Last Updated on July 14, 2021 by JP
There are many benefits of a recumbent bike. The benefits are not as obvious as an upright bike or treadmill.
A recumbent bike is a reclining bike. It can be used for fitness or even recreation. Yes, much like the upright bike there are reclining bikes that you can ride indoors or outdoors.
This article focuses on the exercise and health benefits of the recumbent bike.
Recumbent Bicycle Benefits
Fitness Advantages of a Recumbent Exercise Bike
Recumbent bikes are a good workout. You can adjust it to your level of fitness and resistance. You can set the incline to either uphill or downhill.
Adjusting to a more (or less) intense setting ensures a more sustainable workout. Some might be more comfortable with a more intense workout. While others might need to start easier.
Remember to listen to your body. If you are exercising for the first time, ease into it. Go slow and build up your stamina to avoid strain or injury.
Building Muscles and Toning
A recumbent bike benefits the muscles in the legs and tones them. Recumbent bikes work your glutes, calf, hamstrings, shins, and quads. Your legs might feel like jelly after, but they’ll be stronger in the long run.
This reclining bike makes it easier to cycle longer. There is less pressure on the ankles and knees since the pedals are in front of the body.
To use a recumbent bike to work your abs as well, you will need to move your seat closer to the pedals. This will engage your lower abdominals. You can also pull your navel to your spine to further strengthen your core muscles.
Weight Loss and Calories Burned
That is not to say you can’t lose weight with the reclining bike. You can, but it will be tougher than other cardio exercises.
You will lose some weight in the beginning. But for it to be consistent you will constantly need to increase your workout intensity.
This will increase your metabolism and burn more calories. This is why it’s recommended to use both bikes if you can.
Recumbent Bicycle Health Benefits
A recumbent bike provides cardio benefits to the rider. Much like the upright bike or treadmill, this bike is intended for cardio.
A recumbent bike tones the legs, builds muscle and strengthens the heart and lungs.
Regular cardio exercise has been proven to:
- Increase lung and heart function.
- Lower heart and lung disease.
- Lower high blood pressure.
- Lower stress levels.
- Improve mood.
- Lower depression.
Low Impact and Range of Motion
Recumbent bicycles are easier on the joints which makes it a low-impact exercise.
It provides a safe way to ease into exercise during healing. The risk of pain is reduced, allowing you to focus on recovery.
It also improves the range of motion in the hips. It increases elasticity and flexibility by improving circulation. This is why it’s a popular cardio exercise for the elderly.
Many people with back issues can’t tolerate the treadmill or even the upright bike.
A recumbent bike is good for sciatica, stenosis, and even rheumatoid arthritis. The reclining position of the bike makes it easier on the lumbar spine (lower spine).
If you can’t get on and off an upright bike without pain, this would be a good alternative.
Comfort and Safety
One of the main points of this bike is its comfort. The seat is bigger than an upright bike, which distributes the weight evenly. The backrest lessens strain on the lower back and offers support.
Stability and balance is another great reason to use this bicycle. This is especially important for those with mobility and balance problems. It provides a safe way to exercise and strengthen the legs.
There is less risk of falling and injuring yourself.
While the recumbent bike has more obvious benefits for some people, almost anyone can get a good workout from it with the right adjustments.
It provides a good cardio workout while toning and strengthening the legs.
The required intensity of your workout depends on your fitness level and health. You can adjust the bike to your needs.
Do you need to start slow and build your stamina? Perfect.
Already have good stamina? That’s great too. Simply adjust the incline to your preference.
So, who would benefit the most from this bike?
- The elderly
- Those with disabilities (especially mobility and balance issues)
- Those who have had a recent injury or surgery
- Those with any type of back pain (such as sciatica)
If you have had a recent injury or surgery, please consult your doctor before any exercise.
Pre-existing medical conditions should also be discussed before starting an exercise program.