Dana Meltzer Zepeda, SELF magazine
Spinning is a great way to torch major calories regardless of your fitness level, but that doesn't mean you become invincible once you strap on your cycling shoes. So, rather than hop on a bike unprepared for such a rigorous workout, Fit Like Us turned to CycleHouse Chief Ride Officer Nichelle Hines to provide her top five tips to make any beginner look like a pro.
The Mistake: Not Eating or Drinking Before Class
The Fix: "Your preparation before class is what sets you up for success once you are there," says Hines. "It is important not to be too full or too hungry and well hydrated. You know you are properly hydrated if you are not feeling thirsty." Not sure what to eat? Check out our best picks for pre- (and post-) workout snacks!
Related: 20 Superfoods for Weight Loss
The Mistake: Not Engaging Your Core
The Fix: "I tell my riders to imagine a girdle around their middle to remind them that the abdominals need to remain involved," says Hines. "When you're up and riding out of the saddle, your abdominal strength is what keeps you balanced and suspended above the bike not leaning on the handlebars. The handlebars are there for balance, not to hold you up! That is what your abdominals are for."
Related: Yoga Moves for Flat Abs
The Mistake: Knees Bowing Out with Feet Pointing Down
The Fix: "Often when new riders get fatigued, their knees tend to bow out to the sides," says Hines. "It is critical that your knees are pointed straight forward because bowed knees increase the potential for knee injury and strain. It's equally important for your feet to remain flat to avoid any ankle injury. Better to slow down with proper form than push yourself with incorrect form."
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The Mistake: Hunched Shoulders
The Fix: "Every rider from the beginner to the pro has struggled with shoulder tension when riding," says Hines. "Relaxed shoulders will help you to engage your core, keep your feet flat and knees straight, all important elements to proper form. So remember to check your form starting at your shoulders all the way down to your toes!"
The Mistake: Doing Your Own Thing
The Fix: "It is one thing to slow down or sit down if you feel overwhelmed however, that doesn't give you creative license to do whatever you want," says Hines. "It is very important to listen to your instructor. They are the expert and have crafted this workout specifically for you so trust that they have your best workout at heart mostly because you don't know what is planned next."
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