I grew up watching superheroes, heroes that could jump into the sky and move incredible distances. It made me desire that kind of power but I had to be realistic. Moving on from fictional superheroes to real heroes was the main transition that I needed. If you take a look at the cycling heroes, then you will notice that they excel in terms of athleticism. Mixing cycling with other types of exercises improves their health and ability to jump higher.
So, let me answer this question for you: Yes! Cycling does improve your vertical jumps. Although this is a statement that will vary from person to person, I am here to guide you to the right path!
Does Cycling Actually Improve Our Vertical Leap?
Cycling is the ultimate kind of sport that improves our overall endurance and fitness, and it can also improve our vertical jumps, but you have to be cycling the correct way. This seems a little bit vague, doesn’t it? How do you cycle the correct way? Today, I will be discussing this statement and also introducing different exercises that we can use to become stronger and leap higher than usual.
Following the right technique, cycling can not only improve our endurance but also our overall fitness. Cycling strengthens our lower body, it targets the muscles which are used for jumping. With enough focus, cycling enhances our power and also develops coordination with balance which are the primary parts of a successful jump.
Here is how cycling enhances our overall strength which allows us to be better athletes.
1. It Improves Leg Strength
Cycling primarily engages your leg muscles – quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves. These muscles play a pivotal role in powering your vertical jump. When you’re pedaling uphill or pushing against resistance, your legs get a serious workout. This consistent leg strength development lays a strong foundation for explosive movements like jumping.
MDPI conducted interesting research which shows that leg strength foundation has a lot to do with cycling which further leads to powerful vertical jumps.
2. Cycling Enables Better Cardiovascular Endurance
Long rides on your trusty bike build cardiovascular endurance, increasing your stamina and lung capacity. A well-conditioned cardiovascular system ensures that your muscles receive an optimal oxygen supply during intense activities like jumping. This means you can sustain those high-intensity moves longer and jump higher.
3. It Improves The Overall Muscle Coordination
Cycling requires precise coordination between your legs, core, and upper body. Maintaining balance on the bike and smoothly pedaling involves activating various muscle groups simultaneously. This improved coordination leads to better body control when you’re trying to soar into the air like Superman.
4. It Is A Form Of Low-Impact Training
You might be used to high-impact exercises but cycling is a low-impact exercise and it benefits in many ways. It’s gentle on your joints while still building strength and endurance. This is particularly beneficial for those who need to protect their joints while preparing for vertical jumps, as it reduces the risk of injuries that could hinder your progress.
5. It Enables Mental Toughness
Endurance cycling, especially on challenging terrains, can test your mental toughness. Pushing through fatigue and climbing those never-ending hills can boost your mental resilience. When it comes to achieving higher jumps, having the mental fortitude to push through barriers and doubts is crucial.
6. It Offers Cross-Training Advantages
Cycling can complement your other training routines. It provides a break from the monotony of traditional jump training exercises and keeps your body engaged in a different way. This cross-training approach can prevent burnout and overuse injuries while maintaining your overall fitness.
7. It Serves As Active Recovery
After a straining jump training session, hopping on your bike for a leisurely ride can serve as an active recovery technique. It helps flush out metabolic waste products from your muscles and reduces soreness, allowing you to bounce back quicker for your next jump session.
You need to understand that cycling will not make you a Tour De France Champion Or Jumper in one single day, you will need to be very consistent with your training. With enough focus, you will be able to build leg strength, endurance, and coordination.
How To Improve Your Jumps With Cycling Prowess
The main reason that you guys are here is that you want to improve your vertical jumps, you can definitely do that with cycling but there’s a catch. As I mentioned before, without the proper form and the right way of cycling, you won’t be able to improvise your techniques. In order to get started, you must first understand how cycling actually helps us in improving our vertical jumps.
You must have noticed by now that your body relies on more than one energy system to be athletic, you cannot rely on one body part. According to a study conducted by the National Liberty Of Medicine, by combining cycling and plyometrics vertical jump performance is greatly increased.
Let me ask you this question: How long can you cycle right now? If it is a long ride, how often do you get tired? Answering these questions will allow you to reflect back on your health. The short answer to this question is that cyclists will need an oxygen-dependent energy system for longer rides. You could complete a 100-meter sprint on your bike while holding your breath but maintaining a consistent pace over a multi-mile ride might be a bit difficult comparatively.
Adenosine Triphosphate is the best kind of energy for vertical jumps.
You will need anaerobic energy for vertical jumps, but understanding it is a bit difficult. Still, let me make things easy for you. Do you remember your science class from school? If not then you might certainly remember the PT class. ATP or Adenosine Triphosphate gives instant energy to your muscles, and with that kind of energy you are able to do jumps.
Since it is an immediate form of energy, our bodies are unable to solve it for a longer duration which is why it is best suited for short-durations. All of this makes ATP the perfect type of energy for vertical jumps.
If you really want to improve your vertical jumps, you must work on your sprints, but intelligently! When it comes to cycling, sprinting is an all-out effort that you can perform regularly. You can either sprint for a short duration or a short distance, whatever works out for you. Make small adjustments to your weekly routines, you can add 1-2 sprints weekly!
In the case of being a beginner, I would suggest that you start really slow, and don’t make things hard for yourself from the start. Add 1-2 sprints in each cycling session until you are able to do 8-10, this will increase your jumping power.
