Anatomy of the Ride: Stretching for Cyclists

Even though we spend time stretching after every ride at Revolve, it’s important to stretch regularly on your own to avoid injury and keep your muscles loose! Here are six easy stretches that will help prolong your love for cycling.

Calf Stretch

20130816-113516.jpg

Your calves deserve a break after all of the walking and riding you do. Thank your calves by doing this quick and simple stretch:

Stand about two feet away from a wall with your feet facing straight ahead. Step forward with your right leg and bend your knee while keeping your left foot firmly planted on the ground. Use the wall in front of you to support your body weight.

Keep your hips forward until you feel the stretch in your calf. Hold for 30 seconds, then switch legs.

Quad Stretch

20130816-114449.jpg 20130816-114742.jpg

Our quads do a lot of the work in an indoor cycling class, so it’s important to give them a moment to unwind and relax. You can simply do a standing quad stretch by reaching back with your right hand and grabbing your right foot at the top of the ankle, and pulling towards your rear while keeping your knees together and pelvis tucked under. Hold for 30 seconds, then switch sides.

If you want a deeper stretch, kneel down on to your right knee. Keep both knees at 90 degree angle and your hips facing forward as you gently tilt your pelvis upwards. Hold for 30 seconds, then switch sides. This will not only deepen your quad stretch, but also loosens up your hip flexors.

Loosen Up That IT Band

20130816-115231.jpg

Your IT (Iliotibial) Band is a tendon that runs along the side of your leg and carries most of your body weight when you are standing. Phew! That poor IT Band must be exhausted after standing AND cycling.

For this one, you’ll need a towel or a Thera-Band. Begin by lying down on the ground and lifting your right leg. Wrap your towel or Thera-Band around the ball of your foot. Turn your right foot towards your right shoulder and keep your hips on the ground. Gently lean your leg towards your left shoulder. You should feel the stretch running along the outside of your leg. Hold for 30 seconds, then repeat on the other side.

Stretching Those Hammies
20130816-115247.jpg

When your quads are lengthened, your hamstring is engaged. Having tight hamstrings is just as problematic as having tight quads.

Give your hammies some lovin’ by sitting on the floor with your hips facing forward and your legs out in front of you. Plant your left foot on the ground and bend forward to reach towards your toes. If you have tighter hamstrings, you can use your towel or Thera-Band to help you reach your toes. Both sitz bones should remain on the floor. Hold for 30 seconds, then switch sides.

Booty Stretch

20130816-115253.jpg

We work our butts off climbing those heavy hills. Since the gluteal muscles are one of the most powerful muscles in your body, it’s important to loosen up that booty and give them a break.

Lie on your back with both knees pointing towards the ceiling. Cross your right ankle onto your left quad. Interlace your fingers behind your left thigh and bring your left thigh towards your chest until you feel a stretch. Hold for 30 seconds, then switch sides.

Stretch Your Core

20130816-115258.jpg

We spend so much time hunched over on our bikes, so it’s important to reset your posture and stretch your core.

You can do a simple cobra stretch by lying on the ground facing down. Place both palms on the side of your chest and push up. Keep your shoulders down and away from your ears. Feel free to keep your elbows slightly bent or coming down on your forearms if you find that it’s straining your back.

What’s your favorite way to stretch after a ride? Tell us in the comments or tweet us @RevolveNYC and @RevolveDC!

Healthy and Fit Mama: Working Out While Pregnant

We’ve got exciting news – Francina is on her way to becoming a mama for the first time! We wanted to share the experience with our Riders, so we’ve asked Francina to host a mini-series on the blog about how to stay on track as a healthy and fit mama.

IMG_20130811_164226

I’m so glad Revolve asked me to do this blog series on my first pregnancy. Ever since I found out I was pregnant, I’ve been thinking about reviving my personal blog as a way to remember this incredible experience.

I’m happy and honored to share my journey with you and answer any questions. One of the most asked questions I get is how I’m staying healthy and fit through my pregnancy, how pregnancy has affected my regular workout routine, and what adjustments I’ve made so far.

