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camfay
11-28-2006, 05:16 PM
Some of this I already posted in my introduction, but in case people don't read the intros, I wanted more feedback.

I just found out something very troublesome from some of my students at a Country Club I teach at. They were raving about some of the "new moves" another instructor taught them. He had them place their arms/elbows on the bars (their weight resting in the forearms) and stick their behinds out toward the back and ride fast. Intuitively, I know how wrong this is and can name some possible injuries that could result, but can anyone give me a clear explanation of WHY this should not be done that I can use with my boss (who tends to ignore or not deal with these types of issues), as well as my students. They have also been telling me how "neat it is when they use weights on the bike" as well. I was horrified. Am I just overreacting?

From reading around the site, this type of thing seems to be a common issue. As a profession, is there anything being done to educate instructors better or maybe even to regulate the industry? My main concerns are 1) how many people are potentially getting hurt and 2) how poorly represented group cycling is to the masses because of the lack of knowledge (and dare I say, even integrity) on the part of some instructors.

I am humbled everytime I do continuing education with master instructors. I was astonished at the breadth and depth of group cycling after doing the certification course. It was so different than what I saw being taught in gyms. I try to bring more into the room than just screaming at people to ride harder and faster, but as many of you are probably aware, it is sometimes hard to compete with the popularity of instructors who work people into the ground.

Any thoughts?

megale3
11-28-2006, 05:42 PM
Take a picture I need something to show my cycling buddies- they will get a kick out of it. But seriously is this not an isolation and is it one that messes with ROM , performance, injury prevention and comfort? it flys in the face of all of them. I think this is a job for the management don't you?
Meg

kszspin
11-28-2006, 06:03 PM
I try to bring more into the room than just screaming at people to ride harder and faster, but as many of you are probably aware, it is sometimes hard to compete with the popularity of instructors who work people into the ground.

Any thoughts?

Good for you, stay true to the way you know is good, safe, solid coaching and you'll always be able to sleep better at night. ;)

As far as the contraindicated moves above you mentioned.... Well, if have an opportunity to attend the 4 hr Contraindication to the Spinning Program that Jennifer Sage wrote (she is Funhog here on the forum) try to take it and take your boss too! You will get all the reasons why movements may not be biomechanically correct or efficient and what alternatives might be in there place. The two you have mentioned, resting forearms on handlebars and doing weights on the bike, I will just give you a few bullet points from the CI workshop on them:

Riding seated in HP3 or with forearms on Handlebars:
Why it's not good:
* Causes increased flexion of the spine
* Forces knees into a lateral position
* Causes increased extension of the nexk
* isolates the upper body
* Blocks flow of oxygen
* Difficult for short riders

Using weights or bands on the bike:
Why it's not good:
*Potential for injury is high
*Core not stabilized
*Inappropriate focus
*Alters the HR response
*Wouldn't be done on the road

Todd S
11-28-2006, 06:05 PM
Some of this I already posted in my introduction, but in case people don't read the intros, I wanted more feedback.

I just found out something very troublesome from some of my students at a Country Club I teach at. They were raving about some of the "new moves" another instructor taught them. He had them place their arms/elbows on the bars (their weight resting in the forearms) and stick their behinds out toward the back and ride fast. Intuitively, I know how wrong this is and can name some possible injuries that could result, but can anyone give me a clear explanation of WHY this should not be done that I can use with my boss (who tends to ignore or not deal with these types of issues), as well as my students. They have also been telling me how "neat it is when they use weights on the bike" as well. I was horrified. Am I just overreacting?

From reading around the site, this type of thing seems to be a common issue. As a profession, is there anything being done to educate instructors better or maybe even to regulate the industry? My main concerns are 1) how many people are potentially getting hurt and 2) how poorly represented group cycling is to the masses because of the lack of knowledge (and dare I say, even integrity) on the part of some instructors.

I am humbled everytime I do continuing education with master instructors. I was astonished at the breadth and depth of group cycling after doing the certification course. It was so different than what I saw being taught in gyms. I try to bring more into the room than just screaming at people to ride harder and faster, but as many of you are probably aware, it is sometimes hard to compete with the popularity of instructors who work people into the ground.

Any thoughts?

Two thoughts...

First, I learned a long time ago that it's just not worth my time and effort worrying about what other instructors do. Me, I just do my thing as well as I can.

