Spinning basics…

Just as I thought, last night’s spin class was interesting to say the least.  I got there at 6:40pm, just in time to figure out that the stereo does not have a way for me to hook up my iPhone to it…so back home I went to grab a stereo and to bring it in.  Good thing I’m only a 3 minute drive from the gym so I got back by 6:55, still giving us a bit of time to set up.  It being my first class at the gym, most of the women were new to spin so I took a bit of time to show them how to set up their bikes, walk them through the positions of their hands…the basics. 

For those of you who are not spinning experts, here’s an overview for you for setting up the bike:

  • Seat height – sitting on the bike seat with your foot in the pedal, your leg should be almost straight at the bottom.  There should only be a slight bend in the knee.  A trick I use is to put my heel on the pedal and keep my leg straight.  That way I know that when foot is in the pedal it will slightly be bent.  If like me, you’re right in the middle of the seat adjustment holes, go up not down. 
  • Seat distance from handle bars – while on the bike, put your pedals at the same height and check that your knee is in line with  your front toes. 
  • Handle bar height – the handle bars should be slightly lower than your seat so that you can lean down into them. 

Lastly, remember the numbers!  All bikes have numbers for each of the adjustment holes so remember the 3 numbers to help you quickly set up your bike the next time you come to the class.  Unfortunately if you’re going to different gyms, numbers will vary based on the type of bike.

And here are the hand positions:


  • hands are closest to you, on the horizontal part of the handle bar
  • used for warmup, sprints, standing


  • hands on the handlebars, but close to the horizontal part
  • used for steady climbs (seated or standing), sprints


  • hands towards the end of the handlebars
  • used for sprints, standing with bum all the way back over the seat

A few other things to remember if you’re going to spin:

  1. bring water…lots of it!
  2. bring a towel, if you don’t need it, you didn’t work hard enough or you need to change instructors!
  3. while cycling shoes help, they are not mandatory.  Running shoes are fine.
  4. you won’t regret investing in a pair of cycling shorts or a bike seat … your body will thank you!
  5. push yourself…spinning is not a competitive sport, you’re not actually going to get ahead of the other people in the class so don’t focus on them, focus on yourself!  Push your body to it’s limits!  If that means you’re pedaling on easy for the whole time, so be it.  Don’t get intimidated and quit.  Stick with it and it will get easier!

So there you go…happy spinning…


2 comments on “Spinning basics…

  1. Back when I had two good knees and functioning body spinning class was a blast! And tip #2…For the love of God please bring a towel!!!

    • Hahaha…yes a towel is definitely a must! What’s wrong with your knees? I’ve had both my ACLs reconstructed so I sadly know more about knees than I want to.

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