In this post we take a look at some of the best recumbent exercise bikes as well as the key benefits and features of the product.
A recumbent bike affords you the ability to pedal with your legs in front of you rather than below as you find with a standard bike setup.
These machines provide for great cardio and muscle workouts whilst removing a lot of the impact stress from the joints, spine and lumbar regions.
Recumbent bikes are ergonomically designed stationery bikes that are ideal for indoor fitness workouts that can allow focus on the calves, thighs, and glutes.
With their larger comfortable seat and high back rest compared to a standard cycle seat they provide the user with a a reclined and comfortable seated exercise position. The ergonomic design ensures that you don’t push all your entire body-weight through the hips and knees when you really need to get a good workout.
Whilst recumbent cycles are a mainstay of most gyms these days, buying your own exercise bike for home use is an ideal way to get fit from the comfort of your own home (even if you don’t have a home gym !)
People who use these exercise bikes at home watch TV, read books on their tablet, listen to audio books and music all from a comfortable seated position. Some even allow you to connect tablets and iphones so that you can display your content straight to the bikes computer screen.
Because the seated position is safe and less stressful you could also introduce an additional workout for your shoulders and upper back by introducing some light overhead weightlifting with small weights.
Schwinn 270 Recumbent Bike
The Schwinn 270 is a very popular bike with high customer satisfaction reviews. Take a look at the Schwinn product video below for an overview of the key features.
Exerpeutic 900Xl Extended Capacity Recumbent Bike with Pulse
The Exerpeutic is another very popular cycle. The key feature of this product is the advantage that it can cater the larger seat and stronger frame means it can cater for larger users up to 325 lbs. Find out more by watching the video below.
Beginners Guide to Recumbent Exercise Bikes
How Do Recumbent Exercise Bikes Work?
As with the better indoor exercise cycles, the better made recumbent exercise bikes work by providing magnetic resistance to a fly wheel. The flywheel mechanism recreates momentum that duplicates the smooth feel of cycling on an open road.
The ability to change the magnetic resistance on the fly-wheel provides for the ability to increase and decrease the workout load.
What are the Benefits of Recumbent Exercise Bikes
They can provide intense low-impact exercise
A lot of workout routines involving the legs require a repeating up and down motion to generate exercise benefits in the muscles (running, cycling, skipping, bouncing, etc) This type of motion, repeated over longer periods of time will place a lot of stress to your joints, ligaments, muscles and tendons in the lower parts of your body.
As exercise pain, however light is induced, our ability to continue exercising reduces.
Exercising on a recumbent bike seeks to take the weight off the lumbar and lower limb area and ensure your body has a less impact and an ability to exercise a) without pain b) for longer periods of time.
For older athletes who maybe have joint pain after many years of exercise, the recumbent significantly removes all the pressure of knee, hip and ankle areas.
Use for Warm-up and Cool-Down
Again because of the lighter resistance levels, the recumbent is ideal for a gentle warm-up and cool-down. Building the recumbent bike into your wider exercise routine will ensure less injury and a more relaxed come down after exercise.
Great for Cardiovascular workouts
You are in complete control over the resistance and timing of your workout. Whilst some people choose recumbent bikes as part of a gentle warm-up routine or a more gentle exercise workout, there is no stopping anyone who wants to really rank up the resistance and increase the heart rate.
As with any cardio-orientated workout, this increased resistance training will provide you with a great way to burn tons of calories.
Medical research demonstrates that a regular cardio workout will do wonders for your general fitness levels as well as reducing your longer-term risk of heart disease and other serious health problems.
A Great Range of Muscle Benefits
The muscles you use whilst using the recumbent exercise machine are the exact same as the ones used in regular cycling. You therefore get all the benefits without the stresses and strains of gravity and impact. The four main muscles to benefit are:
- Large quadriceps at the front of the legs are the powerhouse of the cycling motion
- Glutes at the top and back of the leg do most of the pushing
- Calves, which are used in the pedal stroke
- Hamstrings at the back of the legs
Although not a natural motion, focus in pulling the core abs in whilst cycling and you will also benefit from a great abdominal workout too.
Features to Look Out For
If you are looking to buy a recumbent exercise bike then check out the products for the following features:
- Good seat adjustment mechanisms that allow you to position the seat in a variety of ways
- A good range of programmable workouts on the cycle computer
- A backlit computer screen on the computer for ease of reading
- Can you adjust the angle of the computer screen?
- Foot straps on peddles to lock your feet in place
- The build quality of the cycle – what is metal and what is plastic on the frame
- What materials are used on the seat – front and back. Buy for comfort
- Always check out the warranty and return to manufacturer details should you encounter a problem
- Always read the customer feedback