HOW I’M STAYING A HEALTHY AND FIT MAMA

I’ve been on a consistent workout schedule for years, and my OB-GYN is fully supportive of me staying active through the pregnancy as long as I listen to my body, properly hydrate and eat nutritious foods to fuel my workouts. Eliminating that activity would actually be an abrupt change in my normal schedule, possibly causing excess weight gain, a more difficult labor and a tougher time taking off the weight after birth.

Many of my OB-GYN’s patients have run marathons, teach classes like I do and stay very active during their pregnancies. He completely assured me that there is nothing to worry about and I’m taking all precautions necessary to make sure everything is safe for my baby and me.

TRAINING FOR TWO

IMG_20130811_164304

I’ve kept my normal workout schedule so far, teaching five indoor cycling classes and three Zumba classes a week. Indoor cycling is non-impact and very easy on my joints, which makes it a fantastic exercise to do while pregnant. The only thing I’ve needed to adjust is the handlebar height to accommodate for my growing belly.

When I teach indoor cycling, I take frequent breaks because it’s become a little harder for me to catch my breath and talk into the microphone while I cycle. When I’m riding as a participant, I don’t feel the need to take as many breaks.

Zumba is a bit more challenging. I’m eliminating high impact moves and trying to learn how to teach my classes without much dancing. That’s been more difficult because participants usually need more guidance and visual cueing in Zumba, but I’m trying my best. One or two days a week during my mornings off, I also do some fairly easy incline walking on the treadmill and light weight-lifting and stretching.

ADDING PRENATAL YOGA TO THE MIX

I’ve also started prenatal yoga and I absolutely love it. I haven’t been a big fan of yoga because of my lack of flexibility, but prenatal yoga is slower and focuses on stretching muscles that we need to prepare us for birth, especially in the hips and lower back. We also focus on meditative breathing. I walk out of my class feeling like a million bucks and it feels great being in a class full of pregnant ladies. :) I take classes at Mind the Mat once a week and hope to add more classes in the future.

I’ll also be providing more frequent updates on my own blog about my fitness journey through pregnancy, so check there for more updates!

30 Days of Unlimited Indoor Cycling Classes (…and why I can’t stop talking about Revolve)

There’s something magical about every Rider’s first Revolve experience. Do you remember when you got hooked? NYC Rider Megan Conley shared her story with us in today’s guest blog. We’re so happy to have Megan spreading the #RevolveLove!

I thought it’d make sense to start this blog post by summarizing my first indoor cycling class three years ago in 14 words: it was painful, and I left with no desire to ever take another class.

The soreness in my legs left me defeated and uninspired, so I really had to push myself to get back on an indoor cycling bike.

After convincing myself indoor cycling was a worthwhile workout (and realizing how to properly sit on a bike and master the different positions!), I’ve spent the last couple years experimenting with different studios from classes at NYSC, to bikes that rotate with your body movement (RUSH Cycling) to underwater cycling, which I came across after being influenced by the Queen Bey herself (AQUA Spin!)

I can honestly say one of my favorite studios to date has been Revolve NYC, so I got in touch with them to write this guest blog post as a love letter to them!

My experience with Revolve began after I found the 14th street studio on a Classtivity pack I’d purchased. After attending my first class, I was inspired to sign up for the Intro Month Package, which includes 30 days of unlimited rides. If the immediate 30 day class pack purchase isn’t enough to convince you this studio’s amazing, then here’s a little more insight into why I love Revolve:

WHAT I LOVE:

THE INSTRUCTORS & COMMUNITY VIBE WITHIN THE CLASSES: My favorite class of the 30 days was on this past NY Pride Day, where the studio transformed into a full out party for their Pride Ride (the photo below shows a quick glimpse of how much fun we all had!)

Pride Ride

THE 60 MINUTE RIP RIDE: Weights + Enthusiastic Instructors + 60 Minutes of Pushing Yourself  + Motivating Music = my favorite type of ride!

Speaking of motivating music…

THE MUSIC: All the instructors’ music kept me riding through the duration of each class (and as an added bonus, some of their music’s on Spotify so you have the option of listening to #RevolveSounds off the bike as well!)

