Proper Hip Angle When Standing

Proper Hip Angle When Standing

While teaching yesterday, I noticed a student standing up tall with her hands perched on the handlebars when on a climb. She was new to my class and sitting in the back.

The class was seven sets of hill repeats. We were out of the saddle on each repeat for anywhere from 1 to 2 minutes. The first time I saw her stand up tall, her fingertips were perched on the handlebars. Uh oh, I thought, she’s been the victim of a bad instructor who taught that “drying the nail polish” move . . .

So I said into the mic, not directed right at her, but to everyone, “Make sure your hands are on the sides of the handlebars, either on the bar ends or near them. Also make sure your hands are well connected to the bars, not perched on fingertips.”

She moved her hands to the sides. Good, she listened.


  1. I look forward to Jennifer’s info. I encounter every issue she speaks about and enjoy her coaching prompts. Question. I had a woman tell me she had a great instructor at her club in NYC who evaluated her performance by taking the temperature of her bike. That made him a great instructor! Can anyone explain???

  2. I’ve never been a fan of RWR – it feels like a chance to lose control of the legs, to slip, to hurt the knees. I’ve taught it about 5 times, ever!
    I need to find a poster of Mark Graffagnini or similar on a long climb to show the optimal position, and if it shows how he’s relaxed into the ride and the motion of the climb, even better! Thanks!

  3. Great Explanation! Thanks Boss !

  4. The finger tip riders also tend to bounce up and down in standing (the prancing pony) and are unable to sweep the pedals from 3 o’clock back to 9 o’clock. The manicure mashers are concentrating their forces between 12 o’clock to 6 o’clock.

    Look for the tell tale Bouncy McBoing-Boing climber and give them the hip correction. I always tell them that they will be much more powerful in the correct position (and the won’t look as kooky).

    Great info as always Jennifer!!!

  5. Loved the way you explained all of that, Jennifer! Being in the room with you while you are teaching is such a surreal experience, for the way that you speak is so calm, educated and direct. Those students that get to ride from you regularly are rather lucky as they can keep soaking in the words and become better and better! 🙂

  6. Welcome to the group of instructors here that want to continually learn and challenge themselves to be better and done so here. A real treat will be to attend a riding session with jennifer and “be sure to pinch yourself that yes, it is really happening”. You’ll learn so much and by all means be a conduit and pass along ICA and it’s fabulous value to other instructors and GX directors.

  7. Sometimes, I feel like you are reading my mind! BIG FAT THANK YOU for this post!
    I am a beginning instructor and I cannot express how much I’ve learnt from you.

    Warm regards,

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