All content written by Duane Parker. So, you want to exercise, but you don’t want to suffer with sore muscles and joints? With a recumbent exercise bike, you can get the best of both worlds.
No matter how much of an exercise newbie you are, a recumbent exercise bike can give you a great workout – without all of the pain!
Some of the best recumbent bikes are :
But to understand how a recumbent exercise bike can help you, you have to know what it is and how it works:
A recumbent exercise bike does not look like the average bicycle. Instead of sitting up high with your legs underneath you, these bikes have pedals that are close to seat height – meaning that your legs are stretched out in front of you, instead of hanging underneath you. And, with a recumbent bike, you don’t have to worry about one of those narrow, banana-shaped seats. Instead, these bikes have a much wider seat that even has a back on it.
While it may look different from a traditional bike, a recumbent exercise bike still gives you a great workout. In fact, a one-hour session on it can burn 1,000 calories! And, just like other exercise bikes, a recumbent bike offers both cardio and strength training. Because it incorporates your legs, thighs, and gluteal muscles, it gives you the same workout as other, fancier machines – but without all of the discomfort.
So, now that you know how a recumbent exercise bike works, how does it keep you from being in pain?
– Because of the wider seat, recumbent exercise bikes are better for overweight riders. Since you don’t have to squeeze yourself onto a tiny seat, you don’t have to worry about having gluteal cramps or pain while you work out. And, you don’t have to deal with being “saddle sore” once you’re done. After all, those narrow seats on traditional exercise bikes will make your backside and inner thighs very sore. With a recumbent bike, you get to skip all of that!
– That wider seat isn’t just better for your backside, though. Because recumbent bike seats have a back to them, they offer valuable lower back support. And, because it’s a bucket seat, it automatically gives you good posture. Those are two very valuable assets for people who have back problems! In fact, people who find it too painful to do any other exercises have tremendous success with recumbent exercise bikes!
– But it’s not just the seat that helps out your back. Because a recumbent exercise bike puts your body into such a level position, you don’t have to worry about hunching over. With traditional, upright bikes, many riders tend to hunch over the handlebars – especially as they start to get winded. Unfortunately, though, that puts a lot of stress and strain on your back muscles. If you don’t have back problems already, you will with enough hunching!
– A recumbent bike offers a low-impact workout. Since your feet are on the same level as the rest of your body, it takes a lot of pressure off of them. Other exercise machines can’t say that. Running on a treadmill, for example, is tough on your knees, ankles, and feet. A stairmaster offers a great workout, but it’s also murder on your knees. Even a traditional, upright exercise bike can be a killer for your knees and back.
– Because it uses such fluid movements, a recumbent exercise bike is easy on your joints. Unlike other machines and free weights, you don’t have to worry about herky-jerky movements that put too much strain on your joints.
– A recumbent exercise bike offers balance. In fact, since your feet are level with the rest of your body, you can even incorporate an upper-body workout if you want to. With a recumbent exercise bike, you can easily use some free weights, without worrying about falling off! If you really want to get a full-body workout, you can look for a dual action recumbent exercise bike that has handles that work out your arms and shoulders while you pedal. Dual action recumbent bikes can be a little tougher to find, but they are out there!
– A recumbent bike comes with different programs and resistance levels, so exercise beginners don’t have to worry about “taking on too much, too fast”. With one of these bikes, you can start off slowly, and gradually work your way up to tougher programs and stronger resistance levels. That way, beginners don’t feel overwhelmed and advanced riders can still get a challenging workout!
– Recumbent exercise bikes offer you the chance to put “mind over matter”. Recumbent exercise bikes put you in a position that makes it easy to watch TV or read a book while you’re working out. That way, you’re likely to work out longer because you’re distracted. And, some recumbent exercise bikes even offer screens with videos taken on actual recumbent bike rides. If you want to let your mind wander during your workout, you can use the video to imagine that you’re traveling through a wooded trail, instead of just sitting on a stationary bike in your living room or at the gym.
Aside from keeping pain away, there’s another big reason to be as comfortable as you can be during your workout. The more comfortable you are while you’re exercising, the more likely you will be to keep it up! After all, if your daily trip to the gym leaves you feeling sore, you’re not going to do it for very long. Let’s face it – no one is going to look forward to a workout that leaves them sore for days on end. With a recumbent exercise bike, you don’t have to worry about it!