Magic Coaching Minute: Standing for Beginners

One of our goals for 2018 here at ICA is to produce new training videos for instructors. That will take a little time to film and produce, so in the meantime, I will be reposting some of our best Magic Coaching Minute videos with Tom Scotto.

Here is a quick tip to help those in our classes who are either new or deconditioned and have difficulty standing. Some fear it is purely a matter of strength and give up before they begin. The truth is that balance plays the major role.


  1. Is there somewhere I can find information on how to cue what to do while standing? How to check-in with form? How to engage the legs? Where to focus body weight (e.g., how to drop body weight into the pedals)?

    1. Author

      Hi Tracy,
      this is a great question. We’ve covered it on ICA in the past over various articles, but I think I will put this on my list to do another video soon. I’ll go into more depth on coaching standing. In the meantime, here is an audio recording of a discussion on coaching standing from the archives.

      And here is another one on standing technique that might help.

  2. Thank you. I have been getting lots of beginners lately, and also those who are coming back after a long break.

    1. .. AND I had exact same scenario in my class tonight!! This method worked like a charm!! THANK YOU!

  3. Love this…
    Makes so much sense.

  4. can I share this video? would love to pass it to a few of my students but can’t figure out how to get the link. please help 🙂

    1. Author

      Hi Gal, glad you like it! It’s a member video so it’s behind a paywall. If you wanted to bring it up on your phone while you’re with your students, that’s fine, but it’s not a sharable link.

      HOWEVER…I have a better idea… You can demonstrate this to your students directly. It will have an even bigger impact when you show them. Have them try it out, and you can guide them and give them suggestions. Then take off the resistance and have them try it while pedaling at an easy to manage cadence (60 to 70 rpm), then gradually increase the cadence. Assure them that standing for longer periods (over about 20 seconds) will take some time to get the hang of it, but there is nothing wrong with that.

      Let me know how it works!

      1. Thanks Jennifer!! I’ll test it out today and report back!

  5. Perfect and simple explanation! Thank you!

  6. Great information. Thank you!

  7. Wonderful tip! When I see improper form I use all sorts of cues “weight over your pedals”, “do not lean on the handlebars”, “you should feel the saddle hitting your legs or maybe your rear”, and I still have people either standing up too straight or with too much weight on the bars. NOW I am going to have the entire class do this before we get started. Thank you ICA!

  8. Thank you Tom…well said and well done!

  9. So simple…so effective! Thanks, Tom!

  10. Thanks Tom, this simple tip will work wonders! Follow up: Would you cue this pre-ride balance tip differently for the “2nd” standing position in the Spinning manual? (as opposed to the “3rd” position climb). Some of the new riders, despite my best efforts, tend either to (a) dump their weight into the handlebars, or (b)stand too erect and do the “fingertips” thing with their hands. Just curious if there is a similar simple balance and posture exercise I could show them before class?

  11. Thank you, I teach two beginner classes and am always seeing people struggling to stand. While I am struggling to show them an easy way to stay up. This is invaluable!

  12. ahhh, i was waiting for your fun closing clip thinking…no clip of humor? thank you, you didn’t disappoint and left me with a chuckle.

  13. As always very well done! It’s still that time of year when we have more newcomers in class, and we want them to keep coming to class, so this is timely topic. Thank you!

  14. Thank you! That whole staying in the saddle for weeks that Spinning exhorts is just not practical in real life. And when beginners have legs that aren’t strong enough to help stay light enough in the saddle to keep the perineal area from hurting, and they aren’t sure yet that they want to invest in cycling shorts…this is practical, workable, safe advice.

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