride With Zero Resistance. Ever.

Really, don’t do it. You may think its easy and fun to go above 130rpm in (or out) of the saddle, but let me tell you from personal experience: you will get injured. I am 26 years young and I have had not one, but two epidurals. EPIDURALS. Those fat ass needles they stab into your spine to numb your lower body. I herniated a couple of discs by repeatedly riding unsafely and I beg of you to not make the same mistakes I did. I had trouble sleeping, walking, sitting, you name it. It isn’t worth those few minutes of euphoria. You get the same exercise high - and feel stronger - when you ride heavier resistance at lower speeds. I’m not saying don’t ever go fast, however if you do, just make sure you do it safely. If you feel like you’re pedaling against air and your legs are flying uncontrollably, that’s probably a sign you should add some support underneath your wheel.

5. Always always ALWAYS stretch.

I get it. We all have lives. We all have places to be, things to do, people to see etc. Whether you stay in the studio and stretch for the allotted 2 minutes or leave to do your own thing, make sure you stretch out your body. I have especially tight hips from doing what i do every day. My legs are bent more often than not and if I forget to - or purposely skip out on- stretch. If you don’t have a foam roller, I recommend you getting your @$$ to Bed Bath and Beyond and copping one ASAP. Foam rollers are your best $5 friend. Stay tuned for tutorials, as I will upload them to my video section.

Safe Spinning! <3

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