How to Prevent Discomfort in Spinning Class

Updated April 17, 2017

Spinning offers a fun, effective workout for people of all ages and fitness levels. If you are new to spinning or even a longtime rider, you may feel uncomfortable at some point during a class. Whether the small bike seat is causing discomfort or your shoulders feel sore after class, there are things you can do to prevent discomfort in spinning class.

Wear cycle shorts. These shorts contain padding throughout the entire seat area. This goes from the back of the short and continues to the front, completely padding the areas that are in contact with the bike seat. Cycle shorts really make a drastic difference in terms of seat comfort, guarding against inner thigh chaffing and discomfort.

Get a gel bike seat cover. If you have cycle shorts, you likely don't need a seat cover as well but it's a must if you don't have cycle shorts. This will provide some extra cushioning and make the seat a bit more comfortable.

Consult with a spinning instructor regarding your bike set-up. Your bike seat should be adjusted to the appropriate height to allow for a full leg extension without locking out your knees. The seat should also be close enough to the handlebars so you are not stretching forward to reach them, but also far enough back to keep your knee at a 90 degree angle on the forward portion of the stroke. Your instructor can assist you with proper positioning.

Adjust your handlebars to a comfortable height. Handlebar height is a matter of preference more than anything so keep it at a comfortable level. If you have any back issues, raise the handlebars to a higher level.

Invest in a pair of cycle shoes. Since you clip into the pedals, you'll get a more efficient pedal stroke, working evenly on the downward and upward portions of it. When you ride in running or cross trainer shoes, you are working primarily on the downward portion of the pedal stroke. This can lead to pain on the balls of your feet and provides for a less effective workout.

Keep resistance on your bike throughout the entire class. If you ride without any resistance, you may be out of control and put your body at risk for injury. Avoid excess bouncing on your joints by adding appropriate resistance. This will also increase the number of calories you burn in a class.

Maintain proper riding form throughout class. Keep your shoulders down and your upper body relaxed. Remind yourself to release any tension you accumulate in your shoulders, back, neck, face and jaw. Keep your spine long and avoid hunching over the handlebars.

Consider wearing a pair of cycle gloves to prevent blisters or callouses on your hands. The extra padding of the gloves can provide extra comfort for your hands.

Drink plenty of water throughout as well as before and after class. If you are dehydrated, you will not be comfortable and may even feel ill.


Consult a professional at a cycle store regarding good choices in cycle shoes and shorts. He will be able to give you advice on proper fit for both.


Pay attention to your body. If you are in pain at any point during a spinning class, stop riding. If you have injured yourself, you don't want to exacerbate it by continuing your ride.

Things You'll Need

  • Cycle shorts
  • Cycle shoes
  • Cycle gloves
  • Water
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