The last few decades have seen the steady growth of popularity in recumbent bikes. Unlike the upright bikes where users have to be in a crouched position while using it, recumbent bikes position its user’s body in a way that is relaxed and reclined. This way, your body weight is very evenly distributed, which provides a more comfortable and efficient design as well as a nearly pain-free workout.
Recumbent bikes are great for those at any fitness level. If group workouts aren’t your thing, then you don’t have to join a class at your gym to start great stationary workouts. You can simply decide to ride solo and get your machine too – even a used recumbent machine or a refurbished recumbent exercise bike if you are on a limited budget.
Recumbent Bikes’ Workout Effectiveness
The first time recumbent bikes appeared on the fitness market, they were received with wariness. The idea of sitting comfortably in a recumbent position while pedaling without any strain or ache didn’t sit well with most people at first. However, time and research have proved that recumbent bikes offer a full-body exercise that is as good as spin or upright bikes but with additional features and comfort.
Today, recumbent bikes have gained popularity especially due to the fact that only an hour on the bike can help you lose as many as 900 calories, with the exact amount being dependent on your weight, gender, and age. This way, you can lose weight all over the body, including your stomach.
While they may appear like comfort cardio, research has demonstrated that the low and high impact options of recumbent bikes coupled with varied programs can offer effective workouts.
Recumbent bikes also help you work out safely. Regular upright bikes are known to be among the leading causes of whiplash, lower back strains, or even dislocated shoulders due to the users’ leaning over the handlebars and poor positioning. However, recumbent bikes give their users the chance to work out with total safety and comfort. They allow you to lose nearly the same number of calories as regular bikes but with fewer chances of injuries.
Involves nearly all major muscle groups
Recumbent bikes also offer excellent training since they draw nearly all the major muscle groups in the body when you are working out on it. The equipment largely engages the hips into the movements. This positioning helps with weight loss since hips are considered as one of the human body’s most fat-friendly parts. Exercising the hips also stimulates other parts of the body, which benefits older people or anyone suffering from hip-specific ailments like arthritis.
These machines also provide an effective exercise because they mimic the motions that one engages in during a more strenuous outdoor activity, such as hill climbing. This is because it also works the muscles in your abdomen, calves, glutes, and thighs.
Helps prevent severe medical issues
Additionally, as proven by doctors and fitness experts, exercising regularly on a recumbent bike not only helps boost weight loss, but it also prevents various medical issues such as high blood pressure, diabetes, deep vein thrombosis, strokes, heart attacks, and the likes. Exercising on a recumbent bike also provides strength and aerobic training, which is good for improving your cardiovascular and lung capacity.
Extended weight capacity
The extended weight capacity is another popular feature of recumbent bikes. The machine’s overall shape and size can generally accommodate users who weigh around 300 pounds or more, which is unlike most machines that limit themselves to around 250 pounds.
These stationary bikes have wide and comfortable pedals `that usually come with straps and non-skid features to accommodate various shoe sizes. This is one of the reasons why they can be used for heavy-duty domestic and also commercial purposes.
They have motivating features
Recumbent bikes also come with motivating features, which makes it an exceptionally effective way to help you keep fit by encouraging you to keep using the machine even on lazier days. They have display consoles that help you to easily keep track of the burned number of calories, the distance covered, and the number of minutes you have been at it.
Other amenities that come with the upright workout machine include a handy water bottle, desk for your books or laptop, MP3 or iPod dock, USB port as well as other features tailored to help you beat lazy days while cycling your way to a fitter body.
Great for those recovering from injuries
Considering biking is a rather low-impact workout, these stationary machines are particularly helpful for those users who are recovering from injuries. If you recovering, ensure that you get fitted properly to help prevent knee issues and always consult with your doctor.
Great for beginners too
These exercise bikes are also great for beginners and also anyone who is looking to add some variety to their fitness menu.
A Good Recumbent Bike Start-up Plan
Committing to only about half an hour session, 3 to 4 times on your first week is a good start. Fitness gurus have recommended against getting overly excited in the first week while using a recumbent bike since indulging in intense workouts without being properly prepared might weaken your muscles in the run and can be harmful to your workout regimen.
In those half-hour sessions in the first week, don’t be reluctant to keep the resistant as low as you can if you are not used to cycling. This will allow your body to not only adjust to the new motions but also keep the various aches and pains at bay. After that, you can move on to 40 minutes in the second, 50 minutes in the third and an hour on fourth.
Remember, a recumbent bike is only beneficial if you use it. You can exercise at your local gym or buy one for your home gym. You can choose to buy a new one or get yourself a used or refurbished recumbent exercise bike as long as it is working properly.