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How Does a Spin Bike Work?

One of the fastest growing indoor workouts is using the spin bike.  Part of the reason for this has to do with the fact that a participant can burn 500 to 800 calories in one hour.  Other reasons for the popularity of spinning classes include the camaraderie amongst participants, the motivation provided by the instructor and the fact that it’s a low impact exercise.  It is also fantastic for home workouts. If you’re looking for an intense cardio workout with little to no impact, you should consider investing in a spin bike.  But how does a spin bike work?  In this article, we’ll go over the basics of the spin bike and how it provides a workout experience that’s different than any other you’ve tried before.

The Spin Bike Flywheel

You might be familiar with your standard exercise bike, but spin bikes take things up a notch.  Because they’re typically used in a classroom format by many people of a wide variety of sizes and shapes, spin bikes are built much sturdier than the home exercise bikes of days past.  A major difference between old-style exercise bikes and spin bikes is the flywheel.  On a spin bike, the flywheel can weigh anywhere from 30 pounds to over 60 pounds.  Not only will a heavier flywheel give you a heavier workout, but it will also make the machine feel more like an actual road bike. 

Other Components

Similar to old style exercise bikes, the flywheel is connected to the pedals with a belt or chain.  The tension of the wheel can be adjusted to increase or decrease the amount of energy needed to turn the pedals.  The pedals typically have straps on them to keep the feet in place.  Because much of the workout in a spin bike class will have the rider standing on the pedals, the seat is typically smaller and less comfortable than those found on a home exercise bike.

The Spin Bike Workout

Most spin bike class instructors will take their students through a variety of speeds that will range from a leisurely warm up to full out pedaling.  To replicate riding up hills the instructor might order the students to increase the tension on the flywheel.  By decreasing the flywheel tension the student is able to mimic riding on flats or going downhill.  Students can be instructed to stand on their pedals while maximizing their speed or to crouch down on the seat for maintaining a constant pace.

The Benefits of Spin Bike Classes

Because spin bike workouts are usually done in groups, there’s a sense of community that pushes people to work harder.  It’s much easier to continue a workout when surrounded by a large group of people going through the same process.  Instructors can play a large role in making the class feel like a journey through the countryside complete with hills, valleys, and varying road conditions.

If you think a spin bike may be perfect for your home workout, download this month’s promotions to save.