Updated April 27, 2021Recumbent bikes are stationary bikes often found at the gym. The bikes are quite comfortable, gentle on your joints, and can hold a higher weight capacity compared to traditional bikes. For the elderly or others looking for a low-impact, yet functional workout, recumbent bikes are a great option.Many people believe recumbent bikes don’t provide as intense or effective of a workout as an elliptical or treadmill. However, using a recumbent bike is still a great exercise despite their extra comfort features. To make the most of your workouts, there are a few steps you should take, including joining a class and choosing the correct resistance for your athletic level.Warm Up Before Getting On the BikePrior to starting your workout, always start with a quick warm-up to prepare your body for more difficult movements and prevent injury and muscle soreness. Take roughly five minutes to complete dynamic stretches such as leg swings, squats, lunges, and trunk rotations.Once on your bike, continue your warm-up with some light pedaling. Spend another five minutes or so cycling with no resistance to gradually increase blood flow and open your hips.Adjust Your SeatBefore getting on your bike, adjust the seat to accommodate your height. The bike’s pedals should be far enough so your legs aren’t bending into your torso, but close enough to ensure your feet comfortably reach. The slight changes can vastly improve your comfort and workout as a whole.Maintain Proper FormWith any exercise, proper form is vital for your safety and the workout’s effectiveness. Bad form can cause muscle imbalances, injuries, and put unnecessary strain on your body. On a recumbent bike, always keep your back against the backrest and maintain a straight posture. There are handlebars on either side of you that you can hold, though that is optional.Choose the Right ResistanceOn a recumbent bike, you can adjust your incline and resistance settings, in turn adjusting the difficulty of your workout. Selecting the right resistance for your strength and workout length is vital to getting an effective workout. Though it may feel tempting to kick up the resistance right off the bat, this can exhaust you prematurely, especially if you are hoping to cycle for a longer duration or distance.When cycling for time or distance, choose a moderate resistance and an incline you can handle for a long duration. For strength intervals, choose a high resistance and high incline, then switch to lighter settings during your cool-down periods. For speed intervals, choose a light resistance so you can easily pedal rapidly and slow down during cool-down periods.Take some time to try different settings to best understand what’s suited for you and your workouts.Try a Cycling ClassIf you’re looking for added motivation, try a cycling class! Many gyms offer them, while there are some businesses dedicated solely to cycling classes. A cycling class is a controlled workout for you to follow and provides extra encouragement from your instructor and fellow bikers.Being surrounded by others who are also working out or cycling can motivate you to bike faster or for longer.Practice Interval TrainingHigh-intensity interval training is a quick, high-intensity form of cardio also known as HIIT. Rather than exercising at a low to moderate intensity for long periods of time, you cycle between short spurts of high and low-intensity exercise. For instance, you might pedal for 30 seconds as fast as possible, then pedal slowly for another 30-60 seconds, then repeat.Interval training is great for burning calories in a short period of time. It raises your metabolic rate for hours post-exercise, improves your body’s oxygen consumption, and lowers your blood pressure. Interval training may be too intense for some, but if you’re looking for a way to liven up your workouts, try it.Focus on a DistractionWhen you’re riding for a long distance, even during interval training, using a distraction can help pass the time. If you do nothing while cycling, it can get monotonous. Reading a book or watching TV can keep you busy while cycling. With this in mind, be sure not to let your distraction take your full attention and cause you to lose your intensity.Benefits of Recumbent Bike RidingRecumbent biking offers various features to its users, including the added comfort from its large, cushioned seat to its customizable workout settings to fit anybody’s needs or goals.They provide lower back support: Due to the reclined seat on a recumbent bike, you have better posture when compared to the hunched position you must maintain on an upright bike. Sitting into the backrest puts less strain on your lower back.Stationary bikes are gentle on joints: If you are recovering from an injury, elderly, plus-sized, or have chronic pain, using a recumbent bike