Second, learning to 'quietly challenge' folks will be one of the most valuable skills you can develop. Use the environment and your music to help you motivate. You'll probably be around a lot longer with a more loyal following than the screamers and the chatterboxes. Your loyal, hard core attendees don't need to be screamed at to be motivated.

camfay
11-29-2006, 11:40 AM
Thanks for the info and support. I made my fitness director aware of the issue. The ball is in his hands now. I really stressed safety in a gentle manner this morning without making it about anyone or anything in particular-ust about how much I cared about their safety. I had some of my loyal people come up to me after class to express their gratitude for my educating them and not just pushing them like madmen (and women) to ride harder and faster.

Jennifer
11-29-2006, 11:57 AM
This is the first I've heard that HP3 is not good, and I just got certified not even 2 months ago.

ACinNJ
11-29-2006, 12:22 PM
This is the first I've heard that HP3 is not good, and I just got certified not even 2 months ago.

Go back and re-read the comment. Riding seated in HP3 is not a move you learned in your orientation. Placing your forearms on the bullhorn is not something you learned in your orientation. Standing in HP3 IS something you learned in your orientation.

Why would anyone want to ride a bike and lift weights? I do both, but I don't think I'm getting the best use of the effort with the weights with my legs spinning around on a stationary bike? I'm going to pick up 30 lb. dumbbells, climb on a bike and do curls? Ankle weights? Just turn the dial a little more.

Camfay...at some point you need to trust the training that you paid for and learn how to be challenging and fun using what you've been taught and not the way others teach or validate the goofy things that other do. If you didn't learn it at the orientation, and it's not in your SIM, it's probably some silly manuever or gimmick some instructor invented because they just don't get how to structore a simple profile with music and make it challenging and entertaining.

Jennifer
11-29-2006, 12:43 PM
Jennifer no, it's not that HP3 is not good, it's Riding seated in HP3 that is not good. Please don't misunderstand--HP3 is the ONLY position for a standing climb. When riding seated one should only use HP1 or HP2 (never HP3). Hope that's more clear to you now.

Thank you for clarifying. I obviously did not read the OP correctly. I admit I only skimmed. I'm a little scattered today.

camfay
11-29-2006, 01:30 PM
Go back and re-read the comment. Riding seated in HP3 is not a move you learned in your orientation. Placing your forearms on the bullhorn is not something you learned in your orientation. Standing in HP3 IS something you learned in your orientation.

Why would anyone want to ride a bike and lift weights? I do both, but I don't think I'm getting the best use of the effort with the weights with my legs spinning around on a stationary bike? I'm going to pick up 30 lb. dumbbells, climb on a bike and do curls? Ankle weights? Just turn the dial a little more.

Camfay...at some point you need to trust the training that you paid for and learn how to be challenging and fun using what you've been taught and not the way others teach or validate the goofy things that other do. If you didn't learn it at the orientation, and it's not in your SIM, it's probably some silly manuever or gimmick some instructor invented because they just don't get how to structore a simple profile with music and make it challenging and entertaining.

I am not a new instructor-I am just new to this particular facility. The other facilities I worked/work at just had wonderful instructors. I was lucky I guess! I am also fortunate that I have true followers who get it.

You know what is funny?

I have been teaching yoga for over 10 years. I learned it from traditional Indian Yogi's. Now, just like indoor cycling, I often have to reteach or re-program people to slow down and get to the bare minimum essentials and principles of yoga. People are actually teaching it with a harder/faster mentality. There is a place for Ashtanga (aka Power yoga), but the true message of yoga has been so diluted that I face the same issues as in cycling. This should not surprise me given that we still live in a "no pain, no gain" society, but it does. My point is that I have much experience combatting this mentality, but I still get discouraged occasionally. That is why I am SO happy I found this site. You are all very inspiring!

spinmomma
11-29-2006, 02:28 PM
I say NO, NO, NO to resting, hanging on the bars. Now, I would not single a person out an embarass them if they are doing so. I just put into my form checks and verbage where I want them to be. I try to keep all positive re-enforcement and not dwell on the negative.

camfay
11-29-2006, 02:35 PM
Spinmomma, If you read the original post, it was a case of an instructor having the entire class do this as a new move. I get the occasional participant resting on the handlebars too-that is easy to deal with just by being positive and lighthearted about getting them to sit up.

Jennifer, I was just wondering what certification you did that did not teach HP's?

