Cycling Knowledge Base

Training out of the Saddle

Does it help if you ride standing up for a while every now and then during cycling training?

What is the objective? To become generally fitter and to use as many muscle groups as possible? To complete a bike tour or to race a triathlon as fast as possible? For a triathlete, pedaling while standing makes little sense, as it would cause him to leave the most aerodynamically favorable position and increase his overall energy consumption. Even in the mountains, where aerodynamics are not very important, getting out of the saddle and pedaling means more required power. This can be easily observed with a self-test using a heart rate monitor. The heart rate increases by 2 to 3 beats per minute immediately after getting up because the whole system is put under more strain and more muscles are involved in the locomotion.

In road cycling, pedaling or getting up for a short time is mainly used in situations where the speed has to be increased for a short time (attacks on the mountain, acceleration out of the curve, sprinting). Therefore, specific forms (starts, fast intervals) can be integrated into the training program in winter. In hobby athletes, pedaling out of the saddle is mainly used to achieve short-term relief on the mountain, both muscularly and in terms of seating comfort. However, here too, pedaling out of the saddle is intended more as a temporary measure and not as an independent riding technique. The situation is different in spinning or indoor cycling courses, where the rider often rides standing up. Here, however, it is not a form of training specifically for cyclists, but a holistic fitness program and the involvement of as many muscle groups as possible.

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