Recumbent bikes are getting more popularity for both gym and home uses. They’re different from the traditional upright bikes due to their unique structure. These bikes have a position where you can recline your body on the seat and paddle in front of you while you’re on that reclining position. In the upright bikes, you don’t get this back support. We’ll discuss the different recumbent bike workouts for beginners, so you can get the most out of it.
Why Choose Recumbent Bike?
You might as well ask the question “What is a recumbent bike?”. There are two types of bikes for exercising: recumbent and upright bikes. The principle behind the two machines is the same but they are different in their set-ups. The upright exercise bike mimics regular bicycle more than the recumbent exercise bike. In the recumbent bike, the seat is not as high as an upright bike and you get to relax while exercising. You can recline on the seat and extend your legs forward to paddle comfortably.
Both upright and recumbent bikes have benefits over body fitness, weight loss, and muscle toning. But using recumbent exercise bike comes with certain additional benefits that we’re going to discuss now.
1. Great Mobility
You can get on and off from a recumbent bike very easily. The seat is lower than a regular upright bike and so you won’t need to climb up to sit on it. This is an ideal bike for people with mobility issues. The elderly people, especially, benefit from it due to the bike’s back support. Also, people with back pain can easily use it.
2. Relaxed Workout
The cycling position in the recumbent bike is very relaxing. You can comfortably work on all the muscle groups in the lower part of the body without getting a sore back or aching muscles. The seat on these bikes is bigger which diminishes the possibility of any saddle soreness.
Your ankles, knees, and hips won’t get too stressed out while working on a recumbent bike. This will make you opt for a longer and more strenuous workout routine over time.
3. Engagement of Various Muscle Groups
With a recumbent bike, you’ll get a workout that will tone your entire lower body. But this workout is slightly different since the pedal positioning in these bikes is different than other stationary bikes. You can get to work your abs, hamstrings, quadriceps, calves, tibialis anterior, gluteus maximus, and hip muscles with this bike. For a full-fledged lower body workout, you can also incorporate an outdoor bike to your exercise routine.
4. More Capacity
A recumbent bike is stronger and more durable than any other bikes due to its higher weight capacity. Generally, a recumbent bike can hold up to 300 lbs. This makes it the perfect exercise bike for the ones with overweight who can’t find the right bike due to the lack of weight support.
5. Great Motivation
This is perhaps one of the most overlooked recumbent bike benefits. Working out with a recumbent bike can be extremely fun since you don’t strain your back in this machine. You can also turn on your TV while lying in the reclining position on the bike. This works as a great motivation for the exerciser since he’ll be doing the workout without the exercise taking a toll on his body.
6. Appropriate for Everyone
You might get the idea that recumbent bikes are only for the elderly, people with mobility problems and injured people who want to recover. But this bike comes with a wide range of resistance control which enables you to select the difficulty level while working out with the machine. If you are fit, want a comfortable workout, and want to push yourself with exercise, you can be highly benefited from this bike.
Recumbent Bike Workouts for Beginners
Since recumbent bikes are very comfortable and easy to use, beginners use this machine for losing weight and choosing a healthier life. A recumbent bike exercise machine comes with several features and the display on the machine will show how much calories you’ve burned, the distance you’ve covered, the time you’ve been on, etc. An hour on this bike will make you lose 900 calories although this might vary to some extent due to age, gender, weight and the resistance level used for exercising. We’ll discuss the exercise routine for beginners in the following section.
Tips for Recumbent Bike Exercise
You should read this entire section before you get on a recumbent bike for exercise.
1. Seat Adjustment
One of the most recurring mistakes of a beginner is that, they can’t adjust the seat on the recumbent exercise bike. Correctly adjusting the seat only takes seconds. This is not only for a comfortable workout but this also increases the effectiveness of the workout. You can adjust the seat on the bike by simply sliding it towards the direction you want to exercise on. Make sure there’s a slight bend on the extended leg when it’s on the pedaling cycle’s far side.
2. Stretching Out
Like any other exercise, working out on a recumbent bike requires proper stretching out. You can even go for dynamic stretching since it allows you to warm up muscles while increasing the motion range for your exercise. You can perform lunges, leg swings, toe touches, trunk rotation, etc. for stretching out.
3. Warming Up
After you’re done stretching out, don’t just jump right into the workout. Lightly pedal on the recumbent bike for at least 5 minutes for a warm-up. Start slowly but keep a steady pace. After you’ve done this for 5 minutes, you can get off the bike and stretch out some more before you get on the bike again for a real workout.
4. Correct Form
The correct form is very important to get anything out of a recumbent bike workout. It also prevents injury and accelerates the calorie burn during the workout. The basic thing about the correct form is not leaning forward while exercising.
Make sure your back is tightly aligned against the seat. If you’re going with an intense workout routine, you can also use the handles on both sides for assistance.
5. Correct Resistance
Beginners find it difficult to find the correct resistance for their workout. It’s a common tendency to set the resistance at a high level. But like any other form of exercise, you shouldn’t go for it all at your first attempt.
Choose the resistance level in which you’re comfortable to paddle. You can slowly increase the resistance level when you’ve adjusted yourself to the difficulty. If you’re doing a leg workout, you can go for a higher resistance level for working all your leg muscle groups. But if you’re going for a cardiovascular exercise, you have to pedal fast as well. Fast pedaling will increase your heartbeat and it’s great for your overall cardiovascular health. Switch the resistance level during workout to get the best out of it.
6. Interval Training
Interval training has lots of health benefits. You can bring the most effectiveness out of your recumbent bike with interval training. Interval training with a recumbent bike basically means adding short but intense pedaling session to longer and lighter pedaling. You can change the resistance level on the bike to add more intensity to your workout.
7. Correct Duration
If you want any benefit out of your recumbent bike, you have to select the correct duration of pedaling. The more you paddle, the more you’ll likely to be benefited. Pedal for at least 30 minutes everyday for improving your cardiovascular health. For weight loss, spending 60-90 minutes daily on average is highly recommended.
8. Use Presets
If your recumbent bike is digital, it will come with preset workouts. This will help you as a guide to do proper workouts. Select any preset when you start and you’ll see various types of exercises on it for you to perform.
If you’re a beginner to cycling with a recumbent bike, an array of benefits await you. Whether you’re doing it for your health, or to recover from any health issues, this bike has all the potential to give you what you want. You get to burn calories while making yourself comfortable and not a lot of machines offer this. This guide on recumbent bike workouts for beginners doesn’t only seek to work as an aid for the beginners but as a comprehensive guideline to all who are willing to exercise with a recumbent stationary bike.