Certified Spinning® Instructor & Personal Trainer
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If you have ever taken an indoor cycling class, then you know how fun they can be. Apart from all the other benefits, many people turn to indoor cycling to lose weight; this high-intensity class torches up to 600 calories in a single workout, but do you burn more calories when seated or standing on a spin
Is It Better to Cycle Standing or Sitting on a Stationary
Before we get into whether it is better to sit or stand while riding, we first should talk about what type of exercise
Curious if sitting or standing on a spin
Benefits of Cycling Standing Up Over Sitting
Cycling in any position will benefit your body, but if you are up for a challenge, you might want to ride out of the saddle on your next climb. Standing on your spin
Muscles Used When Cycling Standing Up vs. Sitting
All the same muscle groups are used when cycling in a standing or sitting position to some degree. However, the amount of recruitment required in either position is quite different. So let’s break down these muscle groups.
Spinning is a total body workout. However, the lower body does the vast majority of the work. The lower body generates the power to push down and pull up during each pedal stroke. Quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, calves, and shins create the power to fuel each pedal rotation.
Core & Stabilization
The core is vital in helping you stay upright when cycling in or out of the saddle as it assists with pedaling power. However, core activation heightens most when climbing out of the saddle. The abdominals and erector spinae muscles that make up the core are the stabilizer muscles used in cycling. These muscles are not the primary movers throughout the joint action but work to stabilize the movement through the range of motion.
You might not think that the upper body plays much of a role when spinning, but muscles such as the triceps, latissimus dorsi, and pecs are all activated on the
Which Position Requires More Muscle Activation
Does Cycling Standing Up Burn More Calories?
Standing while indoor cycling can potentially burn more calories than sitting when other factors are considered. However, the amount of calories someone burns during any activity depends on the number of muscles being activated, how much muscle mass that person has, and most importantly, the intensity level being exerted. For example, suppose you exert the same intensity level while climbing in a seated position as when you change to a standing climb. In that case, you will naturally burn more calories out of the saddle due to the increased muscle activation that helps to maintain this riding position.
The Proper Position for Indoor Cycling
When your bike has the proper setup, it allows for better muscle recruitment, and the proper riding position comes naturally. Let’s break down how the
Next, after pedaling to where your feet are parallel with the floor, we want you to check out the position of the knee in the front. Line this knee up with the ball of your foot as too far forward or back will increase knee pain. Handlebar height is a personal preference, but ensure that you can easily touch them in front of you while keeping your back straight. If you feel like you need to reach to touch the handlebars, you have a much higher chance of saddle soreness as it causes your shoulders to round and a different part of your anatomy to rest on your saddle. Instead, move your saddle one click forward and one click up to reach the handlebars easier while maintaining the proper knee position.
How to Position Your Feet When Cycling
To keep your feet in the correct position, focus on keeping the ball of your foot located on the pedal. Some indoor cycling bikes make finding the proper foot position easier than others with the help of toe straps, toe cages, and cleat accommodations. If you use toe straps or cages, ensure that your foot is gently secured on the pedal. If your foot can quickly move around, there is a higher probability of knee issues. Cleats automatically place your feet in the correct pedaling position and provide better output with each stroke.
How to Properly Pedal Your Spin
After securing your feet on the pedals, push through the ball of your foot during each pedal stroke. Your knees should remain in the same line as your feet and ankles. Some riders experience knee pain due to their knees riding to the outside of the stroke. Remember to keep your spine straight and drive your knees up on each pedal rotation. Naturally, our shoulders want to roll forward while spinning since many of us work at a desk, so remain mindful of opening your chest, moving your shoulders down and back away from your ears, and keeping your elbows bent.
Indoor cycling is supposed to be fun, so instead of focusing on only one riding position, change your training stimulus by altering your cadence and resistance to vary your intensity. Most importantly, have fun and continue to challenge your body as you become faster and stronger.