Will Cycling Improve Your Game?

Here’s a question I recently received via e-mail from an athlete. I get asked this question quite a bit, so I thought I’d share it with you all.

Dear Allistair,

Thank you for your tips and inspiring posts. I have a question I hope you can answer. My coach has me doing cycling (indoors) as part of my fitness training. He has me doing intervals and hill climb programs. Is this helping my game?

Mark W.

Hi Mark,

Thanks for your question!
Well the answer is ‘a big ‘no’ and a little ‘yes’.

Let me start with the ‘No’: Unless you’re a cyclist or Triathlete, cycling isn’t going to directly help your game if you are in a sport where you are on your feet (moving). Sure It might improve your ‘fitness’ or aerobic capacity, but my view on cycling is that there are a lot better things to do to improve your movement and game skills. I would rather ‘save my legs’ and energy and focus on the needs that my sport demands.

You aren’t sitting when you’re moving in your sport, so why train that way?
You always need to keep asking yourself ‘WHY?’ – Why am I doing this? Is this making me better or just making me tired?

You get what you train for. If you train fast, you will get fast. if you train slow, you will be slow. If you bike a lot, then you’ll probably become a pretty good cyclist.

The ‘Yes’ – Where is cycling beneficial for the athlete/player?

A cool down on the bike after a practice or match to spin the legs and flush out some lactic is ideal. Also a ride on a regeneration day, where the athlete is ‘staying off their feet’ and doing some foam rolling, stretching etc..

Also, maybe the athlete has a lower limb injury, then I will have them on a bike to help maintain (to a degree) their fitness and aerobic level.

Hope this helps!

Best of luck,


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Will Cycling Improve Your Game? — 1 Comment

  1. Alister i wanted to know your thoughts on only doing any form of cardio for tennis players purely on the court whilst hitting balls? So basically not doing any long distance runs on a treadmill or track and no sprints anywhere other than on the court. Helping the mind, body connection interperite that the fitness training involved is directly linked to playing tennis. Also a great bonus is playing more quality tennis! Be great to hear back from you on this one