My Honest Advice
At the start of this article, I told you to add more sprints to your cycling sessions but there is a better approach. For a moment, I want you to forget about adding more and more sprints, this will only frustrate you. When I started working on my jumps through cycling, I would add more time to my cycling sessions, and sometimes I even added a little more distance.
If you are aiming for sprints, which you are, I want you to add more time and distance to it. Don’t go for long-distance or duration sprints, you will need much more oxygen for that which is what we are trying to avoid here.
What Are The Other Exercises For Powerful Jumps?
Relying on cycling for better and more powerful jumps is not recommended, and this is what we discussed at the beginning of this article. No matter what kind of cycling discipline you have adapted, you must bring other exercises into the fray to be the best version of yourself.
I tried these exercises myself and have also heard a lot about them from my colleagues and the community. Hopefully, these exercises will be able to help you out as they helped me!
|Squats||Lift weights from a squatting position.||Strengthens quadriceps, glutes, and calf muscles, which are essential for powerful jumps.|
|Box Jumps||Jump onto and off of a sturdy box or platform.||Enhances explosive power, agility, and vertical leap.|
|Bulgarian Split Squats||A single-leg squat with one foot on an elevated surface.||Builds leg strength and balance, helping with vertical jump and stability.|
|Deadlifts||Lift weights from the ground while standing.||Develops lower back, hamstrings, and glute strength, improving jump performance.|
|Lunges||Step forward and lower the body into a lunge position.||Strengthens leg muscles and improves balance and stability.|
|Calf Raises||Rise up on your toes using calf muscles.||Focuses on calf strength, crucial for explosive jumps.|
|Plyometric Exercises||Examples include squat jumps, tuck jumps, and depth jumps.||Improves reactive power and overall explosiveness, benefiting jump height.|
|Leg Press||Use a machine to push weights with your legs.||Targets quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes, enhancing jumping capability.|
|Step-ups||Step up onto a platform or bench repeatedly.||Develops leg muscles and power for better vertical jumps.|
With the exercises that I have mentioned above, you will soon see a lot of positive changes and benefits to your body.
- Increased Explosive Power
- Improved Leg Strength
- Enhanced Balance and Stability
- Greater Jump Height
Watch: 10 Min Vertical Jump Workout
Watch this insightful video and learn some powerful exercises to improve your vertical jumps.
What Does The Cycling Community Have To Say About This?
Your fellow cyclists and the community are always there to help you out. Here is what they have to say about cycling and vertical jumps.
You wont decrease your athletic performance abilities by cycling more. A handful of track sprinters, sure, maybe. Exercise will make you perform better. (LeProVelo Via Reddit)
Prolonged, stained power requires well developed slow twitch fibers. Explosive sprinting power use fast twitch muscle fibers. These are the same fibers used in jumping. The amount of each type of fibers you have is genetically determined. You need to develop each separately to maximize your performance. Developing one type of fiber is not detrimental to the development of the other. However, cycling probably isn’t the best way to increase vertical height as it doesn’t properly develop the calf muscles. (PlanetElephant Via Reddit)
BMXER here. We tend to do stuff on bike sthat imrpove our explosive power. I fyou want to get good at jumping on foot, well BMX or TRIALS bikes are probably the two best cycling diciplines for that sort of strength. (Deleted Via Reddit)
I played in college and had a really good vertical. I grew up road cycling and mountain biking so when I finished playing in college I got back on the bike. I also skateboarded a lot and that kept my vertical pretty good. I was able to dunk on people for about ~10 more years. In the last 10 years I’ve rarely skated but ride my bike 6-15 hours a week and play ball a couple times per week and my vertical sucks.
Cycling is such a static workout that, from a strength perspective, it really doesn’t translate to much else. it’s a fantastic cardio workout though. (Lazerdab Via Reddit)
Yes, be active… ride bikes if you want… But to really make significant improvement in your vertical jump you will need to practice jumping, improve strength beyond what is done on a bike (weights are better) and probably work with coaches who can help you with technique. (TheSensation19 Via Reddit)
Question: How Long Do I Have To Sprint To Improve My Jumps?
Try to sprint 1-2 times before you can sprint 5-8 times in a week. Doing so will give you the explosive power to improve your jumps.
Question: Does Cardio Increases Vertical Jumps?
Intensive cardio runs can improve and enhance your vertical jumps.
Question: What Muscles Make You Jump Higher?
Your lower body muscles such as calves, quads, hamstrings, and glutes make you jump higher. In order to improve your jumps, just train these muscles on a regular basis.
Question: Does Jogging Increases Vertical Jumps?
Jogging has nothing to do with vertical jumps. Your run time or the intensity of the run doesn’t correlate with vertical jump efficiency.
Question: Do I Need To Have Long Legs For Better Jumps?
As compared to people with longer limbs, people with shorter limbs have to generate more resistance for better jumps.
Cycling can definitely improve your vertical jumps but it isn’t the only way, you should aim for flexible and different workouts. Through the course of this article, we discussed how cycling actually helps us in getting stronger. Cycling can improve your cardiovascular endurance, leg muscles, and stamina, but it may not directly translate to significant gains in your vertical jump. To maximize your jumping ability, it’s crucial to incorporate a variety of exercises and techniques that specifically target the explosive power and quick muscle contractions required for jumping.
We also discussed what the cycling stars and the overall community have to say about cycling and vertical jumps. Hopefully, you will have learned the significance of cross-cycling exercises now. What kind of exercises will you be aiming for? Let us know and happy cycling!
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