There are many health benefits available to you when using a stationary recumbent bike for your exercise routine.
For those new to recumbent bikes, we can go to the Oxford English Dictionary for the meaning of the word “recumbent”. There we learn this word comes from 17th century Latin, and means “reclining”.
Before we look at the benefits of using recumbent fitness bikes for home exercises, we first need to establish where these bikes fit in the general collection of aerobic (or cardio) exercising equipment.
I think all this exercising equipment can probably be broken down into three main categories. These categories would then be:
|2. Steppers and Climbers|
|3. Stationary exercise bikes|
It is in this last category where we find the recumbent exercising bike, as well as the upright exercise bike.
You may wonder about the under-desk pedal exercisers and the mini bikes, but surely they can be considered a type of recumbent bike as well? After all, you do get to choose the type of chair you use it with. Using a high backed chair will give you more back support. Plus, if you used a gas lift chair you could lower it to the lowest setting and give yourself a more recumbent angle.
Let’s now take a look at the main benefits we can get from using a recumbent bike to burn calories via cardio exercises at home.
More Body Support
Your upright exercise bikes mainly use the hard narrow type of saddle you find on most road bikes. However you will find most of the recumbent exercise bikes today, are fitted with a wider and more cushioned seat design. This makes exercising more comfortable and allows you to exercise for longer periods.
One of the main features of all recumbent bikes is the back support for the rider. A normal upright exercise bike is designed so that the rider is bent forward to reach the handle bars, as you would if riding a road bike.
However, having a straight back and lumbar support is a must for those with back issues. Also, with the semi reclined position of the rider, effort is more focused on your legs and thighs. Plus, you get the aerobic effect on your heart and lungs which is directly proportional to your actual effort.
Low Physical Impact Exercise
Compared to treadmills, jogging and running exercises, etc., recumbent exercise equipment has very little physical impact on your body’s joints and bones when engaging in cardiovascular exercises. Your body is well supported when using this equipment, so your full body weight is not putting pressure on any of your joints. This is very important for those who have existing joint problems or injuries.
You will find your hips, thighs, knees, hamstrings, and to some extent your ankles, will be exercised. However, with the wide range of resistance settings available you should be able to find one suitable for any condition you may have and still get a good aerobic exercise.
As with any exercise regime, always discuss your plans with a physician before starting. If you start to feel any pain or discomfort, stop immediately and see your physician!
Wide User Weight Range
Generally speaking, recumbent bikes can support a wider range of rider weights than most other types of exercise bikes.
The first reason for this is due to their more solid construction, especially around the seating area. Stationary exercise bikes usually have their seat fastened to a long single pole. Recumbent bikes use a shorter support, and often a complete seat frame.
The second reason is the low center of gravity of this exercise unit. This means manufacturers do not need to produce extra wide leg supports for larger riders, as they do for the higher center of gravity upright exercise bikes.
It is much easier to sit into a recumbent bike for exercising, than try to climb up onto the seat of a stationary exercise machine. This makes a recumbent exercising machine more accessible to users with restricted movement, than an upright bike.
The lower center of gravity, previously mentioned, also helps people feel safer while in the recumbent unit to start an exercise program.
Depending on how much you want to spend, you can get a recumbent with more than 20 preset exercise programs and 20 different resistance settings. Some of the top line models are even fitted with cooling fans and sound systems, serious cardio equipment!
Now for the cons…
The most obvious one would be the physical size and weight of these exercise machines. They usually are slightly larger and heavier than the stationary bikes.
Some exercise bike manufacturers do make what they describe as a folding version of the recumbent exercise bike. But these tend to look more like an upright bike with a seat back fitted.
Next would be the price. Although they start around the $150 mark, the most expensive recumbent stationary bike (maybe not the best exercise bike) will set you back just over $7,000!
When you are ready to buy, first decide which features you must have as this will determine how much your unit will cost you. For example, you may only need 8 preset resistance exercise programs, no fans, or sound system. Click here for discounted recumbent exercise bikes.
To keep track of your recumbent bike cardio workout progress, I suggest you get an exercise log book to record those fitness goals and milestones. When you look back at your progress you will be inspired to continue!