Stabilizing in Spinning and Indoor Cycling
Your legs supply the power for your indoor cycling class, but without the help of stabilizing muscles, your workout would suffer. Because the spin bike remains stationary, you don’t have to worry about keeping your balance the same way you would when cycling outdoors. Instead, the core stabilizers function as a base from which all your movements originate.
Indoor cycling, also known as Spinning, is a group exercise class that uses stationary exercise bikes. The bikes have flywheels on the front, pedals and handlebars that resemble those of a road bike and are adjustable for different body types. The workout is a cardiovascular challenge set to motivating music. Your instructor verbally guides you up and down imaginary hills, through flat roads or over potholes.
As you pedal fast and slow, push against an increased amount of resistance or stand and sit in and out of the saddle, your core contracts to stabilize your movements. A strong core keeps your torso still so your legs use the energy to pedal the bike. Your core also acts to keep your lower body in proper alignment to reduce the risk of injury to your knees.
Your upper-body is also involved in stabilization during indoor cycling. Your hands rest on the handlebars, without gripping the bars, to keep your torso stable. Your arms and shoulders assist in lifting and lowering your hips from the saddle as you transition to standing positions or perform jumping movements. During a hover, your arms remain in a static contraction to support your forward-leaning position.
A strong core is required for successful cycling. A study presented in the November 2007 issue of “Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research” reveals that when the core is tired, cyclists’ leg alignment becomes altered, which risks an injury to the knees. To prevent this, do core-strengthening exercises, such as crunches, stability ball crunches, planks and reverse crunches, three days a week as part of your workout routine.
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