Spinning has become a very popular form of aerobic or cardiovascular exercise. This type of indoor cycling can give you a great workout. It builds strength in the legs and can burn up to 500 calories per class. When done properly it can be an effective and safe workout. However, it does involve a repetitive cycling movement and it can be quite vigorous and fast paced. Therefore you need to take the right precautions to avoid injuries.
If your spinning bike is not set up properly you may develop knee problems. You should adjust the seat so that when your foot is at the bottom position when peddling, there should be a slight bend in the knee. Too high of a seat will overextend the knee and too low of a seat puts too much pressure on the joint, both of which can lead to tendon and ligament injuries.
Make sure you use proper form and keep your core muscles (abs, waist and low back) contracted. Keep your back straight even when leaning forward and be careful about excessive movements such as bouncing up and down or swaying sideways. Using improper form can strain or pull your back muscles.
The tendons and ligaments that run from the hip to the knee can become strained and tight. Just as with knee injuries this is often caused by improper bike setup and poor body mechanics. Check with your instructor to make sure that your handlebars are set properly to avoid straining the joints.
When spinning, your weight should be in your legs and your core muscles. Avoid leaning and placing weight on your elbows or wrists. Keep the wrists straight and avoid excessive bending so you do not strain the wrist joints.
Since spinning is such a great workout there is a temptation to make spin your main cardio workout. Whenever you do the same workout over and over you risk injury. Since spinning involves a repetitive movement you can place too much strain on the knees, ankles, hips and back.