You want to torch calories, sculpt your lower body, and, most importantly, invest in an exercise machine that you’ll actually enjoy using. Have you considered a recumbent bike? A recumbent bike is different from a traditional upright bike in several important ways. Most notably is the position of the rider. A recumbent bike offers you a back support and positions the pedals in front of you. When you ride the bike, it feels a little like you are sitting back in a chair. Could a recumbent bike be the perfect addition to your home gym? Here are five big recumbent bike benefits to consider:
1. Recumbent Bikes Are More Comfortable Than Upright Bikes
The recumbent bike is designed to position the rider for optimal comfort during the workout. The back pad gives you crucial lumbar support, which can help you avoid low back pain. If you’ve ever ridden on an upright stationary bike or even biked outside for a long amount of time, you might have felt your lower back tighten up over the miles. Likewise, stationary bikes can also cause shoulder and neck fatigue as well as tightness in the hips, since the rider tends to hunch forward during the ride.
Recumbent bikes also offer a wide, padded seat that can keep your glutes comfy for a long exercise session. You won’t be complaining about any “saddle soreness,” as is common when newer riders use upright bikes.
It’s useful to keep in mind that comfort can play a big role in whether or not you stick with your fitness plan. If you come out of your workout with a throbbing lower back and sore shoulders, you may hesitate to make time for your next fitness session. A comfortable workout also makes it easier for you to keep going. More time spent on a recumbent bike translates to more calories burned, more muscular development, and better overall fitness results.
2. Recumbent Bikes Are a Great Choice for Every Exerciser
Not every piece of cardio equipment is ideal for every type of exerciser. However, a recumbent bike is one of those rare pieces of equipment that can be adapted for almost any type of person, even those with physical restrictions.
First and foremost, recumbent bikes are an excellent choice for beginning exercisers, especially those who may feel intimidated by treadmills, elliptical trainers, and stationary bikes. Recumbent bikes are easy to get into and out of and offer a very stable base. This feature also makes recumbent bikes a good exercise choice for anyone with balance or coordination challenges. Many new exercisers enjoy the fact that they can completely control the amount of challenge in each workout by either changing their pedaling speed or modifying the resistance.
The recumbent bike also offers a low-impact cardio workout. If you suffer from arthritis or joint pain, or if you are recovering from an injury, a recumbent bike can be a means to an excellent, pain-free workout.
3. Recumbent Bikes Help You Burn A Lot of Calories
Just because a recumbent bike offers you a comfortable riding experience doesn’t mean you won’t get in a good workout when you take the bike for a spin. Once you start pedaling, you’ll begin to feel the burn in your legs and glutes. This is still an exercise machine, after all! Using the recumbent bike will burn calories, which can help you lose weight and achieve your fitness goals. The amount of calories you burn will depend on how hard you make your workout, as well as other factors like your gender, age, and fitness level. However, if you challenge yourself to pedal hard against a moderate or high level of resistance, you can burn a significant amount of calories per hour.
According to an article on Livestrong.com, a person who weighs between 170 and 200 pounds can burn between 7.7 and 9.9 calories per minute when they pedal 9.5 miles per hour on a recumbent bike. That translates to 462 – 594 calories per hour or work. Not bad!
4. Tone Your Lower Body
Burning calories will help you lose fat, which can reveal the muscles that have been hiding beneath those extra pounds. Of course, you can’t show off toned muscles if you don’t have them! The recumbent bike not only sizzles away your fat, but it can also help you shape up the muscles in your lower legs, including your quads, hamstrings, and glutes. These are some of the largest muscles in your body, so toning them can really change the way your body looks and feels. The best way to give your leg muscles a good workout is to gradually increase the resistance on the recumbent bike so that your muscles will need to work harder and harder to maintain the same pace.
If you enjoy outdoor cycling or already own an upright stationary bike, a recumbent bike can still be a good addition to your home gym. With the recumbent bike, the pedals are positioned in front of the user (rather than below them as is the case on an upright bike). This activates the leg muscles in a way that is different from an upright bike. In other words, you’ll be giving your quads, hamstrings, and glutes an entirely different workout, which could result in bigger positive changes to your body.
5. Biking Gives Your Cardiovascular System a Boost
Even a small amount of cardio exercise each week can have a big and positive impact on your cardiovascular system. When you use your recumbent bike, your heart has to work harder to pump blood and oxygen into the big and hungry muscles of your legs. As a result, your heart gets a workout and becomes stronger.
According to the Heart Foundation, even just 30 minutes of physical activity a day can prevent heart disease and lower your risk of diabetes, stroke, and high blood pressure. It can also “reduce stress, tension, depression, and anxiety.”
That’s a pretty good deal in exchange for a little time in your home gym each day on your recumbent bike. This is especially true considering that your recumbent bike makes it easy to watch a movie, listen to a podcast or music, read a book, or even knit or cross-stitch while you are on the bike!
Do you want to bring all these recumbent bike benefits into your home? At Marcy, we offer a great selection of recumbent bike models. All our bikes provide excellent quality for an affordable price. See our full selection of recumbent bikes, and then start pedaling your way to a better body.