Arrive 10 minutes before class begins, especially if it's your first time. It takes a few minutes to properly fit your bike (more on that later), and a bad set up is both incredibly uncomfortable and ups your injury risk, says Alex Figueroa, a certified cycling instructor, personal trainer, and triathlon coach in the Boston area. The extra prep time gives you the chance to ask your instructor for help if you need it and still be ready for the full warm-up, which is just as important as any other part of the ride, Figueroa says.
And don’t be tempted to slip out during the cool-down—stay for the entire class! In fact, stick around for a few minutes after the class to alleviate and prevent any pain often caused by holding a forward bend (like you do for the entire ride). Try this move from Dr. Yoav Surprun, DPT, a McKenzie physical therapist at Sobe Spine in Miami Beach: Stand tall with your feet hip-width apart. Create as large of a hollow, or sway, in the small of your back as possible by tilting your pelvis (as if pushing the belly button forward), hold the tilt for 2 or 3 seconds, and then relax. Do this 15 to 20 times.