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Thread: Standing flat, why?

  1. Default Standing flat, why?

    Just a question here about one of the core movements in the spinning program, the standing flat. I don't do this movement myself but i've seen that it's included in some of the profiles posted here. When seeing this movement performed in classes almost every single person is doing it with bad form with little or no resistance and poor control of the bike. I know that resistance is needed and so on but the question is why we are using this position? If you need a saddlebreak outside on a flat road you wanna use the most efficient position on the bike which would be standing up with a proper gear and in a position with hands somewhere around what we call position 3 right?

    So please let me know what you think here. Are you doing the standing flats and what is the purpose and goal with that type of training?

  2. #2


    I don't cue it as a standing flat, but rather I call it a small roller on flat (like when you're riding along a flat rode and a little hill pops up so you have to add a little resistance to get out of the saddle). I don't really stand up on flats on the road so I don't coach it in class.

    This thread has a good discussion on the topic;

    our name choice reminds me of an episode of Arrested Development

  3. #3


    Standing flat does help elevate te heart rate a bit more than one would think. I suggest you try a seated flat, check your HR, then do a standing flat with a touch more gear on to sustain your body weight. Make sure you do not bounce, keep the movement in the muscles of the legs. Really over-do the leg control, balanced and directly into the legs... Then check your heart rate again. It should go up.
    On my road bike, I do standing flats when I am on a really long ride over 40+ miles, to relieve cramping in my back, and soreness in my sit bones. It is essential to riding in a relief aspect.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2007
    New Jersey


    Another important thing to remember is that, while road cycling provides the inspiration and foundation for SpinningⓇ, it is a group fitness class. Standing flats are inspired by taking a saddle break, but also work slightly different muscles that a standing climb. This makes the fitness program slightly more robust than if there were no standing flat, but maybe that is a rationalization on my part.
    Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Somewhere in the US


    I'm with SpinBob on this one.
    I don't do them often but use them in the same way - raise HR, saddle break.
    Cycle Happy!
    Cycle Instructor Emeritus
    Star 3 Spinning Instructor
    Schwinn Certified Cycle Instructor
    AFAA Primary Certification

  6. #6
    Spin_me Guest


    Bob +1
    Some more details from my Spinning point of view!
    The Main Problem is not enough resistance not matter whether you go flat or uphill. High cadence(80-110) see less resistance much better than cycling uphill, but the problem is not only a "Standing Flat Problem"
    Standing Flat means higher Heartrate than Seated Flat, but it also means "..cycle effectively and focus even more on your movement and your breathing..." I take my sattlebreaks outside in a completely different way and there´s nothing looks like Standing Flat, but there´s no reason to compare outdoor cycling and group fitness.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Golden, Colorado


    I suspect that what the OP is describing with a *standing flat* is that ram-rod tall *Meerkaat Manor* position with the *wet nail polish" hand position. That's not to be found in the SPINNING instructor's manual. That's a Barnum & Bailey move.

    Although I'll suggest anyone take a saddlebreak if they need it, I don't have *standing flat* in my profiles as such. Seeing as a break from the saddle pretty much demands a resistance increase to counteract bodyweight, I'll cue a RWR and demo what it is and what it isn't (see above) ..... but that weird biomechanically unsound position seems to have become so common, I just pretend it doesn't exist.

    I think it's terminology that's the problem. Just the mention of "standing" suggests, well.......standing, in the same way that SPINNING suggests spinning (like a top as opposed to a cyclist!)


  8. #8
    Spin_me Guest


    Good to use google... and thanks to Jennifer explaining in 2011 what you want to say Vivienne.
    Sometimes i think i´m wrong here as a non English speaking Man.
    Same Link as above
    Last edited by Spin_me; 04-26-2013 at 06:53 AM. Reason: using a wrong adjective

  9. Default

    Similar to above.... I don't tend to cue the term "standing flat", but I often include some "lighter" standing efforts with more moderate resistance, lighter pedal stroke, perhaps a bit higher cadence than a typical standing "climb", but never as fast as a true all out fast flat effort. I often cue these as a "jog" or a "light/moderate climb". I incorporate them sometimes during the ride warm-up as a way to warm-up/prep those climbing muscles, and sometimes during lighter/recovery segments to provide a position break when the ride includes longer hard seated efforts (which mind often do).
    Inner Drive Cycling|Fitness Studio
    Indoor Cycling|Functional Fitness|Multisport Coaching & Club

  10. Default

    What Bob said. As usual.

    I frequently tell my classes that we shouldn't do anything on a Spinner that we wouldn't do on an outdoor bike. That means when we're doing a standing flat (which I almost NEVER do) or a run with resistance (which I regularly do and call it such) I cue them to have the bend in their hip, and not stand straight up. This was a big change for a lot of my regulars, who transitioned from another instructor who had them "stand up straight as though there were a string from the top of their head to the ceiling." <cringe.>

    I incorporate them because people like the break from the saddle. Most of the people in my classes are NOT outdoor cyclists, and this is a group fitness class. While I don't want to coach unsafe practices, I do want to keep them engaged and having fun while working hard so this is one move that I'll continue doing.

    I think the standing flat with light resistance encourages people to maintain a cadence that is too fast and puts too much wear on the knee joint, so that's why I lean towards the RWR. I talk about this A LOT in my classes, because I think I'm the exception at my facility and I worry about injuries...I'd rather they learn the right way from me, and then modify in another instructor's class (if they pay attention to me, anyway.)
    STAR3 Certified Spinning Instructor

  11. #11


    Glad to find all the ideas on this thread. I find for a "standing flat" I have them add moderate resistance, as that can still be used on a flat road, cue 80-90 RPM, and slight hinge at the hip. The goal of the movement is to give people a break from the saddle and provide variation.


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