Don’t let a sore tush ruin your exercise mojo. The burn of spin class should end when the music stops and you dismount your bike. If your butt continues to hurt for hours or days afterward, you should consider your bike set up, your clothing choices and seat options.
If you dash into class and jump on a bike without adjusting the seat, you might be causing yourself unnecessary pain. Ask the instructor to help you find the right height for the saddle. When you sit on the bike and put your feet into the toe cages, the leg at the bottom of the pedal stroke should have a 25- to 30-degee bend in the knee joint. If the seat is too high, you risk rubbing against the seat each time your foot hits the bottom which can cause tush pain. Also ensure that the bike you choose has a seat that is level with the ground. If it tilts upward or downward, it can cause unnecessary discomfort during and after your ride. Report tilted seats to the instructor as they need to be adjusted.
Pick the Right Pants
If you head to spin class in your yoga pants, you are asking for butt pain. Dress the part by wearing padded shorts made especially for cycling. You may not be heading outdoors, but you are still sitting on a narrow seat for 45 minutes or longer – enough time to make an unpleasant impression. Choose your underwear wisely as well – lace, thongs and certain kinds of seaming can all make your ride uncomfortable.
If you work out in a gym, changing the seats on spin bikes is not an option. You could improperly install a seat and risk injury to yourself or damage the equipment. Gel seats that slip over an existing seat to create cushioning are available at most sporting goods stores. These seats can provide support for a sensitive tail bone or help prevent rubbing and chafing that can also lead to a sore butt without interfering with the existing equipment.
A little baby powder or chamois cream can make all the difference in your ride. If chafing is the cause of your butt discomfort, apply a little cream or powder deemed safe for this sensitive region to help reduce friction. Petroleum jelly and medicated ointments are also commonly used to ease the discomfort of saddle sores.
Andrea Cespedes is a professionally trained chef who has focused studies in nutrition. With more than 20 years of experience in the fitness industry, she coaches cycling and running and teaches Pilates and yoga. She is an American Council on Exercise-certified personal trainer, RYT-200 and has degrees from Princeton and Columbia University.