I am a big fan of spinning. It’s a good 45-60 minutes of interval training that usually consists of sprints and climbs. It’s excellent conditioning, easy on the joints, and not to mention with the right teacher… it’s just a good time.

However, I want to talk about reasons it may be good for female lifters other than the obvious.

This occurred to me while I was doing some post-deadlifting spinning on Saturday. Once I was in my groove, I thought how nice the position felt on my back. Like a lot of women (and serious lifters of either sex), I have an anterior pelvic tilt.

Basically what that translates to is elongated (and/or weak) hamstrings and hip flexors, and short spinal erectors. This imbalance can be caused from a number of things: wearing high heels, standing all day, power lifting etc. Often times, anterior tilt can be to blame for the feeling of ‘tight hamstrings.’ People think they need to stretch more, which actually exacerbates the problem and is the opposite of what they need to be doing.

 Obviously, when anything is imbalanced, it can cause issues or pain when training. To help correct anterior tilt, the prescription is usually some direct lower abdominal and hamstring work.  The reverse crunch and stability ball hamstring curls are two effective exercises for this.


Now you may be asking how spinning fits in with all of this.

My only gripe with spinning is that it puts most people that are sitting all day… in a seated position some more. Now we all know that hosts a plethora of postural imbalances from tight hip flexors/weak glutes to tight pecs/weak upper back.

So these people should make sure to do some supplementary stretching of the hip flexors, quads, and chest, as well as strengthening the glutes and upper back.

However, for those of us that live in anterior tilt, a spin class might serve as a 45-minute-corrective-cardio-sweat sesh! The motion of spinning heavily works the hip flexors and hamstrings, while putting the low back on stretch. This is exactly what anterior tilt needs for corrective exercise!

In fact upon thinking about it, when I first started at Fitcorp I used to take spin classes frequently to supplement lifting. Then once my schedule started getting crazy spin fell to the way side. Coincidentally my low back started giving me problems. Who knows if that’s cause and effect but it definitely got my wheels turning.

Pun intended.

I think it’s valuable for everybody who exercises to have an understanding of their alignment. This is obviously a very individualized issue so unfortunately there is no blanket program for everybody. Whether it’s through an awesome trainer at Fitcorp (*cough*), a physical therapist, a chiropractor or the likes, everybody needs some form of exercise to improve and maintain good posture.

On another note, I may or may not get a post in before Thanksgiving, but if not, I hope everyone has a fantastic holiday! I’m personally looking forward to my aunt’s famous pumpkin ravioli. Okay… looking forward is an understatement; I LIVE for this day 😀

Try not to overeat TOO much, and don’t forget to come to the Turkey Throwdown this Wednesday morning!

Happy Monday!

-L

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