How to do Pilates on a spin bike (and why you should)

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Photo: Stocksy/Spin Rob and Julia Campbell

You already do Pilates while walking down the street, right? Now, you can also do it on your spin bike. That’s according to Rhodie Lorenz, the co-founder and creative director of JoyRide Cycling Studio, an indoor cycling concept she created with Amy Hochhauser in 2011. JoyRide’s first studio opened in Westport, Connecticut and has since expanded to four locations in the state, with two additional franchise studios in San Antonio, Texas, and many more planned for the future.

Lorenz says JoyRide does lots of things differently, from offering a range of tough, athletic cycling styles (plus off-the-bike classes like barre and circuit training) to cultivating an inclusive, community feel—but the Pilates background she brings to pedaling may be the most unique.

“My favorite thing about Pilates is the mind-body connection and the understanding of functional movement and how that translates to everything you do outside of the studio,” she explains.  “It’s almost the missing link in a lot of fitness.”

Which is why she took the principles and incorporated them into JoyRide’s cycling method and teacher trainings. No Joy near you? Follow her lead wherever you’re spinning with these simple tips.

1. Focus on maintaining good posture.

Both indoor and outdoor cycling often involve low handlebars that lead to a rounded spine, Lorenz says—which, when combined with a lifestyle that’s constantly got you hunched over, can lead to back issues. “I always encourage riders to have their handlebars at the highest level,” she says. “I want them to be able to rest their hands on them and still maintain a neutral spine.” Chest forward, shoulders down and back.

2. Breathe—and move mindfully.

Good news: Maintaining that good posture will also allow you to take deeper breaths using your diaphragm. “When your shoulders are forward and your chest is more closed, you’re not going to be able to lengthen that breath as much,” she says. Focusing on deep, elongated breathing will also help you keep your mind engaged, which is key to good form, Lorenz says. “You need to be focused on mindful movement and not just going through the motions.”

3. Engage your core.

People tend to forget about their mid-section during intense cardio, but keeping your abs tight will help you just as much on a spin bike as on a Reformer, Lorenz promises. “Especially when riding out of the saddle, you want that stability for your lower back and hips,” she explains.

Inhaling and exhaling correctly isn’t just important while sweating. Find out why most people are breathing wrong all of the time—and how to do it right. And before you jump on your spin bike, check out these tips on how to prevent injury

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