Standing up and stomping on the pedals can give you a feeling of power and mastery. But most of the time, it’s dumb.
Seated climbing is more efficient over longer climbs. You use more muscles when you’re out of the saddle, which raises your heart rate by eight percent – and keeping your heart rate lower is important on longer climbs. Standing requires more energy because you work your legs, arms and back, and you use 12 percent more oxygen and energy.
A long climb is a 1.5km or more, and making the decision to sit or stand depends on the steepness.
Here are five techniques to get to the top stronger and faster:
3. Relax Those Hands
- Put your hands on the hoods or the bar top, so you can drop your elbows and relax your upper body.
- Don’t climb in the drops – hunching down pinches off the lower part of the lungs and restricts the diaphragm. To stay relaxed, climb with your hands on the brake hoods.
- If you prefer riding with your hands on the top, rest your thumbs on the top of the bar to avoid squeezing and tensing up.
- To keep your grip loose, grab the bar with your fingers spread out, then put your weight on the bar and wrap your fingers around loosely.