Spin style classes are known as being one of the best leg burners and highest calorie torching workouts out there. But is Spin for you? I want to start off by saying that Spin is a great form of exercise to elevate the heart rate and build quadricep strength, but this about where the benefits end.
1. Spin can cause injuries down the road.
Any exercise can really cause injuries if done improperly, but the problem with spin specifically is that you are doing the same repetitive motion over and over again (pedaling the bike). This can cause overdevelopment in areas such as your quadriceps and underdevelopment in other areas such as your glutes, hamstrings, and calves.
The over/underdevelopment of muscles can cause your joints to start aching or cause inflammation. Muscular imbalances is the number 2 reason that injury can occur. I like using the analogy of baseball players. Baseball players #1 injury is always in the shoulder joint. Why? Because they throw a baseball over and over again leading to that overuse injury.
Variety in exercise is not only engaging your mind, but can also be used to prevent injury as well. Your body needs balance.
2. Spin is good for burning calories, not building strength
Calories burn is only ONE way to measure your workout. In my blog post about why strength training should be your number one priority, I explain the benefits of strength training vs calorie burn. Although you build quadricep leg strength in a Spin class, you are neglecting strength training in literally every other part of you body.
Having strong legs can be important, but having a strong core and a strong upper back are essential for posture. A lot of Spin class that I have seen, people tend to be hunched over and relaxed while they let their legs do all the work. Yes, you will burn a lot of calories, but are you potentially hurting your posture and mobility?
3. The intensity is always at
Which sounds good on paper, but rarely is what people need. Intensity is something that is completely abused by fitness classes that take advantage of what I refer to as the Adrenaline High. Work at 100% effort and your endorphins make you feel good. A lot of the time this is the complete opposite of what we need after a long stressful day at work.
If you read my blog post on homeostasis, you will realize that working out does NOT de-stress you. People often confuse being physically exhausted with a work out as de-stressing. But its quite the opposite. So if you go to multiple spin classes a day without knows where your stress levels are at, you may be doing more harm than good.
I am not saying that Spin is BAD. I want to make that very clear. I am trying to tell you that making Spin your only exclusive form of exercise with no variety of strength training thrown in, can be detrimental to your physical health. It is a great way to break from the normal and challenge yourself in a new way, but I would never solely rely on Spin to get you into the best shape of your life.