ACinNJ
11-29-2006, 03:06 PM
I say NO, NO, NO to resting, hanging on the bars. Now, I would not single a person out an embarass them if they are doing so. I just put into my form checks and verbage where I want them to be. I try to keep all positive re-enforcement and not dwell on the negative.

If you work with a group for a while and you don't do movements that are silly or almost look like stunt-man or "Jackass" manuevers, most of the participants see the Jackass and wonder what the heck he is doing. It's almost self correcting. I'd give up one fool so that 15 or 16 others stay correct.

spinmomma
11-29-2006, 03:45 PM
Yup, you are correct.

ACinNJ is right on!!

MJonsey277
11-29-2006, 04:49 PM
Spinmomma, If you read the original post, it was a case of an instructor having the entire class do this as a new move. I get the occasional participant resting on the handlebars too-that is easy to deal with just by being positive and lighthearted about getting them to sit up.

Jennifer, I was just wondering what certification you did that did not teach HP's?

Camfay:

I had this as well when I first started teaching at my current facility. I used the documents from the Spinning.com web site and posted them as the clients entered/exit from the room. I also created conversations with one or two members after class and would ease into the "proper form" discussion.

Stay the course and it will show....give it some time.

raptor
11-29-2006, 11:02 PM
I think there's a reason Spinning's hand positions are not shared among other certs. Though the rationale behind them has some merit, their use never struck me as conducive to better or stronger cycling.

Different riders put their hands in different places doing different kinds of riding. They just pick the most comfortable positions that they think will produce the best performance. I suggest that if one merely tries to ride for maximum performance, you'll find the best hand positions for you soon enough. And, that changing your hand position will rarely produce a measurable improvement in your performance. (Unless we're talking high-performance time trialing, which we're not.)

When I suggest hand positions, I simply suggest putting your hands in a comfortable spot. I doubt I'll ever change, even if I do become JGSI certified.

Lynn

SpeedyChix
11-30-2006, 07:50 AM
I agree. I'm uncomfortable coaching/cueing hand positions because, for me anyways, I don't have an adjustment to move stem fore and aft. If you take a 6ft.4in rider and a 5ft rider their hands will fit in a different way. That said, I cue riders as to how to hold their form to be more open, when to feel free to hold on with their hands (increased intensity), when to 'lighten up', etc.

I'm pretty passionate about not cueing with hand postions but with proper form instead.

SpeedyChix

ACinNJ
11-30-2006, 10:13 AM
I'm trying to figure out what the problem is. There are 3 HP's. HP1 can be discounted, however I like it for recoveries, warm-ups and cool downs. HP2 is basically just putting your hads across the bars. HP3 is extended for standing. Now if you adapt into HP2.5 and put your hands in what could be considered the "drop" on a JG bike, where else would you place your hands?

The Schwinn and the Star Trac have the same bullhorn (The newer Schwinns have the extra set of handles coming out which seem to be more for holding a towel and it's convienient to put my mic headset on). The Keiser curves up at the end of the bars. The Keiser adds the position in the "drop" (which I know is not really a drop). There is no point of being aerodynamic indoors.

So, if you don't follow the "Spinning" positions, where do the 10 fingers and 2 palms go?

megale3
11-30-2006, 11:59 AM
So, if you don't follow the "Spinning" positions, where do the 10 fingers and 2 palms go?

I have always had descriptive words for the bars that are the original design I call them as I see them from down on the drops to in on the bars and up on the hoods. Do you think that because there is a definite "kink" in the lift of the wide part of the bars that there was a correlation to need such descriptions?
So what if you were to ride with one hand in HP2 and one hand half way up to HP3 kind of non symmetrical? In Reaction /Schwinn we are not HP police we only cue if there is a ROM problems or something CI. We do not cue that everyone is in the same area of the bars at any one time and to me ( I agree AC) there is really only two riding positions where your hands have a narrow measurement between and a wide measurement between. The bars could even be a straight piece of steal but they are still where you put your hands and in an indoor situation they are there for comfort and stability. Since like Lynn stated above we are all different we need to heed that this is distinctive to you as your genetic and age related MHR.
Meg

waterford2ride
11-30-2006, 05:01 PM
What is the difference between a HP3 and a time trial position? If they were forward on their seat - I'd see no problem with this - given their bike was fitted to their fitness/flexibility level.

