3 Tips from Elli on how to increase your pedal speed, and do it right.
If you’ve ever done an indoor cycling class, you’ve probably experienced some calorie-crushing standing (or “out of the saddle”) sprint drills. Studio SWEAT onDemand Trainer Elli even calls standing sprints her “signature move” when she teaches a class. But what if you just can’t get your legs moving as fast as the trainer? Well, even Elli didn’t get there overnight, so she is sharing her top three tips to improve your speed and endurance.
Benefits of a Standing Sprint
While some may say standing sprints are just running without intention, we say that’s just not true. In fact, there are two great reasons to get up out of that saddle:
- When standing on your indoor bike, you’ll engage more muscle groups than when you’re seated.
- Standing sprints will yield a higher calorie burn than seated.
Tips for Getting up to Speed
Tip #1: Set a Reasonable Benchmark
A year ago, Elli was not in a place where she could pop up and fly like she does now. She was heavier (which does have an impact) and her endurance was not where it is now. It took time and consistency.
Elli says, “You might get to a max speed of 100 RPMs eventually, but not right away if you’re now only at 70 when you stand. So set incremental goals – even a 1-2 RPM increase. If you’ve got a weight loss goal, you can tie that to your speed goal too.”
Tip #2: Focus on the Mechanics
First of all, let’s remember to always ride with resistance.
- As you get started running out of the saddle, set your handlebar height higher. This will be easier than a lower tucked position.
- Keep a slight bend in your knees.
- Engage your glutes, hamstrings, quads, and core so that when you run, you have a full balanced body.
- Keep your hands light on the handlebars.
- Use your core, glutes, and legs to drive your heels down and pull up with each pedal stroke.
- As you get closer to your benchmark or goal speed, you can start lowering your handlebars for an extra challenge.
Tip #3: Manage Your Mind
If you ever watch Elli sprinting on her bike, you’ll nearly always see a huge smile on her face. This should be fun and not forceful. Elli loves to get into a driving, high-energy song. Tempo can drive you into a high-speed space. Don’t overthink it, just go with it and fly!
Remember that these goals are personal. It’s you versus you, and you’re the one that’s going to be pushing yourself one RPM at a time.
We hope these indoor cycling tips help you smash that next workout while having tons of fun doing it. And for lots of great cycling classes where we sprint in and out of the saddle, check out a Free Trial over on Studio SWEAT onDemand! Download the app, or if you happen to live in southern California, visit us in our San Diego studio.