One of the biggest myths in mountain biking is that seated pedaling is better than standing pedaling. This advice is usually given in the form of “sit down as much as you can and only stand up when you have to”.
There are a lot of reasons given for this advice from not tiring yourself out too fast to the inability to achieve a high RPM spin but it is all crap. The truth is that seated pedaling isn’t better, it is just easier than standing pedaling. And when did taking the easy way out really pay off…
With the right approach you can train yourself to feel much stronger and more stable when standing. This will allow you to jump up out of the saddle and lay down power at will without wearing yourself out.
The single leg squat is one of the best exercises for improving the core and leg strength you need to turn standing pedaling into a strength on the trail. However, it is also tough to jump right into them.
At my facility I developed a simple exercise progression that helped riders safely and effectively improve single leg squat strength and, as a result, their standing pedaling strength. Check out this video sharing this progression so you can put it to use in your own program.
If standing pedaling is a weakness then don’t let it hold you back on the trail. Attack it with exercises like the single leg squat and watch as the trail takes on a whole new dimension of speed and fun.