I did not understand where their seat position was at (quote: "stick their behinds out toward the back (back of what?) and ride fast.")

megale3
11-30-2006, 05:22 PM
What is the difference between a HP3 and a time trial position? I guess it would be that besides the difference in gap between your hands its out of the seat as far as the Spinning program is concerned

If they were forward on their seat - I'd see no problem with this - given their bike was fitted to their fitness/flexibility level. Some people can sit on the seat and reach the bars comfortably and with out adverse effects to their range of motion but what about T-REX woman in your class who's arms are half length of say yours?


I did not understand where their seat position was at (quote: "stick their behinds out toward the back (back of what?) and ride fast.")





I think this lead me to think that they were doing isolations of their rear anatomy (arsss) with their forearms on the bars supporting their torso and pedaling as fast as the could go I see it as totally CI -And you know I am not totally sure how this got onto the subject of hand possitions when it should be forearm possitions :D
Meg

camfay
11-30-2006, 06:15 PM
Not to change the subject, but can anyone discuss the difference between HP1 HP2 AND HP3. Seriously, I have never cued people to have different hand positions before (deliberately), my cert never went over that stuff. Thanks

Oops, sorry Moonsavvy-I was just wondering. What is the 24 hour certification?

camfay
11-30-2006, 06:19 PM
Okay, my Fitness director's response was that he was in an actual session with Johnny G. himself where J.G. demonstrated these moves as "advanced moves." and he added that sometimes people need to "make adjustments" on the bike. What is that about? Can this possibly be true? And if not, how do I prove him wrong? (Not that I am obsessed with being right-but I am obsessed with keeping people safe and disseminating TRUE info about the SPIN program.

Lizardbiker
11-30-2006, 06:25 PM
Blood is running out of the corners of my mouth from biting my tongue to reply to J.G.'s "Advanced moves" wrt real road cycling and safety for the masses indoor.

camfay
11-30-2006, 07:32 PM
Lizardbiker,

What do you mean? I am sorry I didn't understand your post. I had a rough day teaching PE to a bunch of unruly kids so my brain is fried.

Lizardbiker
11-30-2006, 07:44 PM
Just agreeing with you CLF - sometimes the reality of indoor cycling over rules the reality of cycling and you have classes doing things that don't apply to cycling nor do they have much of a benefit to safety ratio to justify doing it in class. If you justify it by saying it's for "advanced" indoor cyclists, you're excluding a lot of people that we're supposed to be helping. I've done some of the "advanced" classes and still haven't found any benefit from them or any applications in any aspect of life (other than relieving myself in the Adirondak Mountains without leaving a trace... and I don't think I needed to practice that on a bike)

ACinNJ
11-30-2006, 08:37 PM
Okay, my Fitness director's response was that he was in an actual session with Johnny G. himself where J.G. demonstrated these moves as "advanced moves." and he added that sometimes people need to "make adjustments" on the bike. What is that about? Can this possibly be true? And if not, how do I prove him wrong? (Not that I am obsessed with being right-but I am obsessed with keeping people safe and disseminating TRUE info about the SPIN program.

There is an urban legend of JG at one time showing all the goofy things one can do. Since JG hasn't been with MDA for 2-3 years, it is probably someone telling someone else who told their friend who told 2 friends.....etc.

Lizardbiker
11-30-2006, 09:43 PM
Some of the stories almost make Johnny G. seem more realistic than Yoda! Spin fast with elbows on the drops you should, young Jedi!!

cafehead
12-01-2006, 03:45 PM
Blimey... It's amazing... the number of viewpoints on something so simple.

2 cents more coming your way...

What follows is opinion and it's also how I explain to anyone from beginner to professional triathlete why I'd like not to have HP3 used in the saddle.

Point One: I use exactly 3 hand positions. I call them close, wide and out. It never struck me as useful to codify something which can be described with the same number of syllables. This way you don't have to remember that 2=close. And just 3 positions total b/c you just don't need 4 or more. You can manage with 3 and you have less sorting out to do.

Point Two: The overall objective is to enhance fitness. Does it matter much if the hands are close or wide whilst a rider is in the saddle. Not THAT much. But if you have a coaching purpose, e.g., helping to keep the rider aware of the pedals and their weight pitching into the pedal circle then you might insist from time to time on close or wide... but not all the time. Wide you should use for standing flat for balance and b/c the (almost) ONLY time pedals break off is when a rider comes out of the saddle. So you want a wide base of support to help catch yourself that one day you might need it. Safety is why I discourage riding "on the drops". Slimy sweaty indoor hands with no gloves don't get much purchase on shiny rubberized handlebars...

