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Let’s talk spinning.
Londoners dig spinning. I am a Londoner and I dig spinning.
More intense than riding a stationary bike, most indoor cycling classes last for 30- to killer 75-minute sessions.
London is well known for its tendency to explore new kind of classes and hybrids – two words: “boxing yoga” – so spinning has a brand new spin to it.
Yes, that was a pun
Spinning is definitely no ride in the park, though. It will amp up VO2 max (the rate oxygen is carried to the muscles), a sign the body is being pushed.
On top of that, your lower body will be on FIHA, working your quads, hamstrings, glutes, calves, and core.
I am particularly fond of a few studios in London, and I have also learnt a few tricks as I worked on my own experience.
Take a seat.
Most time you’ll be able to reserve a bike online – this is a great opportunity to find the best location. I personally recommend newbies stick to the middle – getting a bike up front will make it easier to follow along, but also a lot more pressure to keep up with the beat. However, in bigger spaces from the back of the room is also impossible to see anything.
Take time to set up.
Getting the perfect fit on the bike can be tricky, but a general rule of thumb is to adjust the seat to be even with your hip. As for the handlebars, I like to use my arm as the best distance, with height around my chest. Most places have dedicated shoes – extra charge in itself maybe, but a stable foot is an injury free foot.
Learn the lingo.
There is almost as much one, two, three in spinning as you’ll find in aerobics. The numbers refer to a position on the bike – most times you also have terms like ‘surge’ which may throw you off at first – and that’s where being just in the right seat will allow you to follow along.
If you are in London, here there are some of my favourite picks:
Very small and intimate compared to a lot of studios, Boom Cycle (I mainly hang around Shoreditch) is one of my favourite spinning fixes. Aside from a more complex choreography when it comes to positioning, Boom Cycle is made by the energy of the teachers. It’s that sort of fuss-free environment with a pinch of sass that literally drags you back for more. A lot of standing up, so beginners beware.
Slightly bigger, Another Space offers a few different class options, however, cycle with Reynold is my ultimate favourite. The club vibe is strong, the songs are loud and flamboyant and the pace is particularly challenging.
My personal favourite. Mainly because two of my favourite teachers are resident with some of the most energy-inducing classes. The tunes are absolutely spot on. The moves and choreography can be much harder to follow for beginners depending on the class, but a mix of faster and lighter, and harder and slower will get you familiar with the resistance.