March 22, 2017



Natural Standard Monograph, Copyright © 2013 (www.naturalstandard.com). Commercial distribution prohibited. This monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. You should consult with a qualified healthcare provider before making decisions about therapies and/or health conditions.

Related Terms

  • Bicycling, bike riding, cycling, exercise bicycle, exercise bike, indoor cycling, stationary bike.


  • Spinning refers to indoor, group stationary cycling usually led by a certified instructor. It is a non-impact workout for people of all ages and fitness levels.

  • The spinning bike is a specially designed stationary bicycle that is designed to mimic an outdoor bicycle ride. The bike has fixed gear-racing handlebars, pedals equipped with clips or cages and an adjustable bike seat. The intensity of your workout can be adjusted by manipulating the resistance knob, which is located on each spinning bicycle.

  • Spinning began in 1989 in Southern California when bike racer Johnny Goldberg opened the first spinning center. It has gained popularity in the last few years.


  • Spinning may enhance cardiovascular fitness and improve muscle tone. Spinning works various muscle groups, including the quadriceps, hamstrings, calves, hips and abdominal muscles.

  • Research has shown that an average 40-minute spinning workout will burn about 500 calories. The amount of calories burned will vary, depending on the intensity and duration of the workout.


  • A typical spinning program lasts about 40 minutes and is often led by a spinning-certified instructor. During the workout, the instructor uses a variety of visual and auditory techniques such as music and coaching to motivate the class.

  • Participants are often led through a simulated bike ride, where they follow terrain encountered on an actual bike ride. It includes hill climbs, sprints, and interval training. The participants are able to make adjustments on their cycles, which correspond to the difficulty of the perceived ride.

  • Heart rate monitors are sometimes worn during the workout to help participants gauge how hard they are working.


  • A qualified healthcare provider should be consulted before beginning any new exercise program.

  • Like other aerobic workouts, experts recommend beginning with a warm-up routine and ending with a cool-down segment that includes stretching exercises.

  • If dizziness occurs, slowly stop pedaling and inform the spinning instructor immediately.

  • Many participants complain of sore buttocks the first few times they take a spinning class. Bike shorts and gel seats can help to alleviate this discomfort.

Author Information

  • This information has been edited and peer-reviewed by contributors to the Natural Standard Research Collaboration (www.naturalstandard.com).


Natural Standard developed the above evidence-based information based on a thorough systematic review of the available scientific articles. For comprehensive information about alternative and complementary therapies on the professional level, go to www.naturalstandard.com. Selected references are listed below.

  1. Advert Cycling. Race-NCAA.org. www.race-ncca.org/spinning_cycling.html

  2. American College of Sports Medicine. www.acsm.org

Copyright © 2013 Natural Standard (www.naturalstandard.com)

The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.


March 22, 2017