I’ve recommended Revolve to co-workers, friends, and family (I even took my little sister with me to a class when she was visiting NYC & used the BFF code.  Here’s us after we took the 6am class!)

Meg and sister

Hopefully the above’s enough reason for you to try, too. Ride on!

Interested in trying Revolve? You’re in luck – our Summer Savings are still on at Revolve NYC!

Flip flops with blue decking

Revolve Essentials: What’s In Your Gym Bag, Jason?

Have you ever wondered how our instructors stay so fly before, during, and after rides? Check out the first post in our latest series, Revolve Essentials. We’ll take you through Jason’s gym bag and all the necessities that get him through the day.

Jason's Gym Bag

Jason’s Must-Have Items:

Jason's Essentials

  1. Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cleanser
  2. Kiehl’s Facial Fuel Moisturizer
  3. Degree Deodorant
  4. Davies Gate Quinoa Shampoo
  5. Bumble and Bumble Sumo Tech
  6. TreSemme Extra Firm Control Hair Spray
  7. Travel-size toothbrush and toothpaste
  8. Listerine Breath Strips
  9. Hand sanitizer
  10. Maison Martin Margiela sunglasses
  11. iPhone and charger

For more Jason in your life, follow him on Instagram and Twitter!

Real Riding 101 Workshop

Missed our Real Riding 101 Workshop with Kristin? No worries – click on the image below to learn how to take your Real Ride from indoors to outdoors. From the basics on how to choose a bike, to how to avoid the most common accidents, and fueling for your ride…we’ll get you and your bike on your way! If you have follow-up questions for Kristin or Revolve, feel free to reach out on Facebook or Twitter.

We’re hosting more workshops in the future, and we want to know what you want to learn! Please leave your feedback here. Our mission is to support your ride, indoors and outdoors.

Real Riding 101 Workshop

Anatomy of the Ride: Real Ride

Our Riders know we like to keep it real. Revolve Senior Master Instructor Kristin Kenney keeps it so real that her Real Rides are actually outdoor routes adapted to the indoor cycling experience. Kristin gave us the inside scoop on the Real Ride and how our Riders (like Mara Berde, featured below) can use it to improve their ride indoors AND outdoors.

Revolve Senior Master Instructor Kristin Kenney

Revolve NYC Senior Master Instructor Kristin Kenney

Q: How has your experience as a competitive road cyclist helped shape Revolve’s Real Ride?

KK: Training for competition involves countless hours on different types of road. I always bring my riding experience into the studio, with the route, terrain, length of hills, flats and so on.

I’ve learned from years of bad mistakes and races gone awry. Great form, being relaxed and focused, and the willingness to let everything that doesn’t matter, GO, are all crucial. Winning is not always the goal, but doing your best is important to the whole group!

Q: How is Revolve’s Real Ride different from other indoor cycling classes?

KK: We communicate a clear, focused ride plan in each class by drawing the route on our wall of mirrors to demonstrate terrain and engage our Riders in a deeply compelling way. Our instructors coach Riders one-on-one and as a group, and motivate the entire “team” to stay together as a pack and slay every part of it. We invite you to be a part of the team atmosphere and put what doesn’t matter aside.

Q: How should Riders approach body awareness and form during the Real Ride?

KK: Relax on the bike, keep movement out of the upper body and torso, and simply ride with what cyclists call a “fluid” pedal stroke. There is no “push” or “pull”. Rather, the pedal stroke is executed by the gluteal muscles, quadriceps and hamstrings. There is no bend in the wrists and the elbows are soft. The whole body works only on pedal stroke and that moment’s goal.

Q: What are your tips for improving our Real Ride? What mistakes do you often see Riders make?

KKWorking out with friends makes the experience great. Everyone who comes to Revolve is welcoming and warm, so it’s also easy to make friends in class.

As far as mistakes go: making up your own positions on the bike, especially with your grip on the handlebars, is a common slip-up and easily corrected. Not letting us set up the bike or not listening to coaching would be a mistake, but very few of our Riders do that! :)

Q: How does the indoor Real Ride translate to the outdoor cycling experience?
KK: Our Riders are often suprised at how strong they are when they return to the outdoor road experience. Don’t forget, I’m delivering a REAL outdoor ride that cyclists around the world repeat again and again for its challenges and rewards, so Riders get incredible workouts curated for them multiple times a day at Revolve. Our Riders are therefore strong, confident and great when they ride outdoors.

