The Dogma of the Week: Are spin classes bad for you?

Hello everyone and welcome to the latest instillation of the Dogma of the Week.

The topic I have decided to talk about today will be covering Spin Class. Spin classes happen to be one of the most popular of all forms of exercise in existence today, and they also happen to be one of the most damaging of all forms of exercise.

Although I could go into the reasoning as to why they are so popular (another DOTW in the near future), I would rather just go into a few problems I have encountered with clients that regularly did spin class in recent years.

If we analyze the biomechanics of what is happening when a person is on a spin bike, it’s relatively easy to see that it bears a similarity to that of a person who is sitting at a desk. If anything, it’s a more exaggerated version, with more pronounced ranges of motion, than that of a person in a desk. Why is this detrimental? As I have mentioned several times before, wiring in a seated position into your biomechanical structure goes directly against the biology of what it is to be a human being. There are certain integrated movement patterns the body needs to go through in order to sustain balance, and seated positions are at the root of the imbalances created by our cultural. This puts spin class in that same category, only that second for second, it carries more detriment to the human body than regular seated positions.

The worst part about spin is the implementation of intensity while you are in a seated position. When you’re sitting doing nothing at a desk, it is required that time takes it’s course to develop the imbalances of hip flexion, thoracic flexion, external hip rotation, etc… With spin, not only are you in the seated position, but you’re activating the musculature responsible for creating most of the imbalances mentioned prior. That means you will speed up the process of dysfunction in the body through the use of improper muscular activations happening at an extreme level. Couple that with the sitting you already do at work, and you have yourself a recipe for a complete disaster.

This is just the tip of the iceberg of what spin class could do to your body. Since I am not one to complain and not propose alternatives, here is a video to help you get your body back to it’s biomechanically balanced position. Enjoy :^)

2017-01-18T20:27:13+00:00

9 Comments

  1. Andy July 23, 2012 at 7:54 am - Reply

    I have nothing against what you have said, but why just spin and cycling in general especially road cycling?!

    • Naudi July 23, 2012 at 8:32 am - Reply

      As a form of exercise, cycling is definitely going to promote dysfunction pretty much the same as spin. I just decided to talk about spin on this blog post.

  2. Kristine July 23, 2012 at 10:18 am - Reply

    Hi Naudi,

    I really enjoy your videos. Question…do you recommend doing myofascial release everyday? Also is best to do it before or after a workout? I guess this goes for static stretching as well. I ride my bike only once a week or so, I do not spin…..boring. Is riding this little detrimental to my body if I’m incorporating myofascial release?

    Thanks

    • Naudi July 23, 2012 at 10:29 pm - Reply

      I do recommend MFR everyday. I like to do it before, but if you can go before and after it’s preferable. Riding your bike is completely ok if you take the necessary precautions to correct the imbalances created when riding the bike. If you don’t, i’d fear the consequences… Thanks for watching :^)

  3. Ricardo July 24, 2012 at 8:37 pm - Reply

    Hi like the other people I wish to know if cycling also.
    It is any formal study about how damage can be to make spining?

  4. Don Funke D.C. July 25, 2012 at 3:12 pm - Reply

    great info. I raced bicycles for several years with a hyperkyphotic posture. It has taken years to start improving the situation. I am also treating mountain biker that has knee and low back problems from doing little exercise but cycling. Whatever activity we perform regularly must be countered with maneuvers that re-establish balance in the musculo-skeletal system.

  5. Adam Sawelson July 27, 2012 at 10:20 am - Reply

    Thanks for your post. I believe that every athletic activity has both positive and negative effects on our bodies. I was a competitive cyclist and have been riding for the past 28 years. I agree the bike will cause imbalances in your body, but if you love the sport as I do it is possible to enjoy it and avoid
    the issues you describe. First, let me say that form my observation probably 90% of riders I see are not properly fitted or positioned on their bike. Your description is a perfect example of this. Proper position is the first and probably most important step in preventing discomfort and injury on the bike. Second, I believe that stretches and exercises that develop and maintain balance should be part of any workout program and can make cycling or any sport for that matter a healthy and positive activity.

  6. Thomas January 19, 2015 at 9:33 pm - Reply

    The problem with many spinning classes is that many instructors aren’t certified and make up many of the idiotic moves. Peddling at 110+ RPM is crazy and bouncing in the saddle is horrible for the lower back. I see many people peddling with their toes when they should be using all the muscles in their legs by peddling with heels. Thank you for posting this.

  7. Emanuel January 11, 2016 at 5:15 pm - Reply

    I think I should take a spin class, even thought I have bought a spinner bike, but I am not familiar with it, I want to find some friends to talk more about it, thanks

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