RiDE Instructor Tips

Our instructors find their joy in making sure you get the most out of your ride and that you are living your best, healthiest, and happiest life. We've gathered a few of their favorite "tips" that will help you tackle that next ride, find inspiration, and hit those goals head on. 


Jeremy If you are having trouble engaging your core in class, do some abdominal exercises beforehand, and make the muscles a bit sore. You will feel your core and know whether it’s engaged or not.


Luci In fitness, we often focus on the front of the body because that is what we can see in the mirror. In indoor-cycling, riders tend to round their shoulders forward as gravity is taking their body in that direction on the bike. This is not only bad form but constricts the breath flow.  By increasing back body awareness and engagement and strengthening the back muscles by doing weights with flys, rows etc., one will find more openness and width across the chest - voila ... better posture with more efficient breath flow.  


Sarah L Close your eyes at some point during the ride and focus on your breath and body.  Going inward will help you tune in to the work.


Helen RiDE, ROLL, REPEAT . If you’re riding, you need to foam roll to keep everything lengthened & in the right place. For 5-10 minutes in front of the TV at night or even before or after class, move those sweaty bodies out of the way and stake your spot on the carpet. 


Donna After you finish your RiDE, one of your first priorities should be to replace the fluids you lost during class, mainly by drinking water! Second, you should replenish your muscle reserves by eating a small balanced snack of carbohydrates and protein to help your muscles recover quickly. How soon after you should be eating depends on the intensity of your workout. – usually between 15 to 30 minutes.


Megan Cross Train! Be sure to include something that adds rotation, extension and lateral movement to your workout or fitness game! Cycling, running and even some styles of yoga are all done on the sagittal plane (front and back) in flexion and extension. In order to keep your muscular and connective tissue balanced, it’s important to train your body through all planes. Try sports or workouts that take you side to side and open the chest and hips through rotation (tennis, golf, swimming, Vinyasa yoga and roller skating will include these movements and are great summer time activities!).


Deb If you are having trouble motivating to make it to class (especially if it’s 5:30 am!), tell yourself you don’t necessarily have to work that hard once you get there. This is sometimes all you need to get out of bed and in the door. Once you are there, and you’ve got the instructor, the music, and the pulse of your neighbor, you will have tricked yourself and will be giving it your 100% effort!


Proverbs Eat a snack or small meal 2 hours before you come to class. Any earlier and you might not be fueled enough for the entire RiDE. Any later, and you’ll throw up on a fellow RiDER.  Either way, not cute!


Jess Getting the most our of your ride is all about mindset. When I RiDE for my personal workouts, I like to remind myself when I walk through the door I'm there to give myself the best I have to give. My best is always ENOUGH. If I have to sit during a standing sprint, I embrace this and maybe choose to add tension to work on strength.  If I''m not feeling 100%, it doesn't mean I'm not giving 100%. Every day is different and how I perform varies on a variety of circumstances (these are not excuses). Sure, there's always room for improvement, but I focus positive energy on acknowledging myself for my effort. 

Posted Aug 5, 2018 0 Comments

Muscle Soreness or Injury?


You’ve been coming to more classes and really notice the positive change in your body - and mind! You might be considering adding a another RiDE class to your weekly schedule but are nervous about over-doing it. How do you tell the difference between healthy muscle soreness (good!) and injury (bad)?


We have all experienced muscle soreness after a great workout, especially one that uses our muscles in a new way. But there are a few key differences you need to know between muscle soreness and muscle or joint injury: 


    Muscle soreness typically lasts 2-3 days but not much longer.

    Muscle soreness often gets worse with rest (feels like stiffness) and better with movement.

    Soreness feels tender to touch and “tight” but not like a sharp pain. 

    Injury often feels more like a sharp pain (torn ligament or tendon) or joint pain both during AND after exercise. 

    Injury often has related swelling/inflammation. 

    Injury is often worsened by movement (and feels better with ice and rest). 

    Injury can last much longer than 2-3 days and can become chronic if not addressed. 


So if you think you’ve got muscle soreness, it’s okay to power through it and jump back on that bike. If you’ve got an injury, YOU NEED TO REST (and see your doctor or physical therapist if pain persists). And remember, cross training is ALWAYS a good idea to keep your body stretched out, strong, and healthy.

Posted Jul 8, 2018 0 Comments

Mind Your Mind

This Month: Mind Your Mind

by Proverbs


Of course you know a well-rounded, balanced diet and a vigorous mix of exercises are important for health. After all, you’re a RiDEr!


You are in touch with your body, in sync with your soul, and plugged in to your community. I wonder, though, if there’s room for even more growth on your health and wellness journey?


May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Some of us are already in the counselor’s office once a month, once a week, or even more frequently (doubles aren’t just for back-to-back RiDEs!). But many of you aren’t thinking about your mental health in relation to physical health.


Every Sunday at 2pm you plan your RiDEs for the week, but do you plan to go see your therapist with the same fervor? Do you set alarms that say: Book your therapy session!?


Listen…I get it. Mental health gets a bad rap in lots of different cultural communities, BUT, life is hard. Add in tough issues like stress, loss, grief, trauma, divorce, addiction, anxiety, depression, self-doubt - the list goes on and on - and it’s easy to see why there is no shame in getting the support that you need to help you process through your life’s experiences.


Honestly, even if you had the picture-perfect childhood, it doesn’t hurt to sit down and talk to someone who is formally trained to help you figure out your behavioral patterns. Why do you do what you do? How did you come to think, act, be this way?


On this beautiful, gritty journey of life, it’s important to take time for self-reflection (and by that I mean more time than what you get in a 50 minute spin class!).