Point Three: The OUT or HP3 position should be avoided by most people in classes when seated b/c of reasons detailed in earlier posts on this topic but to take it a step further so that participants can understand. The aero position on a bike is used exclusively for aerodynamic advantage. Not style. Not comfort. Not safety. Any human back that is flexed, put under load (pedaling against resistance) and then twisted has a nice recipe for squishing vertebral discs toward the spinal cord (aka. slipping discs). This can result in mild tightness in the hammys a couple of days down the track right through to debilitating low back pain (usually at L4-5 and again, up to some days later). AND it doesn't make you go faster, AND I don't care if one rider does find it comfortable - other students will copy the rider in aero and that tends to compromise the safety of others. AND btw the indoor bike doesn't move its center of mass off-vertical like a "real bike" so that just makes the whole thing slightly worse indoors. At least your road bike gets slightly out of the way when you squeeze the pedal down "en-aero".

Here endeth the rant...

cafehead

raptor
12-01-2006, 09:44 PM
I must admit that when I'm taking a class and working especially hard endurance-wise, I have a tendency to lean forward and down, maybe resting my elbows on the bars. It helps me feel more aggressive, and works for my body. No discomfort in the back or anywhere, breatihng fine. I can make use of the longer lever of my upper body weight to drive the pedals, or not.

I do the same on the road bike when I'm hammering hard, getting into the drops and bending my elbows. That's probably where the indoor position comes from. I do worry a bit about students seeing an instructor do this, but heck it's my ride, isn't it? :)

Lynn

camfay
12-01-2006, 09:49 PM
It seems to me, just by looking at a rider in on an indoor bike engaging in this type of movement (resting on forearms or handlebars), that it is not safe, effective, or necessary. I teach that if a person is not able to maintain good form, then they are probably working at a level that is not right for them. I realize this is just my 2 cents, but I am passionate about safety.

cafehead
12-01-2006, 10:24 PM
If possible, I'd suggest remaining more passionate about the benefits of simply being in class than safety per se. Then the safety stuff becomes an adjunct to continuous enjoyment rather than a burning pyre of righteousness which can be dull. Do your best then let the insurers, lawyers and bean-counters worry about the rest.

Funny thing is I posted just before teaching my 0830 Saturday group then 30 minutes later got new student (an "expert from another gym") who was "on the drops", "in aero" and at the end stretching on the bike (the old butt-off-the-back-of-the-saddle-trick). I always wonder if they're going to work out that the nice things I say before and after the correction are relatively insincere. I love it how they try to prove how cool they are by pulling out all the dumb tricks.

cafehead

the secret to success is sincerity. once you can fake that, you got it made!

Todd S
12-01-2006, 10:49 PM
It seems to me, just by looking at a rider in on an indoor bike engaging in this type of movement (resting on forearms or handlebars), that it is not safe, effective, or necessary. I teach that if a person is not able to maintain good form, then they are probably working at a level that is not right for them. I realize this is just my 2 cents, but I am passionate about safety.

Wouldn't handlebar height be a primary determinant of how safe or unsafe this would be?

If the bars are set at saddle height or below like a typical road bike would be set up, I would think safety would be more of a concern than with the folks who ride with their handlebars as high as they can extend them for comfort. Pull those bars out to their highest position and you're pretty much sitting straight up with your hands in HP 2. Extending your hands out to the bar ends with high bars doesn't stretch you out any more than HP 1 with bars at saddle height. Because of the head tube angle, raising the bars also brings the bars closer to the rider.

I hope I'm smart enough to know unsafe or stupid when I see it. If it's not unsafe or stupid, I've got more important things to worry about.

My 2 cents...

camfay
12-08-2006, 01:49 PM
guess what guys? The fitness director that I challenged about the resting on forearms suddenly cancelled one of my classes. Funny...

Jennifer
12-08-2006, 01:56 PM
guess what guys? The fitness director that I challenged about the resting on forearms suddenly cancelled one of my classes. Funny...
Wow. That sucks. :(

camfay
12-08-2006, 02:00 PM
It's okay. I hated waking up at 4:45 am anyway, plus despite the very good money, I think I am going to quit there. I have so much more fun at the other place I work. They actually laugh at my jokes.