What Is A Recumbent Bike?

Recumbent bikes are a popular choice for lower body and cardiovascular workouts. People prefer recumbent bikes over upright stationary bikes because they are more comfortable, while others prefer them more than any other cardio equipment and workouts.

If you are looking forward to having a recumbent bike but do not know anything about it, this article contains more information on recumbent bikes, including their benefits and how to use recumbent bikes for optimum results.

Table of Contents

What Is A Recumbent Bike?

A recumbent bike is a type of bike which you ride in a reclined position. The position gives the riders the chance to watch television or read as they exercise, and this acts as an encouragement for you to stay on the bike for more extended periods without feeling bored. Such encouragement is good because you would want to exercise for long periods to get the full benefits of your workout.

However, if you choose to exercise with a recumbent bike, do not let the distractions reduce the intensity of your workout. Keep on pushing your body so that you eventually see progress in your fitness program.

Many people feel that recumbent bikes are better than any other exercise equipment because of the rider’s position during riding. So, if you are new to cardio or a first-timer, recumbent biked are great to get you started regardless of whether you are using the version that allows you to go out on the road or the stationary version.

Likewise, recumbent bikes are suitable for exercisers who are experienced. To make a recumbent bike more challenging, you can vary your pedaling speed, cycle backward, or increase the resistance. This means you could tailor your workout to meet the level and goals you want.

What Is A Recumbent Bike

How Effective Is A Recumbent Bike In Workouts?

Recumbent bikes appear like simple cardio, but don’t be deceived by the looks. Recumbent bikes can provide an effective workout, as explained below.

Cardiovascular Fitness

Regular aerobic exercise reduces high blood pressure, improves lung capacity, and strengthens your heart. Cardiovascular exercises also help in boosting your mood and relieving stress.

Exercising with a recumbent bike gives the same benefits as cardiovascular exercises. To achieve better or equal results with your recumbent bike, carry out four 60-seconds sprints in line with the pedal speeds ranging from 80-100 repetitions in a minute.

For optimum results, you could combine the recumbent bike with an online instructor.

Strength In The Muscles

Strength In The Muscles

Different muscles are worked out when using a recumbent bike. Some of these muscles include the glutes, calf muscles, shins, hamstrings, and quadriceps. People tend to increase their functional abilities, power, and muscle strength after using the bike for an extended period.  The results of the program were similar to those of resistance training.

When comparing the muscular output and energy use between recumbent bikes and an upright bike, there is no significant difference in the muscle workload. However, using a recumbent bike led to more significant activity in muscles.

Motion Range

The recumbent bike is your best option if you are after an exercise which will increase your motion range, improving your flexibility. A stationary bike will improve the motion range in the hip region and is more effective in improving the range than whirlpool treatment and heat packs.

On the other hand, a recumbent bike helps increase flexibility by increasing blood circulation and elasticity in body tissues. This makes the body stretch more. Alternate use of recumbent bikes and stationary bikes offers a range of bankers because each activates different muscles.

Benefits Of A Recumbent Bike

Benefits Of A Recumbent Bike

Recumbent bikes are great stationary equipment used to restore your motion range, promote muscular strength, and improve cardiovascular fitness. In addition to all these, there are more benefits of using recumbent bikes, as seen below.


Using a recumbent bike to exercise provides you with full support on your back. The seat is large enough, so you can comfortably fit on it. Also, the seat reduces soreness caused by the saddle, which is common with bikes with tiny seats. A recumbent bike is also a great indoor workout option if the weather outside is unbearable.


Recumbent bikes can use different levels of speed and resistance hence allowing for a customized exercise. If you have a stationary bike, you could also change the inclination settings and simulate the riding down and up hills, which will make your workout either more challenging or more straightforward. You can modify the recumbent bike to your preferred fitness level.


Unlike other exercising equipment, recumbent bikes do not stress the joints a lot. The reclining position riders use when exercising is more gentle on the lower back hence making it an excellent option for people with injuries in their lower back. If you have cardiac limitations, the recumbent bike is also a perfect option for you.

If you have issues struggling with balancing, you will realize that a recumbent bike is better for you to use since the risks of falling are very low, unlike what you will experience when using other pieces of cardio equipment like a stair climber or a treadmill.

Differences Between A Recumbent Bike And Upright Stationary Bike

The short answer to the difference between a recumbent bike and an upright stationary bike is the rider’s position. But, no matter the route you take, stationary bikes are an effective and safe way to achieve low-impact cardio. They place less stress on your joints than any other cardio equipment. So, when looking at the differences between a recumbent bike and an upright stationary bike, you have to look for the features you think will work for you.