As your instructor, I want you to live your best, healthiest, most fulfilling life. No one but you knows what you come into the studio with. You could have had a crap day at work, you and your spouse aren’t seeing eye-to-eye again, or your parent’s chemotherapy isn’t going well. Sick kids. Ill pets. Life. Happens. And that’s why we love having you as RiDErs. Because you consistently show up and show out for yourselves, even when things get tough.


So, keep coming. But keep adding on, too. If you want change, you have to challenge yourself, turn up the tension, and push past discomfort to get to new personal bests. As in RiDE, so in life.


Visit PsychologyToday.com to check out therapists in your area. You can find someone based on race, gender, sexual orientation to “build” the perfect listening ear. And I know that even considering mental healthcare is a major feat. Finding a therapist is a lot like finding a romantic partner; you may have to try more than one before you find one that’s the right fit. Keep at it.


Lastly, if you’re a mental healthcare provider and would like to be listed as a service, please let us know and we’ll be sure to pass on your contact info.


Remember RiDE Tribe…we’ve got your front, back, side, and saddle.


See you soon!

Posted May 20, 2018 0 Comments

Tagged: mental health therapist therapy indoorcycling

What ARE Those Muscles Burning During my RiDE?

What Muscles ARE Burning During that RiDE?


We all feel that burn after a great spin class. We sometimes even walk out of class feeling jelly-legged as we make it to our car and wake up in the morning with that awesome feeling of new muscle soreness. Not only are we getting our cardio in by moving our legs with such power, but we are also strengthening those muscles at the same time.


What muscles DO we work so hard during class?


Our legs are made up of a bunch of muscles – but the main ones are the glutes, the quads, the hamstrings, the hip flexors, and the muscles of the lower leg (mainly the tib anterior, gastroc, and soleus).


The quads are actually four muscles in the front of the thigh (yeah, thus the name QUADriceps) that attach from the upper femur and pelvis down to the tibia via the patellar tendon. The quads mostly extend your knee (straighten your leg) but also help with flexing your hip.


The hamstrings (three muscles) run down the back of your leg from your pelvis to your lower leg. The hams primarily bend the knee but also help extend the hip.


The glutes, referring mostly to the gluteus maximus but there is also a minimus, extend your hip (and get you up those hills!). The hip flexors (mostly the psoas), flex the hip (well, that one was obvious).


In the lower leg, the gastrocnemius and soleus extend the ankle (plantarflex or point the foot downwards). This happens as you push the leg down.


ALL these muscles work together to create that perfect “full circle” pedal stroke you strive for during each ride. Check out the diagram below to see when you are working each muscle in a seated position. In a standing cycling position, you use even more quads and glutes (and a whole lot of CORE but we’ll save that topic for another post!).


Posted Apr 26, 2018 0 Comments

Women Athletes from Oakland

Being an athlete is a challenge, but being a female athlete in a male-dominated arena makes things even more difficult.

Some female athletes from Oakland that you may have heard about include Alexis Gray-Lawson, a professional basketball player in the WNBA, Jan Henne (better known by her married name, Jan Hawkins) Olympic swimmer and former world-record holder, and Zoe Ann Olsen-Jensen, an Olympic diver. But being well-known doesn’t determine one’s athletic abilities. There are thousands of athletic women residing in our town that deserve equal recognition for their talents and skills! Below are a few of the many talented ladies.

From Oakland Boot Camp, a 4-week long outdoor fitness program that provides a combination of fitness, nutritional counseling, and motivational training, come athletes Jennie Votel and Anna Gunn. Jennie is a certified NASM Personal Trainer, a NASM Certified Teen Fitness Specialist, Adventure Boot Camp Certified Boot Camp Instructor and holds a Certification in Nutrition through Precision Nutrition. Anna Gunn is a NESTA Certified Adventure Boot Camp Instructor and Certified Personal Trainer. What is particularly inspiring about these female athletes is that the two show strength and resilience through not only running their own business but also working their clinics. Talk about kicking butt in a male-dominated industry!


Oakland Movement is made up of two, but the female counterpart of the duo, Jaimi Patterson, is the yogi extraordinaire. Her teaching is rooted in the Alexander Technique. She embraces a personal blend of Vinyasa yoga that she calls EmbodyFlow. Jaimi is inspiring because of her dedication to helping others move better through her knowledge and abilities. You can take yoga classes from Jaimi at a variety of Yoga Studios, including Namaste Yoga and The Green Yogi.


Alison Roessler is another dominant woman athlete. She is the CEO and founder of Truve, a training facility and wellness center in Oakland. Alison teaches a mix of classes, including Fit Camps, Boot Camps, and Personal Training. Alison grew up an athlete. She water-skied, played soccer, softball, basketball, and finally fell in love with track and field. Alison even qualified for the Junior Olympics for a couple of track and field events. She continued to pursue fitness into her adulthood by opening Truve, which makes her a go-to name in the female athletic game.


Like to dance your butt off? Then you’d get along with Samar Nassar and Gabriela Nassar-Covarelli, the sisters and co-founders of Hipline Oakland. Samar grew up dancing professionally, while Gabriela played soccer and was involved in track and field sports. Now, the two have continued their athletic abilities onward and opened the dance studio Hipline. The athletic sister duo brings energy and spirit to their practice, with their core values being shimmy, connect, and love.


Lastly, Deb and Helen of yours truly, RiDE Oakland, and all of our fabulous, strong instructors that continue to show us what the true meaning of sexy is! Your athleticism is unparalleled.

Posted Mar 23, 2018 0 Comments

Tagged: community female tribe women athletes skills celebrate RiDE Oakland March