Spinning is a very intense type of cardiovascular workout. It essentially involves indoor cycling. You can do it in a class with a certified instructor, or by yourself, in the gym or at home if you have the proper gears. Each session lasts 40 to 60 minutes. It includes a warm-up, drills, and a cool down. Part of the cool down is doing some stretches. This is an important part of the workout, which should not be skipped. Stretching allows tense muscles to relax back to normal. It slows down heart rate and it eases the flow of blood. It also reduces risk of cramps and muscle injury. Here are several stretches you can do that target the muscles and muscle groups used during spinning.
- Stretch those calves. The calves are the two muscles that are located at the back of your lower leg. To stretch the calves, place the sole of one foot with the heel down against a stable object that is slightly raised from the ground- this can be a stepper, or the bottom frame of your bike. Stand up with your back straight and lean towards into the bike. Once you feel stretching in your calf muscles, hold for 30 seconds. Switch to the other foot.
- Stretch your quads. The quadriceps or quads are a group of four muscles that are located on the front of the thigh. Simply place your hand against a wall or any stable object for balance. Simply bend your leg behind, with your free hand grasping the top of your foot or ankle. Bring your heel as close as you can to your buttocks. Breathe in, making sure your abdominal muscles get tight. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds and switch to the other leg.
- Stretch those hamstrings. The hamstring is a group of muscles that run down the back of the leg, specifically behind the thighs. To stretch the hamstrings, place one foot on a stepper, or on your bike (between the seat and the handlebars). Make sure that you are properly balanced. Bend the leg that holds your weight a bit so that it becomes stable. Look straight ahead so that your hips are facing front. Slowly, bend forward from your hips so your torso is leaning towards your stretched leg. Hold for 30 seconds and switch legs.
- Stretch your hip flexors. Hip flexors are a group of muscles, which help in flexing the area of your thigh bone so you can pull your knee upward. A good method of stretching your hip flexors is by first, going into a lunge position. This means placing one bent leg in front in a way that the knee is directly over the foot and the ankle, while the other leg is stretched behind. Place your hands on the thigh of the front leg. Tuck your abdominal muscles. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds before switching legs.
- Stretch your gluteal muscles. These muscles, also known as glutes, are the three muscles that make up your buttocks. Stretching the glutes consists of sitting on the floor or an exercise mat. Make sure that both legs stretched in front of you and are close together. Bend the knee of one leg and place it across the thigh of the other leg so that the foot of the bent leg is situated on the floor alongside the stretched leg. Hold the bent knee close to your chest (if you're bending the left knee, hold it with the right hand and vice versa). Sit up straight, although you may twist your spine a bit so you can feel the stretch in your buttocks. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat to the other leg.
- Stretch your lower back. Go on all fours on the floor or an exercise mat. Keep your knees apart as wide as your hips, and your hands apart as wide as your shoulders. Point your fingers forward. Avoid locking your elbows. Relax. Drop your chin a bit until you feel the curve of your spin stretch. Hold this for 30 seconds.
- Remember to breathe in and out deeply and slowly while doing your stretches. It is important for oxygen to circulate throughout your tired muscles after rigorous physical activities. If you experience pain while stretching, ease back a bit as this is a sign that you are doing too much and you might end up tearing a muscle.