How to Relieve Neck Pain When Spinning

And… How to Relax the Back While on the Bike

Recently, one of our Komrades, Carrie in Arizona, asked for some info and tips on how to keep your neck, shoulders, and back relaxed while on a Spin Bike. Cat Kom is joined by Mere W to get you all loosened up and moving around.

Before we even talk bikes, let’s address the fact that ALL of us are probably a little tighter and stiffer in the neck, shoulders, and back these days. Stress, added time at a computer, time hunched over so your pectorals get shortened and your rhomboid muscles over-stretch… sound familiar? If so, make sure you’re taking time in your daily routine to stand up and stretch it out. Mere even sets an alarm so she remembers to move it, move it.

So what about on the bike? We’ve watched the Studio SWEAT trainers – Cat, Mere, Brian, and AJ in particular – ride with a loose upper body motion. On an outdoor bike, gravity will shift the bike from side to side, but on an indoor bike, (usually) it doesn’t move, so you’ve got to create the outdoor movement. Cat and Mere have the how-tos for you:

  • Belly up – keep your hips stable and level, while adding a natural rocking side to side motion from about the belly button up.
  • Wiggle it – to keep from tensing up (hey, this works off the bike too), wiggle your fingers a little on the handle bars. No white-knuckle grips!
  • Slide the blades – slide your shoulder blades down toward your back pockets.
  • Be like a fighter – if you watch boxers, they keep their shoulder blades down, but, what you think of as their shoulders themselves are relaxed and a bit forward. Do this. How?…
  • Bend – your elbows should maintain a soft bend to absorb movement.
  • Tuck it in – when you’re seated, don’t reach too far on the handle bars. If you feel like your shoulders are creeping up to your ears, bring your hands closer, even “first” position. And always be sure to keep your elbows inside your knees – no flapping chicken wings on these bikes!
  • Stand up – Normally, you’ll have your hands in “third” position when you’re standing, but if you’re tight, you can bring your hands closer, say “second and a half” position (still no chicken wings). And while we’re talking about standing…
  • Belly up times two – keep the rock out of those hips when you’re standing too. Save your Axl Rose moves for karaoke night.

At any time while you’re Spinning, if you can’t get the tension out, just press pause (on your device or in real life), sit up, roll back your shoulders, shake out your arms, and jump back in. Hey, did we mention stretching? Be sure to do it after your workouts, but also be mindful of stretching breaks throughout your normal day. 

And for those body-sculpting, fat-torching workouts where you can move a bit on a Spin bike AND stretch the daily tension away, join us in person at Studio SWEAT and online at Studio SWEAT onDemand!