Whether you prefer Peloton, SoulCycle, or Flywheel, boutique-style spin classes have gained immense popularity over the last decade. Spin has many benefits such as improving cardiovascular health and improving lower extremity strength and endurance. However, far too many people do not cross-train or properly warm-up before classes.
The majority of Americans sit >8 hours during the workday. Prolonged sitting has many negative health benefits and can often lead to low back pain. Prolonged sitting places the spine into 50% to 97% of end-range spinal motion for prolonged periods of time causing excessive stress on the joints and tissues surrounding the spine such as our lumbar discs.
Sitting for long periods also causes the adaptive shortening of our anterior chain muscles including our hip flexors and pec muscles. Then, when you tack on another hour of having your spine bent forward into a flexed position during a spin class without proper stretching prior to the class, an injury may result. However, low back pain and other injuries can be reduced by proper warm-ups and cross-training.
Benefits to Cross-Training
What is cross-training? Cross-training is participating in various modes of exercises such as weight lifting, yoga, HIIT training, swimming, or any other type of exercise to negate any shortcomings from one particular training method. Cross-training reduces the risk of overuse injury by allowing your body to actively recover and stretch and strengthen various muscles in different ways.
Forms of Cross-Training
- Weight training
3 Exercises To Do Before Spin Class
- Start by lying on your stomach. Place your hands by your shoulders on the ground. Use your arms to push yourself up into a baby cobra position, while keeping your hips and legs on the ground. Let out a deep breath to allow your belly to drop lower to the ground. Allow your arms to do the work. Repeat 10 times.
Hip Flexor Stretch:
- Start in a kneeling position with one foot placed in front of you at a 90 degrees bend in the knee. Lean forward to extend the opposite leg that is kneeling backward to feel a stretch in the front of your thigh. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds and complete 3 sets for each leg.
Foam Roll Quad Release:
- Lie on a foam roll so the foam roll is positioned perpendicular to the front of your thigh. Prop yourself and keep the foam roller stationary. Find a tender/restricted spot on your thigh and slowly bend and straighten your knee for 15-20 repetitions. Find another tender/restricted spot and repeat it.