For novice cyclists, a stationary spinner is an effective way to learn proper cycling techniques.
The knee is the most injury-prone joint in the sport of cycling, and as a result, knee pain is a common concern for cyclists and their trainers. So, which is the more knee-friendly training option -- a bike or a spinner? It depends. Both options can increase or decrease the forces applied to your knee while cycling. It is most important to know how to minimize knee forces in either situation, so you can enjoy the training benefits of both.
Various fitness goals and a wide range of intensities can be set for either a bike or a spinner. That's why it's easy to modify either option. For your own safety, begin with a clear understanding of your skill level. If you're a beginner, avoid advanced spinning classes where expert technique and stamina will be required. Instead, opt for a flat bike path that will give you the opportunity to learn the skills at a steady pace. For the safety of your knees, know when you're overdoing it and rest if you experience any knee pain.
A spinner offers more control than a road bike simply because you control the variables. Therefore, if you experience knee pain, you can always reduce a variable. For example, a spinner allows you to regulate the speed, resistance and overall intensity of the ride. You can create a hill when you'd like or take it away if you need to. By contrast, a road bike leaves you adapting to the terrain as it comes. For the safety of your knees, plan your cycling path ahead of time so you know what kind of terrain to expect. If you're attending a spinning class, find out the intensity level beforehand, so you can attend an appropriately targeted class.
Poor pedaling technique will result in sore knees whether you're riding a bike or taking on a spinning class. Therefore, keep in mind that less stress is applied to your knees when maintaining a smooth pedaling cycle. To do this, apply pedaling power throughout your pedal cycle, instead of only pushing forward. In addition, keep your feet flat on the pedals throughout your pedal cycle and push off your full foot. To further reduce the stress applied to your knees while cycling, keep your knee facing forward, in line with the pedal.
Equipment can aid you in maintaining proper cycling technique. To help you achieve a smooth pedaling cycle, use toe clips or clipless pedals. The connection to your pedal will keep you from raising your heels while pedaling, which will reduce the stress on your knees. In addition, avoid tilting your seat too far forward, as it will increase the stress to your knees. A flat seat is best for knee safety.