Top 6 Mistakes People Are Still Making in Spinning Class

By The Captain September 27, 2020

Wellness Captain Spinning Class Mistakes

Only one hour of a spinning class can burn up to 600 calories – and that’s what sparked my interest for this rather new way of working out. However, Cydney Lebovitz, performance coach at Cyclebar Leaside in Toronto, says that many of her newcomers are making the same mistakes during the first couple of sessions.

Today, Lebovitz shares with us top 6 ways you can optimize your spinning session to reap the most benefits.


  1. Your bike isn’t set up correctly

Before getting on the bike, you must first make sure that it fits your body type. If your bike isn’t set up correctly, you won’t be able to keep up with the rest of the group and you may even suffer from unnecessary muscle pain and even injuries. Here’s what you should check:

  • The seat of the bike must be at the same height as your hipbone. This is the ideal measurement because it creates a 12 degree angle bend in your knee, which helps you to use your feet correctly. As Lebovitz explain, a bike seat that is too high prevents you from using leg muscles and may even cause a knee injury.
  • The distance between the seat and the handlebars should be the same length as your forearm. Double-check this setting by sitting on the bike and start pedaling; your knee shouldn’t go ahead of the foot as you pedal.


  1. Wrong posture

Just because your bike is adjusted correctly, it doesn’t mean you’re actually going to use it right too. This posture checklist can help you figure out if everything is okay:

  • The sit bones (those you feel in your bottom when you sit down) should be evenly balanced on the saddle; whenever you’re standing on the pedals, your body must hover right over the middle of the bike;
  • Your feet should stay flat on the pedals;
  • Elbows should be slightly bend;
  • The core should be engaged too; imagine someone would come and push you from one side – could you keep your balance?

As Lebovitz insists, balance is key when it comes to any spinning class.


  1. You take it easy

The intensity of a workout varies from one person to another. Physical condition, weight, previous training and workout frequency all play a crucial role in determining how your spinning session will go. With that in mind, it’s important that you never push yourself too hard (or take things too easy for that matter).

Lebovitz says that the following signs all indicate that you’re working hard enough and maybe need to slow down the pace a bit:

  • Sweating a lot
  • Raised heart rate
  • Breathlessness

It’s also beneficial to write down your heart rate, duration and other details about each workout. This helps you evaluate your progress over time.

  1. Spending too much energy…

…too early. Some people are so excited about their workouts that they start pedaling heavily right from the start. I’ll explain why this is not beneficial at all.

Firstly, you need healthy amounts of warm-up time before getting into the actual cardio session. Your bones, breathing and articulations need to be stretched and ready for what’s about to come. Furthermore, you also need to build up resistance, so the first half of hour of spinning should be as light as possible – especially for beginners.


  1. Not staying hydrated

Some people take breaks as a sign of weakness. In reality, taking breaks to drink water is crucial in order to maximize your workout performance.

Long cardio sessions can lead to dehydration which may even cause lightheadedness and nausea, so be careful and drink your water.


  1. Counting on spinning alone

Spinning classes work most of the muscles in your body and can keep you healthy in the long run with some help. If you take a spinning class and eat fast food afterwards, you probably won’t reap any benefits.

Combine it with balanced meals, a good sleep schedule and proper workouts, though, and you’re in for a healthy lifestyle. In order to do that, I’ve got some additional content to get you started on the right track:

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Wellness Captain