Spin is one of our most popular classes here and is a world-wide smash in indoor exercise! It offers refuge during the winter months for the road cyclists and some people just like being out of breath for 45 minutes.
However, on a spin bike we see less than optimal posture. The ankles commonly sit in planter flexion, knees and hips are both flexed and the mid to upper back is sitting in flexion. Is this an issue?
Well, yes. With our daytime activities usually involving sitting down at work, driving to work, eating, watching T.V. we sit A LOT. This means we are more often than not in a flexed position and our bodies adapt to this. The hip flexors become shortened along with hamstrings and a lack of dorsi flexion in the ankles. This can lead to common movement dysfunctions such as lack of stability in the knee which can cause painful issues. Solution? STRETCH your hips (mainly the hip flexor) often, every day for at least 2 minutes each side each time. Stretch your ankles and calves to allow movement back in the ankles which will in turn produce a more effective pedal stroke. If you utilise clip in bike shoes learn to PULL the pedal back rather than just pushing it forward. These shoes are designed to produce more force into the pedal through a greater range of motion and exploit more power in the back stroke of the pedal movement which is where the majority of power is lost in a traditional training shoe. STRETCH your hamstrings often and ACTIVATE your glutes before you cycle. This can simply be done by performing some body weight luges/body weight squats/glute bridges. With your glutes now switched on they will work more effectively and track your knees more efficiently. The low back takes a lot of pounding in everyday life but is usually an issue due to the tight systems surrounding it i.e. hips, hamstrings and upper back. Mobilising these tissues will ‘feed slack’ into the system and aid in pain relief and increased proficiency. This is by no means the be all and end all but definitely a good start to address some very common issues.