Indoor Cycling Instructor questions: What do I do with rider cramp?
It's likely you're going to come across this if you haven't already.
Let's look both at prevention and cure of cramp.
First of all make sure that the riders have an effective bike setup. If handlebars are higher, the rider can end up using calves more and larger muscle groups less. Coupled with incorrect pedalling technique you can be more at risk of cramp. Make sure the rider is not riding with toes pointing downwards – encourage riders to pedal so that their foot is flat as they are approaching the bottom of the pedal stroke.
Encourage hydration – both before the session and afterwards. Hydration and suficient intake of electrolytes (potassium and magnesium) reduces risk of cramping muscles.
Don’t skimp on warm up before the session. You want well-perfused muscles before you start working.
Don’t skimp on the cool down and stretching either. Cool down for a few minutes with gentle pedalling before stretching. Stretch the main muscles used (glutes, hamstrings, quads, calves), focus on one group at a time; don’t try to stretch hams and calves at the same time.
Relax into stretches, don't bounce, and allow riders enough time to find the stretch and then gently relax into it. Around 30 seconds is good.
When riders want to dash off early after class (and miss their cool down) it's good to remind them that effective cool down minimises the risk of cramp.
Get the rider to stretch out the muscle on the bike if possible. Somestimes cramp pain can be so sudden, it can be difficult to dismount, so stretching out while on the bike might be easier.
Stretch all large muscle groups used, and allow riders to focus on any problem areas they may have.
Once the pain is relieved, advise a soak in a warm bath afterwards, or apply a heat pad to the affected area.
Follow up on the rider. Check in on them if you have their contact details - let them know you care.
Indoor cycling games and challenges - the reindeer race
Perfect for Christmas. Or UnChristmas. Whatever.
Give each rider gets a reindeer name (or double up if you’ve got more riders than Santa has reindeers - Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner and Blitzen).
When you call out a reindeer, that person has to attack, or climb, or whatever challenge you set.
If you call out ‘Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer’ everyone has to attack. We play this a lot over Christmas – and we have one rider who is referred to by everyone else as ‘Cupid’ all year round. It’s fun and it gets giggles.
Indoor Cycling Instructor Dictionary of Intervals: Foxy Clock
Position or interval: The foxy clock is an interval.
What it is: A set of intervals which increase in length with corresponding increasing recoveries - they may also decrease back again.
Cadence: Select the cadence and you can stick with this cadence right the way through
Intensity: The aim is to maintain what's possible in the shorter intervals in the longer intervals. You decide what the intensity is.
Length: You can fit a foxy clock inside a few minutes (interval/recovery): 10, 10, 20, 20, 30, 30, 40, 40, 50, 50. You may have fewer intervals: 15, 15, 30, 30, 45, 45, 60, 60.
When to use: anywhere outside the warmup. You can use it as a way of building confidence and endurance at high intensities, or use it as a cadence drill by changing the cadence as you go.
What it does: Builds explosive power, works CP system, builds strength and endurance, at higher intensities with a delayed recovery.
Key teaching points:
If you want to be an excellent indoor cycling instructor, then we want to help ensure you get there. Click below to book your spot now, or to get further information.
Find what's right for you
All Masterclass courses are run from our dedicated training studio and teaching rooms in Portishead, Junction 19 of the M5 (close to M4 and M32)
All students to report to The Indoor Cycling Institute, Pure Offices, Kestrel Court, Portishead, BS20 7AN
The Indoor Cycling Institute provides the most comprehensive and up to date indoor cycling instructor training; providing entry-level courses, and further education to raise the standard of instructors.