Are recumbent bikes useful for fitness? (Image via Pexels/Photo by Andrea Piacquadio)

Fact Check: Can Recumbent Bikes Facilitate an Effective Workout?

Shuvangi Sen Chaudhury
ANALYST

Recumbent bikes are one of different types of cardio equipments you can use at the gym. There have been discussions about whether they're a good cardiovascular machine or not, and whether the benefits match that of other cardio machines.

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What is a recumbent bike?

It is a machine similar to a stationary bike but has a reclined position. That allows you to be more comfortable than what you would be on a stationary bike. It enables you to stay on the bike for a longer period of time because of the level of comfort.

The recumbent bike is good for beginner as well as experienced gym-goers.

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Are recumbent bikes effective?

While it’s easier to be on these bikes, that doesn’t mean there aren’t significant benefits. Cardio sessions done on such bikes have significant benefits. Some of them are as follows:


Improves fitness levels

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As recumbent bikes are aerobic exercises, they help with improving heart health while focusing on physical fitness. They're a good way to release stress and improve your mood.

Focuses on muscle strength

The entire lower body works while using a recumbent bike. Your quads, hamstrings, shins, calf muscles and glutes are used on a recumbent bike.

If you pair that with resistance training, you will witness massive improvements in your leg strength and abilities.

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Improves flexibility

A recumbent bike helps with providing you an increased range of motion that is not available for stationary bikes. When the range of motion increases, the flexibility improves as well.


Provides more comfort

As mentioned above, recumbent bikes have a reclining position, which allows the user to do cardio with an increased sense of comfort. Stationary bikes have smaller seats. which makes it difficult for the user to be comfortable.


Safety

These bikes ensure that the user is quite comfortable and also safe. It places less stress on the joints and is much more comforting for the lower back. People with lower back injuries should usually go for this machine.


Good for the elderly

Recumbent bikes are good for the elderly because of the stress-free effect on their joints. They provide a good workout and do not come with a series of challenges either.


Disadvantages of recumbent bikes

While there are benefits in using this machine, there are some factors that may make you feel otherwise. Some of them are:

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Can become boring

Recumbent bikes provide quite a bit of comfort, which means you do not have to consistently keep your mind engaged for balance. Therefore, it could become rather boring for you to be on that machine. However, you can overcome boredom by listening to music or reading a book.

Takes up space

If you’re planning to purchase a recumbent bike, you need to be aware of the fact that it takes up space. An upright bike takes up much less space than a recumbent bike. If you do not plan on buying one, you can use the bikes in your gym.


Expensive

This bike is much more expensive than an upright one. You may want to be absolutely sure about this equipment if you’re planning to purchase one. However, if your gym has one, try it out for a while before purchasing one for yourself.


Bottom line

Recumbent bikes are good for you if you pair them with resistance training. You can use them as a warm-up cardio or as a cool down cardio. Nevertheless, if you want to use it for proper cardio, that’s also possible. However, ensure to configure it as per your fitness levels.

This bike is a great equipment for a beginner who hasn’t done other machines before. It helps them get into the process of working out without putting too much pressure on their joints and muscles.


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Edited by Bhargav
 
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