But you don’t have to just take Kristin’s word for it. We asked Mara, a Revolve Rider and competitive cyclist, how Revolve’s Real Ride has improved her performance outdoors.

MB: As an avid outdoor cyclist looking to take my cycling to the next level, I started riding at Revolve last winter. Craving the intensity of a day-long road biking adventure, I took one of Kristin’s Real Rides and knew instantly that riding at Revolve would improve my conditioning for the upcoming spring season. When I got back on my bike and started training for my first century (100 mile ride), I was in better shape for riding than I’d ever been.

All of Revolve’s rides offer a perfect combination of hills and intervals that enabled me to reach a level of fitness and strength that I never thought possible from an indoor cycling class. Revolve classes mimic outdoor riding in terms of cadence (RPMs), but actually allow you to push yourself further than training outdoors because there are distractions.  The intervals and intensity of Revolve rides offer something unparalleled and I urge every outdoor cyclist to try a Revolve class.

KK: We have many Riders, like Mara, who race in cycling, many who have started cycling outdoors because they love the Real Ride and still others who use the Real Ride as cross-training for their existing sports. So much of the Real Ride is about letting go of everything in an all-out effort to do your best, and that translates to nearly everyone’s lifestyle.

Ready for a Real Ride? Book your bike now in DC and NYC.  And if you’re ready to take your Real Ride outdoors, Kristin is hosting our first Real Riding 101 Workshop at Revolve NYC this Saturday, July 20 at 2PM.

RRrightbike1db

Introducing Revolve’s “Ruff-est” Riders

As a belated tribute to National Dog Party Day, we want to introduce you to our most lovable and loyal furry friends. These pups woof Revolve so much, and they’re our “ruff-est” Riders. We’re so lucky we can celebrate Take Your Dog to Work Day every day!

imageDiesel the Yorkiepoo likes to go on his regular “Clarendon Treat Crawl” to get doggy treats from all his favorite stores. He also loves to smile and chase squirrels.

Cass and Henry_bedsCass and Henry are Beagles who love to eat, chase each other around, cuddle, and “aroo” (that famous beagle bark!)

photoYou’ll find Dallas the Yellow Lab either eating, sniffing, playing at the dog park, or snuggling. Look at those eyes – who wouldn’t want to snuggle with him?

DSC00795_3Dakota the Bernese Mountain Dog likes to get fierce with Auntie Dyan and her daddies, who just got married. Congratulations, Dakota’s daddies!

IMG_5397Meet Ruxin the miniature Dachsund. His favorite activity is eating grass because he thinks he’s a cow. Moooooo!

20130507_143330Peso the Chihuahua likes to run in the sun in Central Park.

lily 1Finally, Lily the Maltipoo enjoys running around the city, either on the bike or in her tote, especially when it involves shopping with Mom.

Featured Revolve Rider: 31 Days of Sweat Finalist, Brianna

Meet Brianna, one of our fiercest competitors in last month’s 31 Days of Sweat Challenge. We were so impressed with Brianna’s whopping 468 points at the end of the month, so we asked her to share her secrets on how she kept her head in the game and stayed motivated.Image
1. When you learned about our 31 Days of Sweat Challenge, what made you excited to participate? What were your personal goals for the month of May?

I am always up for a challenge so when I found out Revolve was doing this May challenge with awesome prizes I figured this was a great way to step up to another fitness challenge with some incentive. My goal throughout this month’s challenge was to go to class every single day I was in town for the month (sometimes even 2!) and it was not easy but totally worth it!

 

 2. What kept you motivated day after day? 

I am a very competitive person especially when it comes to fitness, so this was a challenge against others as well as a challenge against myself. I wanted to see how many classes I could go to when I had the time without killing myself. Also, the Top 2 riders in NYC kept me motivated since they were going to 3 classes in one day sometimes! Definitely makes you want to push yourself harder. Also, the instructors have so much energy and play great music which made me excited to keep going back for more.

