Spinning, or studio cycling, is an excellent workout to strengthen your heart and tone your legs. The workout involves being perched atop special stationary bikes. The ride wil include sprints, hill climbs, and other fun exercises like intervals and circuits. Classes are usually 45 to 50 minutes long and are set to music. Spinning bikes are equipped with a weighted flywheel in the front that picks up speed as you pedal, and the seats and handlebars are adjustable, so you feel like you’re riding on a real bike. There’s a knob below the handlebars that allows you to adjust the tension, making pedaling easier or harder, as you ride down flat roads, up mountain sides, and down hills. Spinning scorches about 7.2 to 13.6 calories per minute, or about 500 calories per class. All that pedaling is also great for leg toning as it strengthens your glutes, thighs, and calves.
Spinning is one direction, can cause muscles to get overused and tight. By combining a high-intensity spinning workout with a yoga class one can desrive the benefits of a fast, drenching workout with a collected, calming yoga session. A yoga session helps the muscles to loosen. Yoga exercises help to improve your balance, such as one-foot postures and leaning in on various angles. Finally you cap it off with a few moments of lying quietly on your back to ease your own mind. The selection of the yoga postures should specifically address muscles that were challenged in cycling. Muscles that are used should be stretched; muscles not used, should be strengthened. Yoga allows women to focus on flexibility, hips, and posture alignment.
Suggested Yoga Poses are,
Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Dog Pose)
- Begin on your hands and knees. Your wrists should be underneath your shoulders, and your knees underneath your hips.
- Inhale as you tuck your toes under your heels. Then exhale to lift your hips, coming into an upside down “V” shape called Downward Facing Dog.
- Spread your fingers wide and create a straight line between your middle fingers and elbows. Work on straightening your legs and lowering your heels toward the ground. Your heels should be slightly wider than your toes, so the outside edges of your feet are parallel with the outside edges of your mat. Relax your head between your arms, and direct your gaze through your legs or up toward your belly button. Work on holding for five breaths.
Badhakonasana (Butterfly Pose)
- Sit with your spine erect and legs spread straight out.
- Now bend your knees and bring your feet towards the pelvis. The soles of your feet should touch each other.
- Grab your feet tightly with your hands. You may place the hands underneath the feet for support.
- Make an effort to bring the heels as close to the genitals as possible.
- Take a deep breath in. Breathing out, press the thighs and knees downward towards the floor. Make a gentle effort to keep pressing them downward.
- Now start flapping both the legs up and down like the wings of a butterfly. Start slow and gradually increase the speed. Keep breathing normally throughout.
- Slow down and then stop. Take a deep breath in and as you exhale, bend forward, keeping the chin up and spine erect.
- Press your elbows on the thighs or on the knees, pushing the knees and thighs closer to the floor.
- Feel the stretch in the inner thighs and take long, deep breaths, relaxing the muscles more and more.
- Take a deep breath in and bring the torso up.
- As you exhale, gently release the posture. Straighten the legs out in front of you and relax.
Anjaneyasana (High Lunge)
- Start in Downward Facing Dog Pose (Adho Mukha Svanasana). On an exhalation, step your right foot forward and place it beside your right thumb, lining up your right knee over your right ankle. Lower your left knee to the floor, ensuring to place it behind your hips.
- On an inhalation, raise your torso and sweep your arms above your head with your palms facing one another, placing your biceps beside your ears. On your next exhale, allow your hips to settle forwards and down until you feel a stretch in the front of your left leg and pose.
- Draw your tailbone done towards the earth, lengthening your lower back and engaging your core muscles. Begin to draw your thumbs into the back plane of your body as you reach up with your heart, and shift your gaze up for a mild backbend.
- Stay here, or raise your back knee off the mat for a full Crescent Lunge.
- To exit the pose, place your hands down on the mat and step back to Downward Facing Dog Pose (Adho Mukha Svanasana). Repeat with the left leg forwards.
And finally, end your session bent over at the waist, take some deep breaths and slowly, vertebrae by vertebrae, raise yourself up making your head the last thing to lift. You’ll feel refreshed and energized.