updated 04/29/2013 AT 2:00 PM ET
•originally published 05/06/2013 AT 6:00 AM ET
Mandy Ingber is a celebrity fitness expert, speaker, and author of Yogalosophy: 28-days to the Ultimate Mind-Body Makeover. See what motivates her clients – including Jennifer Aniston, Kate Beckinsale, Brooke Shields and Helen Hunt – and put a little Yogalosophy into your workouts. Join Mandy weekly for her exclusive blog on People.com as we ramp up to her 28-Day Revolution, a mind/body makeover challenge with daily guidelines kicking off May 6. You can also visit Mandy on her website MandyIngber.com and follow her on Twitter @msmandyingber and Facebook.com/yogalosophy.
The exact moment that you want to quit is the moment your body is starting to change. This intensity is actually the feeling that helps strengthen your will power ‘muscles.’ It’s as if there’s a built-in resistance band that must be pulled by your will power, which makes it even stronger. The part of you that wants to keep going must win! Rather than back away, throw yourself into a high intensity workout. Taking a spinning class will allow you to hit your edge.
Here are my top 5 spinning tips:
1. Take Your Time Setting Up
Your knees should be slightly bent at the full extension. Place your heel where the cleat is, and flex your foot. Your leg should align with the bike stem. While pedaling, your kneecap should hit mid forearm on the upstroke. Handle bar height is up to you. Although cyclists on the road ride with low handlebars, spinners may have them as high as they will go. Protect your back by raising the handlebars. Make sure your cleats have been attached to your shoe in a way that works with your alignment. We are all different, so have someone help you. Screw all knobs tightly. The parts that are adjustable must be secure!
2. Sit Properly
This is the one position that you will get used to after about six times. It’s normal to feel a little discomfort down there. Soon you will learn, tilt your pelvis underneath you to place your weight on your sit bones. Press the heels of the hands into the bar to brace yourself and keep your butt planted for less friction. Squeeze the inner thighs, as if you are squeezing a spring. This action will engage the inner thighs.
3. Always Use Some Resistance
You always need a little. You want to feel in control, so often people will think: “Oh, less resistance will make this easier”, but really, more resistance will give you more control over the pedal stroke. If you ever feel out of control, add resistance. If you want to stop or slow down, add a ton of resistance; the resistance knob is also an emergency brake. Press down hard to bring legs to a stop. Remember, the spinning bike is on a fixed gear, so once inertia starts to work, that wheel is attached to your feet through the pedals, if you stop your legs, the wheel will continue. That can be tough on the knee joints.
4. Maintain Correct Out-of-the-Saddle Position
If you are going to rise up out of the saddle (and I did not do this for 6 months when I first started spinning 23 years ago), add a lot of resistance. You will need this to support your body’s weight. Also, make sure you shift your body weight back, so that your knees are just about aligned with the resistance knob. You will still feel the nose of the saddle beneath you. That means you’re in the right spot. Maintain good posture in the upper body.
5. Don’t Forget the Upstroke
Focus on full fluid circle. Again, using the inner thighs is a nice aim. Simultaneously, your hips are weighed down. When you emphasize kicking your knees up, you will have power for the down stroke naturally.