 

 3.  How did 31 Days change your relationship with Revolve? With your health/fitness/working out? Did you learn anything new about yourself or the Revolve community during the challenge?

 

The challenge really made me develop a relationship with the Revolve staff, the amazing instructors and the participants in the challenge. It built a sense of community which is always nice to have and Revolve became a second home.
brianna kiraUntitled
This challenge phased out my other workouts because I decided to cycle as much as possible in the month but my endurance and my energy sky rocketed throughout this month which really felt great and made me want to come back for more the next day.

 

4. What physical/mental/emotional outcomes did you notice after participating in the challenge?

 

I felt stronger mentally, physically, and emotionally. I was energized and felt great and wished the challenge wasn’t over. I miss going to multiple classes throughout the week – it was a lot of fun and I look forward to the next challenge!

 

5. How will you continue to sweat hard? 

 

This month I decided to bounce around to a bunch of boutique fitness studios in Manhattan and try them out to see what they are all about. Last week, I went to 5 different studios. It’s great cross-training! I am also planning on going to a lot of the free fitness classes held outside for the summer – there are a ton!

 

6. What tips do you have for other people facing down challenges in and out of the studio?

 

I have an extreme passion for health and fitness.

I created a blog called B FIT FEEL FAB to provide insight into living and leading a healthy lifestyle and also, to challenge and motivate my followers to get out of their comfort zone and have fun while sweating and moving their bodies! Every month I challenge my followers in some way to be healthier and live a happier life in a body that they love. Some things I encourage people to do when working towards a challenge are:

  •         Do it with a buddy – hold each other accountable!
  •         Write down your goal for the challenge – it makes it more real!
  •         When you get unmotivated, think about why you decided to commit to the challenge in the first place!

Power in Numbers with STRENGTH+Sole

Not all of us grew up athletic varsity athletes. In fact, many of our Riders struggled to connect to fitness for a long time before discovering something that felt right. Our philosophy at Revolve is that fitness is about people – finding that connection with the people around you will make or break a fitness experience.
One of our favorite fitness bloggers, Rachel, found that connection by introducing herself to instructors, sharing her fitness experiences with people online, and bringing friends and family along for the rideWe love Rachel’s blog, STRENGTH+Sole – check out how she went from fearing fitness to embracing the power of numbers with our first Guest Blog!

As a kid, I played one season of T-Ball and that was enough for me. In middle school P.E. class, I was THAT girl, who faked having to go to the bathroom when my turn inevitably came to serve in volleyball and turned bright red when the teacher inevitably yelled “Out!” after three strikes at bat in softball. I’ve always loathed the idea and caved under the (mostly, self-imposed) pressure of team sports.

Until now.

Through my fitness blog STRENGTH+Sole, I’ve done everything from CrossFit, boxing and indoor cycling to indoor rock climbing, trampoline jumping, bowling and skee ball. Every week, I make it my mission to push past my comfort zone–taking risks, climbing to the top, joining the team–and, loving it.

revolve 1

At Revolve, we’re never riding alone!

I have amazing friends in fitness.  And, you can, too:

With dance cardio instructor Sadie, in Madison Square Park.

With dance cardio instructor Sadie, in Madison Square Park.

CrossFit coach Will and me, showing off our muscles post-WOD.

CrossFit coach Will and me, showing off our muscles post-WOD.

Saturday morning cycling at Revolve with my sister, Kara.

Saturday morning cycling at Revolve with my sister, Kara.

Because when it comes to staying motivated, learning new ways to work out and having fun, there’s definitive power in numbers.  See you at Revolve soon!

For more Rachel and STRENGTH+Sole, follow her on Twitter: @fitgirlrachel and Instagram: @rachelbeckernyc

Yoga, Pilates, CrossFit, Bootcamp – why should our Riders cross-train?

Ever wonder how the Revolve instructors maintain their superhero strength and physique? In addition to kicking butt and sweating hard in their indoor cycling classes, our instructors make sure they add other workouts to the mix.

Cross-training off the bike offers multiple benefits: it helps prevent or rehabilitate injuryallows you to challenge other muscle groups, and enhances your core stability and overall mobility.

