Heading to spin class can be a literal pain in the butt, especially if you leave a session with a sore tailbone. The impact of all that standing and sitting, paired with 60 minutes of balancing on a tiny bike seat, can leave you with a sore tush and a lack of desire to ever try that again. But don't ditch class because your tailbone hurts. Proper prep can help cushion your seat so you can get through spin class sans the suffering.
Adjust the spin bike when you first get to class. If your seat is too high, you might be coming down too hard on it when you stand and sit during the various exercise phases. When sitting on your bike seat, your knees should reach a 90-degree angle when at the top of the pedal rotation and nearly straight at the bottom of the pedal rotation.
Wear padded shorts to class. Cyclists often use padded shorts to reduce pain from a hard bike seat, and you can find them at fitness supply or cycling specialty stores. The shorts offer a thin layer of padding through the gusset to protect your butt from tailbone pain.
Bring a gel pad to class. Although you can't exactly swap seats when you're in a fitness club spin class, you can purchase a pad that stretches over a seat to offer a little more cushioning for your tush. As an added bonus, it also gives you a cover for a spin bike that thousands of other workout fiends have used before you -- just make sure to clean your gel pad after each use with some antibacterial cleaner.
Relax and reduce the impact on your tailbone while spinning. When on the bike, your butt and thighs should relax over the seat. Tense up and you could be making things worse. During class, you'll probably be instructed to sit and stand as part of the exercises -- make sure you don't slam yourself down into the seat, which could cause serious pain. Even if you're tired, lower yourself into the saddle gently and your butt will thank you.
- Call your doctor if the pain continues outside of class. Tailbone pain has a few causes, and local trauma -- inflammation of the muscles or even small injuries to the bones -- can cause diagnosed coccydynia, or chronic tailbone pain, warns Spine Health. Your doctor can diagnose your pain and help you choose a treatment plan so you can get back in the saddle again.
Kay Ireland specializes in health, fitness and lifestyle topics. She is a support worker in the neonatal intensive care and antepartum units of her local hospital and recently became a certified group fitness instructor.