Updated: Aug 17
Recumbent bikes have received some unneeded flack over the years, but they’re actually a great tool for those looking to receive a great workout. Unlike stationary bikes, recumbent bikes allow the user to workout from a reclined position, meaning they receive full back support while pedaling in front of their bodies. This means a much more comfortable workout for those looking to cycle for longer than they may be able to on a traditional exercise bike due to the reduced tension on the upper body and more time spent working out until muscle fatigue.
People who are interested in a recumbent bike can find it to be an amazing workout; however, many are probably wondering what the benefits are, how to get started and what their first workout can be. Luckily, Fitscope is here to help. Read on to learn all the answers to these questions and get started today.
Low Impact – Because the user reclines throughout the entire workout, there is even less pressure on the joints than a stationary bike, which makes it perfect for those with pre-existing conditions or the recently injured. In fact, many doctors traditionally recommend the recumbent bike strictly because it puts no weight on the body. However, this doesn’t mean exercisers aren’t receiving a great workout that torches fat!
Cardio – The benefits of cardio are numerous, and recumbent bike users receive all of them, including fat loss. Why does cardio burn fat? Because it works through the body’s glycogen and fat stores to give users the energy they need to complete the workout. Cardio exercise also works the circulation and oxygen systems, meaning that those who practice it are less likely to suffer from circulatory issues and strengthen their heart as well as an increase in their oxygen intake during their everyday lives (meaning they can also workout longer and harder without losing their breath). Finally, cardio devotees improve both their recovery time and ability, meaning they recover faster and more thoroughly.
Strength Training – Recumbent bikes provide an excellent strength-training workout for the lower body and even the core. Because it helps exercisers build muscle, they’ll become stronger and stay fit for a longer amount of time. Strength training also helps build bone density via increasing the neutrinos that keep bones strong, meaning it can help prevent bone fractures, osteoarthritis, muscle spasms and osteoporosis. Strength training isn’t limited to physical benefits either. It also improves brain power, memory, response time, quality of sleep and overall mental state. Everyone wants and needs these benefits, but it can be difficult—if not impossible—for some to achieve using traditional weight lifting methods. Luckily cardio machines like the recumbent bike are more than capable of it and facilitate users getting the body of their dreams.
HIIT Workout – HIIT is a method of working out where exercisers complete sprints followed by a recovery period, usually a 1:4 ratio (so for every 30 seconds of sprinting, the user will follow it up with a 2 minute recovery period). HIIT workouts allow users to burn more calories, increase their oxygen uptake and perceive less exertion while still receiving an intense workout that’s been shown to burn up to 6-15% more calories after completing a workout versus regular exercise as well as burning more calories during the workout (read more about the benefits of HIIT workouts here). Luckily, HIIT workouts can be completed on a recumbent bike being they’re intensity based, so users can burn much more calories than they would completing a steady-paced workout.
Safety – Not only are recumbent bikes more comfortable, they are also safer than stationary bikes due to the reclining position. While users can’t stand on the pedals to intensify their workouts like on a stationary bike, they also can’t fall off the bike and get injured being they’re reclining. To intensify the workout, users simply need to increase their resistance or speed.
The first thing people discover when looking at a recumbent bike is how different it looks than a stationary bike. Not only are they sitting down, but the pedals are in front of them versus being under the seat. Users should learn how to position themselves on the bike as well as how to use it by completing the following:
Adjust the Seat – The seat contains a full back support and is slid forwards or backwards to adjust for the legs. Users should have a slight bend to the knee when the legs are fully extended. This also ensures the exerciser uses correct posture throughout the workout.
Use Correct Posture – Due to the seat, it can be tempting for many people to slump over when workout out. It’s important to remember to keep the back straight throughout the entire workout to burn the most calories (and engage the core muscles).
Adjust the Resistance Level – Resistance levels depend on the bike, but many usually go between 1-20, with one being no resistance and 10 being the most. Most beginners will likely want to start out around an 8, while experienced exercisers may choose to go more intense. The important thing for users to remember is that the resistance level must be set at their fitness level to prevent injury.
Ready to jump on the recumbent bike? Try this 30 minute workout to get started:
5 Minutes – Warm Up at resistance level 8, 90 Rotations Per Minute (RPM)
30 seconds – Sprint at resistance level 15, 80 RPM
2 minutes – Cool down at resistance level 5, 50 RPM
Complete the last two steps 3 more times
5 Minutes – Cool Down
Recumbent bikes provide an excellent workout for those looking to have a strength and cardio routine rolled into one. Want to vary your workouts? Fitscope offers a variety of HIIT, treadmill, elliptical, yoga and many more exercise videos for those who want to get the best workout possible. Push your body to the next level and get the body of your dreams with Fitscope! Click here to learn more and receive a free one-week trial.