Our holistic approach to the Revival of the Fittest encourages Riders to go beyond Revolve to create and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Read on to see how some of your favorite instructors spend their time off the bike.

Revolve NYC Instructor Jason Tran

Revolve NYC Instructor Jason Tran

How I Cross-Train: Lift weights four times a week, Pilates or yoga twice a week, and swim once a week. During summer, I play tennis twice a week.

Benefits: Pilates and yoga strengthen my core and help with alignment and flexibility. Tennis and swimming improve my endurance and keep my upper body loose.

How It Improves My Ride: Strength training gets me up those steep hills; Pilates/yoga keep me limber; and tennis/swimming get me through those endurance rides!

Revolve DC Instructor Angel Stone

Revolve DC Instructor Angel Stone

How I Cross-Train: Strength train three times a week, yoga at least twice a week

Benefits: If you want to be sexy, you need to lift weights. Period. If you want to reduce aches and stress, you need to do yoga. Period.

How It Improves My Ride: The meditative aspect of yoga clears my mind, allowing me to focus on the ride. I’m able to ride better and longer because I’m mentally there. Lifting weights allows me to ride uphill like a champion. Last I checked, winning is awesome.

Senior Master Instructor Christianne Phillips

Revolve NYC Senior Master Instructor Christianne Phillips

How I Cross-Train: Running; plyometrics, weights, HIIT, and TRX at the gym; yoga; Pilates; Megaformer classes

Benefits: It wasn’t until I started adding weight-bearing exercises to my routine that I saw increased muscle definition and a significant change in my body. Yoga, Pilates and Megaformer help prevent injury and increase my overall strength. Cross-training makes my workouts more fun and challenging.

How It Improves My Ride: I ride stronger and more efficiently and feel more confident and successful – that mental piece is a huge part of any workout experience.

Revolve DC Instructor, Grant Hill

Revolve DC Instructor, Grant Hill

How I Cross-Train: CrossFit

Benefits:  I love the intensity, the competitive atmosphere, the community and the “practice” of it – being humbled with a movement that is very complex and improving over time. Most importantly, CrossFit resonates with my passion for functional fitness. Being strong is only good if it’s actually useful.

How It Improves My Ride: Training anaerobically (high intensity) improves your aerobic (low/moderate) capacity. My super high intensity 2-12 minute workouts help me maintain a faster pace for the duration of a 45-60 minute ride. Train in intervals and when it’s time to go long, you can go further faster.

Revolve Instructor Steph Nieman

Revolve NYC Instructor Steph Nieman

How I Cross-Train: I lead/take classes at Uplift Studios. I also lift heavy weights at the gym once or twice a week.

Benefits: Cross-training promotes a strong balanced body. Integrating variety also improves motivation, keeps one mentally fresh, and allows muscles to continually adapt.

How It Improves My Ride: Uplift has increased the intensity of my intervals on the bike. I can now hold an intense interval for over 1 minute! Heavy weight training for my lower back has stabilized my ride out of the saddle. I feel stronger than ever with the combination of Revolve and Uplift.

Revolve DC Instructor, Dorothy Beatty

Revolve DC Instructor, Dorothy Beatty

How I Cross-Train: Weekly strength training routine and running

Benefits: Increased endurance, strength and core balance; also prevents injury

How It Improves My Ride: Cycling is an incredibly repetitive movement; my cross-training works those power muscles in a different way, building up my overall strength and endurance on the bike.

Ready to cross-train, Riders? You’re in luck. Some of our 31 Days of Sweat prizes are the perfect way to start cross-training (awesome). If you win, you’re probably well on our way to being a superhero Grand Prize winner, too (even more awesome).

31DaysFacebook_4.28.13

NYC  Week 3 Prize: Who doesn’t want to ease their pains and reduce their stress levels? Open those hips and stretch out that back and mind with one month of unlimited yoga for you AND a friend at Yoga Vida. We like to workout with our friends around here!

DC Week 4 Prize: Fire hoses. Body weight. Sandbags. Kettlebells. Get in serious superhero shape and build up your strength, endurance, stability and mobility with one month of unlimited MyBootcamp.