is a gentle but effective exercise. Plus, it’s easy on the joints, unlike other cardio machines such as the treadmill.They offer extra comfort: Recumbent bikes are built with large, cushioned seats and a backrest. Traditional bicycles have a small, saddle-like seat and lack a backrest, leading to potential soreness and discomfort.They keep you balanced: You won’t need to worry about keeping yourself steady on a recumbent bike as you do on traditional or upright bikes.Stationary bikes allow you to workout longer: The comfort features on a recumbent bike make it easier to use for a long time. In addition, you may feel less sore the following day than you would after using a upright bike, potentially motivating you to work out again.You can workout indoors and on rainy days: You don’t need to stress about the weather when using a recumbent bike. It allows you to just as get a great of a workout as a real bike from the comfort of your home or gym.You have complete control over the resistance and incline: Recumbent bikes provide customizability, allowing you to adjust the resistance and incline to simulate bike riding on hills.Recumbent bikes have a higher weight capacity than upright bikes: Upright bicycles typically cannot carry much weight, while recumbent bikes often have a large weight capacity, supporting upwards of 300 pounds or more.FAQsWhat’s the difference between a recumbent bike and an upright bike?Recumbent bikes and upright bikes are similar in the sense that they are both seated cardio machines that require pedaling. However, the two differ in structure and positioning.On a recumbent bike, you sit in a reclined position in the frame of the bike with your back against the backrest. The seat is wide and comfortable while the handlebars are on either side of you. The pedals are at the front of the bike, leaving your legs outstretched when cycling.An upright bike is more like a traditional bicycle. Users sit above the frame of the bike on a small saddle. The pedals are at the bottom of the bike while the handlebars are in front of you, so you sit hunched over with your arms resting on the handles.Is 30 minutes of cycling per day enough?The amount of exercise you need depends on your goals. As a reference point, the United States Department of Health and Human Services recommends 150 minutes of exercise per week for a healthy adult.On a bike, you burn roughly 50 calories per mile and the average speed for a beginner is roughly 6 miles per hour. So, after 30 minutes of biking, you can expect to burn about 250 calories.Is cycling bad for your knees?Riding a bike is gentle on your knees since your feet are not hitting the ground repeatedly as they would when walking or running. Regardless, the repetitive motion of cycling can be harmful to your knees if you aren’t resting sufficiently between workouts or if you exponentially intensify your workouts as a beginner.Is riding a bike better than walking?Both walking and bike riding are simple, low-impact exercises to implement. While they both utilize your legs and core, cycling burns 500 calories per hour while walking burns 250 calories per hour. Riding a bike is also a bit gentler on your joints than walking.How far are 10,000 steps on a bike?10,000 steps is a popular step count goal. It is not a magic number you have to reach, however, and walking just 2,000 steps over your normal step count improves your health.To translate steps into cycling, simply cycle for the same distance you would travel on foot. It takes the average person roughly 5 miles to walk 10,000 steps, so you’d need to cycle for 5 miles to meet your goal.ConclusionExercising on recumbent bikes can be good for your lower body and cardiovascular system while being safe on your joints and providing comfort other machines simply cannot. The bikes are easily accessible and workouts on them are doable for many individuals with varying skill levels, including the elderly or somebody rehabbing from an injury.Unlike how machines such as stair-steppers or treadmills use preset speeds and inclines, recumbent bikes are only difficult if you truly cycle against the resistance. As long as you push yourself to use a high resistance or incline, you will strengthen your muscles and have a successful workout.This article is for informational purposes and should not replace advice from your doctor or other medical professional. CommentsLeave a comment Thomas September 11, 2020 at 3:17 pm ReplyHow do you read your dist cal odo on a recumbent exercise bike I have no resistance from 0 to 8 they are the same Is there anything I can do Also can I turn it into a incline Thank You Tom Leave a comment Cancel replyLeave a CommentYour email address will not be published. Required fields are marked * Comment Name Email I agree to the Terms and Conditions of this website.