Published on 12/23/2020, Updated on 08/11/2021
There are many options out there when it comes to cardio equipment, and more specifically, low-impact joint-friendly options. Cycle bikes are trendy in the home fitness revolution but are not the right option for everyone.
Recumbent bikes remain a popular choice for fitness enthusiasts looking for an even more joint-friendly cycle bike workout for those who prefer seated exercise due to their comfortable cushioned seat and backrest. In addition, recumbent bikes offer extra support benefits for an effective cardiovascular workout and are fantastic for safely challenging users of all fitness levels.
In this article, learn everything you need to know about recumbent exercise bikes, their effective cardio benefits, and how to make the most of your recumbent bike workouts.
What Is a Recumbent Bike?
Recumbent bikes are similar to upright and cycle bikes because you pedal with your legs; however, what makes recumbent bikes unique is their large cushioned seat and backrest, which allow you to sit in a more comfortable, reclined position.
The reclined position takes the work off your upper body effectively, making it an excellent choice for those who need back support or have trouble holding their upper body upright for extended periods. If you're new to working out, recumbent bikes are great for getting started.
However, just like any cardio equipment, you can tailor the intensity and difficulty of your workout by increasing the resistance, and speed, or adding in some bodyweight exercises in between intervals, making them an excellent option for any user from beginner to advanced.
Recumbent Bike Benefits
There are many benefits to exercising with a recumbent bike. Overall, recumbent bikes are an excellent option for increasing cardiovascular fitness, lower body strength, mobility, and blood flow. Check out the benefits of a recumbent bike and learn why its effects are so popular.
- Back Rest - full back support during exercise for anyone with a history of back pain.
- Low Impact Workout - cycling provides less stress on the joints
- Larger Seat - great for stability & comfort to fully support you
- Reclined Position - easier on your back & hips
- Adjustable Resistance - quickly and easily adjust the intensity to match your fitness level
- Lower body & core strength - cycling will increase lower body strength. The muscles that make up the quads, hamstrings, glutes, and core all work synergistically.
- Upper body strength- utilizing resistance bands or a recumbent bike with arm exercisers will recruit muscles in your back, shoulders, chest, and arms to make this a full-body workout.
- Indoors - no need to worry about crazy weather conditions!
Make The Most from Proper Recumbent Bike Form
When it comes to making the most of your recumbent exercise bike workouts, your form is going to be important not only for your safety while exercising but also for the effectiveness of your workouts.
Proper form will ensure you're engaging the right muscles while minimizing your risk for injury, ensuring the longevity and success of your fitness routine. To ensure your legs are in the optimal position for cycling, ensure you're seated back on your seat.
Next, the ball of your foot should be right in the middle of your pedal, as this will put your foot in a stronger position to generate power with each pedal stroke and protect the weaker middle section of your foot from injury.
Finally, to determine seat position, position your knee slightly bent as you pedal when your leg is in full extension. Setting your seat to the proper position will optimize your cadence, which will drastically increase your recumbent bike workout's effectiveness.
Once on your recumbent bike, what's most important is emphasizing good posture. Just because you have a comfortable seat doesn't mean it's okay or correct to slouch during exercise.
Instead, engaging your core and practicing upright posture with a proud chest and shoulders down and back will ensure you're doing your part to protect your back during exercise. A solid core will also create a stable base for your extremities to generate maximum power.
Whether you have a regular recumbent bike or one with arm exercisers, a strong core will ensure both your legs and arms can move efficiently and effectively.
How to Adjust Your Recumbent Bike Workouts to Your Fitness Level
Like I touched on previously, there are a few ways to adjust your workout to your fitness level and desired intensity. For example, add on more resistance or increase your speed to make your workout more challenging.
Working in intervals of 0:30-2:00 minutes of high resistance, high speed, or both, alternating with rest, will allow you to work up to more challenging workouts and increase your fitness level over time.
You can also consider alternating your recumbent bike workout with bodyweight, light dumbbells, or resistance band exercises to make your workout more challenging! A combination of increased speed, resistance, and a variety of different strength exercises will all increase the effectiveness of your recumbent exercise bike workouts.
Are you looking for some workouts? Give these a try!
20 Min Beginners Intro to Recumbent Bike Intervals Workout
Recumbent Bike HIIT Workout
Full Body Recumbent Bike with Full Motion Handlebars Workout
Recumbent Bike With Resistance Bands Workout
I hope you enjoyed this article, and it helps you truly make the most of your recumbent exercise bike workouts at home. Recumbent bikes are an excellent low impact, effective way for users of all fitness levels to get a cardiovascular workout.