The Right Way to Ride a Peloton or Other Spin Bike
If pandemic-related shutdowns had one benefit to our collective health, it was in the form of introducing exercise equipment into the home. Millions of Americans barred from their gym could bring the gym to them. One of the most popular high-profile companies leading this charge is Peloton, a maker of stationary bikes and treadmills.
However, along with this newfound interest in home exercise, there has been a marked rise in exercise-related injuries, most commonly from overuse. This, of course, stands to reason. You’ve acquired a shiny, new, and typically expensive bike, and you want to use it! Further, the classes that you can take are engaging and fun, making you push ever harder. However, this push can also mean injury if taken too far.
How Do We Make Sure We’re Doing It Right?
The first step is to warm up and stretch before vigorous exercise to reduce injury due to any activity. Don’t just jump on the bike and start spinning. Even the warm-up session before each class is not sufficient to get you fully primed for a serious workout.
With your feet clipped into the pedals, a spin bike offers much less give than a traditional outdoor bike. It is even more important to make sure that all the settings are suited. Adjust your seat height and handlebars so that when your leg is at its lowest point on the pedal, there is still some bend in your knee. Your back should also be straight, and you should not feel like you are bending over excessively, which can put lots of strain on your lower back. As a rule of thumb, your bike seat should be about hip-high, and you can adjust the handlebars accordingly.
Find the Right Seat
For some, the seat that comes with the bike is sufficient. However, you may find yourself numb in the groin after a vigorous session. There is some debate as to whether this is damaging (to both men and women), but at the very least, it is an excellent way to know that you may require something better.
Don’t Overdo It
You may feel amazing after your first few sessions on your Peloton, but that doesn’t mean you’re a pro, and it doesn’t mean your body is ready to amp up the workout. Instead, try to follow a beginner’s program until you are very confident in your ability to step up to the next level. It is easy to injure yourself doing any exercise, and as we get older, the threshold for an injury drops further.
The Bottom Line
Pelotons, and spinning in general, is a great way to get a workout for the day. However, it can also be problematic if you’re not careful. The most important thing to remember is that there is a learning curve, and you must respect your body’s abilities, especially as you get older and more prone to injury. In the meantime, we encourage you to continue exercising within your physical limits. A strong body is a healthy body, and the older you will thank you for putting the time and effort in today.