The sight of a cyclist dodging traffic, getting caught in rainstorms or blazing heat, is enough to put plenty off the idea of cycling for fitness. The good news is that you don’t have to brave the elements or dangerous roads to get fit. You don’t even have to go to the gym. For those who want to burn fat, build stamina and boost metabolism, the next step is easy. Simply read through some recumbent exercise bike reviews and choose the best one.
Taking the decision to buy an exercise bike is actually a lot easier, however, than choosing which type, brand and model, is best suited for you. Before you even start to consider factors such as frames, performance monitoring and fitness programs, you need to think decide whether you want a traditional, upright bike, or a recumbent one.
Upright exercise bikes were the first types of exercise bike to be manufactured and brought onto the market several decades ago. Since then, they have evolved to become sleek and powerful fitness machines designed to help boost fitness as much as possible. Recumbent bikes are a much more recent development – designed to address several shortcomings of traditional upright bikes. You can always spot a recumbent bike by the fact that its seat is lower to the ground. When you sit on it, your legs will be stretched out in front of you, rather than below you.
Why Do We Need Recumbent Exercise Bikes?
Many of the benefits of working out on recumbent exercise bike are the same as those gained when working out on an upright exercise bike or a road bicycle. That is, they provide great cardiovascular exercise, keep the weight off and improve your overall strength.
Recumbent exercise bikes are preferable, however, as they help you target muscles differently. You’ll still be working out your thighs, lower legs and buttocks. Doing this, however, from a recumbent position, works those muscles in a different way than an upright bike. If you really want to get the all-round benefit of both types of exercise, it’s a good idea to combine your home workouts on a recumbent exercise bike, with outdoor cycling on an upright road bike.
If you are recovering from injury or illness, recumbent bikes are generally preferable to their upright counterparts. That’s why they tend to be found much more in places such as rehab facilities. This is because they provide improved back support. Another reason they’re considered to be safer is that the seat is lower, making them easier to mount. This can be extremely important to rehab patients and the elderly and infirm.
It’s no coincidence that this improved safety also means improved comfort. If you’ve ever experienced discomfort in your buttocks or back pain after using an upright bike, you should switch to a recumbent bike to improve comfort and avoid strains. Similarly, recumbent bikes place less strain on your hips and knees, making them the better choice for people with arthritis and other problems.
Another benefit of recumbent bikes is that, thanks to their superior safety and comfort, you can usually handle a longer workout. Whereas discomfort, pain and strain can put a quick end to upright workout, the elimination of these factors allows you to carry on to the natural conclusion of your workout. It also means that you’ll spend less time recovering, meaning you can work out more often.
How Does It Work?
Cardiovascular exercise on recumbent exercise bikes, makes use of your quadriceps, hamstrings and gluteal muscles to strengthen your heart and lungs, improve circulation and general wellbeing. As well as building those muscles, such exercise leads to an improved heart rate and lower blood pressure. While there are many forms of cardiovascular exercise, recumbent cycling provides a very low-impact way of doing this, and is therefore ideal for avoiding unnecessary injuries. You can check the best recumbent exercise bike here and see for yourself.
Are There Any Downsides to It?
While there are significant downsides to choosing a recumbent road bike over an upright one, there are very few when it comes to exercise bikes. Most of the issues that come up when comparing road bikes are due to the heavier frames of recumbent bikes. It’s easy to see why this makes a difference when you have to actually move that frame with power from your body.
When it comes to recumbent exercise bikes, this becomes irrelevant. In fact, heavier frames are often preferable with exercise equipment. If you have ever used an upright exercise bike, you may have noticed that the equipment itself moves easily, which can be hazardous. This is less likely to happen with a recumbent bike, as the heavier frame offers you improved stability. All these benefits undoubtedly mean recumbent bikes are here to stay.