Tour de France Fitness: 4 Tips for a Successful Spinning Class

As Tour de France cyclists enter the final stage of the 2,115 mile bike race around France this weekend, celebrate their achievement by giving it your all at spinning class.

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2012 Tour de France in Paris. Courtesy: Stefano Sirotti, http://roadcyclinguk.com

¿Qué? What is spinning class?

Spinning is a group fitness class on stationary bikes. An instructor leads a 45-60 minute cardio routine that works glutes, hamstrings, and quadriceps, making it a great way to burn calories and get strong, toned legs for summer mini-faldas.

Doesn’t pedaling in one place for an hour get boring?

Nope. Your bike doesn’t move, but you do. As class progresses, you alternate seated and standing positions and vary the intensity of your workout by increasing your pedaling speed and the resistance of the wheels. Rotating through these “sprints” and “hills” keeps you engaged and working hard.

Added summer bonus: an indoor spinning class is a fitness option that keeps you out of the heat.

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Spinning is a challenging group class that will make you sweat. Courtesy: www.shadysidespin.com

Natalie’s 4 Tips for a Successful Spinning Class

  1. Be ready to push yourselfYou choose how hard you work on the bike and it can be tempting to ease up as soon as your legs start to burn. Don’t give up! The class has built-in recovery periods, so give challenging sections your all to keep your heart rate up and increase your endurance. Think about whatever motivates you to exercise or visualize yourself as a Tour de France cyclist closing in on the finish line!
  2. Use the music: The rhythm of the songs correspond with the speed you should be pedaling: fast songs for a sprint and slower tempos for high-resistance hills. Focusing on the music helps me keep up even when I want to coast.
  3. Come back for more: It may take 2-3 classes to get used to commands and the feeling of the bike. Instructors and music will vary, so try several classes to find a good fit for you. Once you get the hang of it, you might get hooked!
  4. Safety first: Take the time to adjust your bike and learn proper form to avoid injury. Stay hydrated and keep a water bottle with you.

No spinning classes near you? In Fitness: 4 Ways to Spin Your (Bike) Wheels, I recommend an outdoor bike ride or designing your own spinning routine on a stationary bike at the gym.

I add spinning to my fitness routine because it helps me stick to my goals of keeping my legs strong for running and getting regular physical activity. As Tour de France athletes work hard to finish their race this weekend, strive to reach your fitness goals with a spinning class.

¿Need workout inspiration? Click here to read more of my fitness suggestions.

The Wise Latina Club's Natalie Wagner Fierro

A teacher by day, The Wise Latina Club’s Natalie Wagner Fierro is the co-founder of the Institute for Student Health. She equally loves food (cooking or dining in Washington’s restaurants) and burning calories by distance running, practicing yoga, and archery. Click here to read more about and connect with Natalie.

Edited by: Viviana Hurtado, Ph.D.

What do you love about spinning class?

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