As I’ve mentioned in a previous post I’m still attempting to spin. So far it’s been great. My body loves that I’m finally letting my poor joints rest from running. The shin splints were just becoming too much to bear so I’ve not run in several weeks (super sad face). Today I popped into my two favorite classes, spin at LA Fitness then prenatal yoga at Evolutions.
I’m going to pat myself on the back for just a second, then I promise I’ll get to the technical stuff. In the last 3 spin classes I’ve been to I’ve had a different instructor (usually this doesn’t happen). Each one of them have come over to me and said “look how cute you are!” I generally don’t toot my own horn but if you understood how absolutely rotten and disgusting my self-esteem and body image are right now you’d totally let me get away with this. Seriously sometimes those comments are the only thing that gets me into the next week without having a total meltdown every time I dress myself.
Moving on though, at 32 weeks pregnant spinning is definitely getting more challenging but I’ve been making some modifications to get me through. I even feel a little awesome when I seem to be kicking the pants of some of the other class members (still haven't lost that competitive streak!).
So here are a few tips on spinning while pregnant:
Handlebar Height: I generally have mine set at 1 but the bigger I get the harder it is to lean forward. I’m up to about a 3 (from a 1) setting for handlebar height and that seems to making the leaning easier to bear. I know the general rule is to set your handlebar height to the same as your seat height but this just doesn’t work when you have a bowling ball in your belly.
Seat Height: I’ve kept this about the same. Your legs aren’t growing (they shouldn’t be) so you really shouldn’t have to adjust this setting. You don’t want to over extend your knee or have the seat so low that your knees keep hitting your belly every time you peddle. I would suggest moving your seat slightly forward though, again this keeps you from having to lean too far and put pressure on your lower back. Often during sprints I will sit straight up because I just can’t handle my knees hitting my poor belly I feel like I’m jarring the little guy around way too much.
Watch your knees: I’ve noticed I sometimes want to peddle to the sides with my knees facing outward instead of straight ahead. This is a one way ticket to injuring your knees. If you find you are doing this and you’ve made all of the above adjustments really try to focus on keeping your knees in and facing forward if you still can’t, hang up the cycling shoes and return after the little one comes. You don’t want to risk an injury.
Pace: Overall I can still keep up. At times I don’t crank up the tension quite as much as the other cyclists in the class but I do this to keep my heart rate in check. Hill work is great but I back off on the sprints to make sure I’m not getting my heart rate into an unsafe zone. As I discussed here, you should use the Borgman scale of 1-10 basing your effort on your conversation level. If you don’t think you could hold a conversation with your neighbor while you spin you should back off a little.
So those are just a few things I've used to let me participate a little longer. I LOVE my spin class and no matter how tired I am going in I always feel 100% better when I leave.
Have you made modifications to your favorite routines to keep at while pregnant?