  • Back pain-Recumbent bikes have a reclined seat hence are easy on the lower back. An upright bike leaves you in the position which traditional bike riders’ are in.
  • Joint pain- both upright and recumbent bikes offer low-impact cardio. However, recumbent bikes are gentler on your joints. Since an upright bike expects you to hold yourself up, you end up using a more extensive range of muscles.
  • Seat size- recumbent bikes are made even more appealing by their large seat. The upright bike features a small seat, which is uncomfortable, especially for amateurs.
  • Safety- recumbent bikes are considered safer because of the reclined position. But for riders who are used to riding the traditional bicycle, safety in the upright bike is less of a concern.
  • Muscles- muscles in use when riding a recumbent bike are the glutes, calf muscles, hamstrings, and quadriceps. When riding an upright bike, you use all these muscles together with your arm and abdominal muscles to ensure you remain in an upright position. This makes the upright bike be seen as a whole-body workout, unlike the recumbent bike.
  • Size- recumbent bikes are more significant than upright bikes. This means when choosing either of them, you should take into account the size of your home gym.
  • Experience- recumbent bike is an excellent option for beginners because you won’t have to hold yourself in an upright position when pedaling. If you are looking for a challenge, the upright bike is the best option for you.

Types Of Exercise Bikes

There are three types of exercise bikes; recumbent, dual-action, and upright. Each of these is different from the other and offers different benefits. You could choose to focus on one bike or alternate and try each of them differently depending on your workout goals, joint health, and fitness level.


Upright Recumbent Bike

This is the most common type of exercise bike. Its structure is similar to that of a regular bicycle where the pedals are located below your body. The upright bike not only provides an excellent cardio workout but also strengthens your core and leg muscles.

You can use the upright bike while sitting or standing; you choose what works best for you. However, with this bike, your wrists and hands have to withstand the pressure applied to the upright position. The seat is also tiny, hence uncomfortable when working out for long periods.


Body Champ BRB852 Magnetic Recumbent Exercise

A recumbent bike is an excellent bike for exercising, mainly because you sit comfortably in a reclined position on the oversized seat behind the pedals. The recumbent bike applies very little, if any, pressure to your lower back, joints, and body.

Since your body is fully supported when using a recumbent bike for exercising, the workout may not be so intense. After working out, you will also experience less muscle soreness and fatigue. A recumbent bike is your best option if you have back pain, joint injuries, or limited mobility. It is also an excellent option for people new to exercising.

Dual Action

Dual Action Bike

A dual-action bike is similar to a regular road bicycle. It has a handle that can move frontwards and backward to target the muscles of your upper body. This gives you a chance to get a solid upper body workout as you work and pedal your legs.

Other Types

There is the indoor cycle bike, which has gained popularity in indoor cycling classes. It is similar to the upright bike, but this one has a seat that is elevated. The resistance in the indoor bike is created by a flywheel that is lifted at the front. You can adjust the resistance to ride in the wind or simulate hills.

An uncommon type of exercise bike is an air bike or fan. It lacks any preprogrammed options, and instead, you create resistance when you pedal. If you pedal faster, the wheel’s blades will rotate more, and you will generate excellent resistance. Air bikes are not as expensive as other types of Eder use bikes.

How To Use A Recumbent Bike For Weight Loss

Recumbent bikes are great for losing weight, but you should seek advice from a professional trainer before using your bike since a wide range of factors will influence your results. Below are some tips on how to lose weight with recumbent bikes.

Warming Up

Warming up is critical before you start cycling because it will help you avoid any injuries. Also, warming up will prevent sore muscles. You could spare 10 minutes for warming up before you start using your recumbent bike.

Basic exercises like marching or jogging will prepare your body to do an intense workout on the bike. It would be best if you did not forego warming up because it ensures the flow of oxygen and blood in your body.

Ride the Right Way

If you ride your resistance bike with the correct resistance, you will tone your muscles as you trim your body. Recumbent bikes provide impressive results for leg exercises, so if you are looking forward to toning your legs, keep on pushing.

If you bend more, you are working out your thighs, knees, and legs more. At the same time, rotating your ankles to push the pedals will help you feel more relieved.

Be Informed

You need to ensure that everything is well adjusted when exercising with your recumbent bike. Ensure the backrest and seat are well adjusted. Also, be sure to hold the handlebar in the right way. As time moves, increase the intensity and push well but always ensure you are comfortable and use steady motion to prevent falling and hurting yourself.

Average Count

Recumbent bikes are better alternatives to other working out equipment. The calories you will burn when using a recumbent bike depend on how hard you work when using it. The bike will take significantly less energy and give out more for your body.

For instance, if someone weighs 7kgs, they can lose seven calories a minute by pedaling alone. The more the intensity, the higher the chances of losing weight. The main trick when using a recumbent bike is wearing the proper outfit to feel comfortable all along.

Final Thoughts

There are very few forms of exercise that will allow you to lean back and watch the television or read a book while working out. Pedaling away on a recumbent bike might seem like a leisure activity, but it is not as laid back as it looks. Recumbent bikes are great types of exercise bikes that will help you achieve the body you want. If you do your exercises right and remain committed, you will be assured of results in your workout.