Have you grown tired of your usual workout regimen? Are you looking to move past your fitness plateau with something a little different? If so, spinning may be just the option for you. This contemporary aerobic exercise, conducted on a specially designed stationary bicycle, has gained much popularity in the past few years.

During the workout, you pedal to energizing music while the instructor creates an outdoor environment for you to visualize and emulate in your cycling style. Your pace and resistance vary throughout the class, and your position ranges from standing to staying seated in the "saddle."

The Pros of Spinning

In addition to being an effective form of aerobic activity (burning roughly 500 calories in 50 minutes, depending on your body weight and level of exertion), spinning tones the quadriceps and hamstrings, along with working the back and hips. And because of its stationary aspect, it doesn't involve much in the way of coordination. As a result, you won't find yourself lost in confusing dance moves, and it's much easier to focus on your form and get the most out of your workout.

Spinning is also suitable for various fitness levels because, although you're listening to an instructor, you can control your pace and resistance. The best part? No one will notice if you turn your resistance down a bit or reduce your pace, just as long as you get through the workout.

The Cons of Spinning

As with most any exercise, spinning does have some downsides. It doesn't work all of the leg muscles equally, so it's important to supplement your classes with other cross-training activities to prevent discrepancies in muscle groups. And because spinning can be rough on the joints and lower back, it's recommended that you take at least a day off between workouts, in order to give your body a rest.

The Costs of Spinning

Spinning costs can vary depending upon both location and facility. Most gyms offer free spin classes with memberships, whereas drop-in classes can vary from $10 to $25. Often, buying classes in bulk is your best bet; they generally average about $175 for a 10-session package.