In the late 1980s, cyclist Johnny G. Goldberg invented spinning as a way to train for races in the off-season, and spin classes have since become a trendy form of exercise for athletes and non-athletes alike.
Spinning classes take place in fitness studios that are lined from wall-to-wall with stationary bikes. The lighting is dim, and blasting in the background is up-tempo music meant to motivate cyclists. During spinning classes, instructors guide cyclists through warm-ups, sprints, hills, and cool-downs.
Benefits of spinning: Cycling has many known physical benefits, one of the most obvious which is increasing participants' heart rates, making spin classes a good form of cardiovascular exercise. Cycling chiefly strengthens the muscles in the lower body, including the front and back of the thigh, the groin, and buttocks.
Who spinning is best for: Spinning classes are open to anyone looking for a good, sweaty workout. Since cyclists can adjust the bike's resistance to their fitness level, biking newbies and pro-cyclists are welcomed. Individuals who are looking to build speed and endurance may be suitable for spinning.
Getting ready: Comfortable workout attire is all that is required to participate in a spin class. Though not mandatory, padded cycling shorts may make the ride more comfortable. Using a gel seat cover can also be used to add cushioning.
Calories burned: Most classes last 30 to 75 minutes, helping to burn an average of 500 to 700 calories. The number of calories burned will depend on the bike's resistance, the cyclists' weight and the intensity with which they peddle.
Husband and wife team Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes have been seen sweating it out together in spinning class. Other celebrities who enjoy this fast paced workout include Lo Bosworth and Calista Flockheart.
In 2010, Chelsea Clinton hosted a spin class at Manhattan's SoulCycle to raise money for Haitian relief efforts. The small-framed Kelly Ripa is also a SoulCycle devotee.
Restricted blood flow to the feet—caused by shoes that are tied too tightly—can cause your toes to become numb. Loosen the laces or consider purchasing foam insoles or orthotics to redistribute pressure.
Who shouldn't do it: When recovering from an injury, it is always a good idea to speak with a physician to determine whether the workout will irritate the injury or slow the recovery process.