Spinning and taking spin classes have been increasingly popular workouts over the past decade. The cycling is paired with upbeat music, motivational coaches, and a community approach. Even if you don’t go to a class to go spinning, you’re likely still adopting these elements of the workout. If you’re interested in spinning at home and wondering about how to start, we’ve got you covered. Specifically, many potential spinners are wondering the following: can you use a normal exercise bike for spinning? Read on to find out more!
Table of Contents
Can You Use a Normal Exercise Bike for Spinning?
- What is spinning?
- So, can you use a normal exercise bike for spinning?
- What features should you look for in a spin bike?
What is spinning?
Spinning is essentially indoor cycling. However, the specific “spinning” approach seeks to use exciting approaches to the basic act of pedaling. It’s not as simple as sitting on your exercise bike and going as fast as you can. Instead, you’ll find yourself climbing, sprinting, standing, and plenty more interesting movements while on your bike.
You also will typically have a coach to guide you through your spin class. This can be done through one of the many online spin classes, YouTube videos, or going to an in-person class. Dim lights with fun visuals, loud music, and loud coaches are the norm. Some coaches focus on the exercise itself, while others use motivational coaching strategies to get you into the right headspace to go hard.
The reason for the different approach is both for fun and for fitness. Spin classes are designed to be just the right length and get you moving in all the right ways to burn maximum calories. In fact, an hour-long class may have you burning up to 100 calories! Classes, both online and in-person, range from beginner to advanced. So, you can go as intense as you want!
So, can you use a normal exercise bike for spinning?
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There technically isn’t one type of exercise bike that is “normal”. These indoor bikes come in a variety of designs with unique functions, making the term “exercise bike” mean plenty of different things! There are a few exercise bikes that are optimal for spinning, while others won’t work.
Recumbent exercise bikes are a definite no for spinning. Unfortunately, the way that the seat is designed would prevent you from doing many of the moves that are common in spin classes, including lifting your bottom out of the seat. The pedals are placed too far in front of your body to do unique moves. So, if you have a recumbent exercise bike, your spinning won’t be ideal.
Upright exercise bikes are slightly more appropriate for spinning, but not perfect. The way that they are designed allows you to do more of the spinning specific moves, as your feet are pedaling almost directly below your body. You can lift your bottom, change resistance levels, and more. However, they still are not perfect at mimicking the outdoor-terrain that a spinning bike is designed for. The handlebars are especially difficult to work with, as they don’t place your upper body in the same place as a normal bicycle.
Spin bikes are exercise bikes that are specifically designed for spinning. They are designed to be pretty identical to the outdoor road bike but are experienced all from the comfort of your home. The spin bike allows you to do all the climbing, jumping, or bouncing moves that you can do from an outdoor cycle. The handlebars are also designed to have you lean, hunch, or stretch forward.
What features should you look for in a spin bike?
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If you already have a non-spinning exercise bike at home, you aren’t out of luck! They can still provide an exciting exercise. You can also use similar methods of online inspirational coaching and a fun atmosphere. Though, if you want the full effect, you should consider investing in a spin bike. Here are some of the features you may want to keep an eye out for:
- iPad/smartphone stands. If you are spinning from home, you’ll likely want to watch a coaching video to get you in the mood. Choosing a spin bike with a stand to allow you to play these videos is essential!
- Full adjustability. We aren’t all the same height and weight. To get the best workout, you’ll need a bike that can support your size. Ensure that you keep an eye out for any height or weight limitations and that you can fully adjust your bike.
- Pulse sensors. One of the unique things about using a spin bike rather than an outdoor bike is the ability to track certain numbers. Being able to keep an eye on your heart rate can help make sure you’re working out at an appropriate level of intensity.
- A water bottle stand. Few fitness machines are made without a water bottle stand these days, but that doesn’t mean it’s not important to look out for! A full-length spin class will require plenty of hydration, so you should keep your bottle close. If your spin bike doesn’t have one, you can always buy a clip-on bottle holder.
Your question of can you use a normal exercise bike for spinning may have been answered, but you may still have questions about exercise bikes! Check out some of our other guides to learn more.
- Are Folding Exercise Bikes Any Good? Our Guide for if it’s Worth Buying
- A Comprehensive Guide to Different Kinds of Exercise Bikes
Can you use a normal exercise bike for spinning? Well, it depends on what kind of exercise bike you have! Recumbent bikes are the only exercise bike that makes it nearly impossible to spin. Other bikes allow you to do most of the movements, but with a few limitations. If you want to fully embrace the spinning spirit, you’ll want to consider adding a spin bike to your home.