Up until this past spring I had never taken a spinning class, and honestly going into my first class I was really nervous. I had no idea what to expect. Obviously, I knew I’d be riding a stationary bike, but I didn’t know how to make sure it fit to my height or how to adjust the resistance. I took my first class with a good friend, and she helped me go through everything ahead of time. She made sure I was completely comfortable every step of the way. With that first class, I fell deep in love and haven’t stopped since.
If you frequently take spin classes, you know that you work your muscles hard, and what better way to finish off a tough workout than with some great stretches. Here are some of my personal faves, be sure to check them out!
First things first, before you even step off the bike, try a good long calf stretch. If you’re using the shoe cages on the Spinning bike, stand up straight and allow one heel to drop down at a bit. Hold it in that position for 30 seconds and then repeat on the other side. There are just some stretches that hurt so good…this is one of them.
Next up, try the Front Thigh Stretch. Once off the bike, stand straight and kick your leg back behind you, wrapping your hand around the top of your foot and pulling up towards your butt. This will pull those tight thigh muscles that you just worked, and it will feel fabulous.
Another great one is the Expanded Leg Stretch. While standing, spread your legs very wide and bend forward at the waist, reaching your hands down to the floor. Go only as far as you can comfortably go, but aim for placing your hands flat against the floor. Hold for 30 seconds and feel the burn.
If you have the space, my next favorite is the Downward Facing Dog. This is an all-around stretch and will help elongate your spine and open the hips. Just ensure that you’re pushing your heels into the floor or you won’t feel the full effects of the stretch.
If your inner thighs are feeling tight, try the Standing Glute Stretch and Hip Opener. While standing, use your bike for balance and bend your knee and cross your leg over the opposite leg and gently push down on your knee, hold for 30 seconds. The position of your legs will be just like the image below, but instead of putting your hands on the floor, hold on to your bike for balance as you really push back to feel that stretch. Switch and repeat with your other leg. (photo credit)
Remember high school gym class and the Butterfly Pose? Yeah, try one of those after a hard Spin session. Sit on the floor and bring the soles of your feet together in front of you, lightly press down on your knees and hold for 30 seconds. Trust me, this is worth it!
Try this Lower Back Stretch after you’ve cooled off a bit. Lay flat on your back and pull each leg up by the knee to your chest and hold for 30 seconds. This is another one of my absolute favorites! I do this one even when I’m not spinning, that’s how good it is.
If you’re a regular rider, you know that your hips are always tight, and a great way to fight this is the Kneeling Hip Flexor Lunge. Lift one leg up and in front of you about a foot away from your body and at a 90-degree angle. On an exhale, slowly lean forward into your raised leg, keeping the opposite knee connected with the ground. You should feel a pull on the inside of your hips as you lean forward. Hold this position for 10 to 15 breaths and then release. Repeat with the opposite leg. (photo credit)
You may not be lifting with your arms but they still deserve a good stretch. Give the Upper Arm Bicep and Tricep Stretch a try. When stretching the triceps, reach your arm up and over your head. With your other arm, push at the elbow until you feel a slight stretch. Drop that arm and repeat with the other.
If you’re working your biceps or shoulders, pull your arm across the front of you with your other arm, hold for 30 seconds and then repeat with the other arm.
And finally, end your session bent over at the waist, take some deep breaths and slowly, vertebrae by vertebrae, raise yourself up making your head the last thing to lift. You’ll feel refreshed and energized and ready to take on anything thrown your way! Now, go pedal hard!