By Sarah Ness, Certified Spinning® InstructorI am very lucky to have the benefit of riding with great groups and have worked hard to provide them safe and effective workouts. Having a very full schedule of my own, I don’t often get the chance to attend other classes as a participant. I like to believe that all instructors are teaching good cycling skills and keeping participants safe by avoiding contraindicated movements. Every once in a while, a participant will ask me what the benefit is of a movement that was taught in another class. The movement is usually contraindicated and many times the participant is asking because they experienced pain or an awkwardness but they didn’t want to be the only one in class not doing it.Here is a very short list of contraindications that should never be part of any indoor cycling class:
- Floats, isolations (there are many names for this)–holding your body still puts all the force generated from pedaling to be absorbed by the joints, which leads to hip, knee and back pain. This also inhibits a participant's ability to put a good amount of force on the pedals, which results in a lower power output and reduced calorie burn.
- Riding with weights–When the hands are occupied, safety is compromised. If a rider’s foot comes out of the pedal, they may fall into the handle bars causing injury. In addition, when on the bike the participant is not in a stable position to lift weights with meaning. Cadence and force is compromised. The workout becomes mediocre compromising both cardio and strength training.
- Performing push ups on the bike–Just like riding with weights, the focus is taken away from pedal technique. The participant does not get the full benefit of performing the push up and not being in a stable position is a risk for injury. Leave the push ups for the resistance training classes.
- Pedaling backwards–Sometimes while standing up, one handed. (What!) I don’t know the benefit of this, other than making me laugh when I picture someone doing this outside. Safety is greatly compromised.