Why The Recumbent Bike Is Low Risk & High Reward


You’re headed to the fitness center, able to get into form (and even higher form!). However trying throughout the ground in any respect the several types of machines, hope turns into confusion: The place ought to I begin? Ought to I exploit the elliptical? The stair climber? Get on the treadmill or the bike? 

Properly, there is not any one proper reply. It is dependent upon your degree of health, earlier accidents, and which piece of kit you really like sufficient to, you recognize, keep it up for various minutes.

Nonetheless, I might wish to make an argument for one which’s usually missed: the recumbent bicycle, often known as the seated bicycle. I perceive it might not be the sexiest piece of kit, however, as a bodily therapist, I can inform you that it gives a low-risk bridge again into health.

“Whether or not it’s somebody coming in for his or her first day after a protracted hiatus or knowledgeable athlete, you’ll be able to construct a health and behavior baseline by utilizing the recumbent bike for cardiovascular health,” says coach Alan Hseih, whose expertise and clientele spans from america to East Asia, throughout the complete spectrum of demographics.

The ergonomic design with the seat decrease to the bottom and in a reclined place makes it simpler on the physique and comparatively comfy in comparison with different cardio machines. “Not solely are [recumbent bikes] efficient in rehabilitation settings—for instance to construct power and restore vary of movement following hip or knee accidents—but additionally for somebody who has some harm historical past they’re involved about, or just for somebody who hasn’t skilled in a very long time and desires to construct up their health ranges,” says bodily therapist Dustin Willis, DPT.

Talking of health ranges, analysis has proven that the recumbent bike can present a number of advantages. From a power perspective, it’s been discovered to extend power in a number of muscle groups together with the glutes, hamstrings, calves, and shin muscle groups. Mobility-wise, seated biking is especially helpful for sustaining knee bending, hip bending, and ankle mobility in each instructions. The recumbent bike additionally exhibits good cardiovascular advantages, similar to upright biking. Final however definitely not least, there are research that point out recumbent biking places much less pressure on the entrance of the knee—notably of be aware for any gym-goers with knee issues.

How you can get began on the recumbent bike

So now that I’ve completely puffed up this low threat/excessive reward machine, listed below are some key suggestions on finest use it.

Arrange the bike seat accurately

To search out the correct place for the bike seat, put one foot on the pedal and push it away so far as it goes. Your knee ought to have only a slight bend in it; ensure the knee isn’t locked out—this could put further stress into the knee joint.

When you have no points after a handful of periods you then’ve discovered your optimum place. Nonetheless, should you do have some ongoing discomfort, then strive a place with barely extra knee bend. Each physique is completely different so you must discover what works for yours.

A recumbent bike exercise plan

Week 1: For the primary week, experience for 20 minutes at a low resistance setting. Your exertion degree needs to be round a 3 or 4 out of 10 (the place 10 equates to maximal effort). Do that 3 times in the course of the week. The aim is just to get you used to the bike.

Week 2: For those who’re not having any discomfort after the primary week, improve the time to 25 minutes for the second week. If you’re having discomfort, stick to 20 minutes at a time till you’re in a position to tolerate the motion nicely.

Week 3: Related idea to week two: So long as you have no discomfort, improve the exercise one other 5 minutes to half-hour.

Weeks 4 and 5: Now that we’re at half-hour, the aim is to maintain the time there however begin growing depth. Up the resistance till your exertion degree is a 5 or 6 out of 10.

Week 6 and past: When you’re six weeks in, we now have some extra choices to progress as a result of your physique and thoughts have tailored nicely. You’ll be able to implement excessive depth interval coaching with the recumbent bike or you’ll be able to combine up your exercises with more difficult machines. For those who select the previous, right here’s a easy but efficient interval plan:

  • 5 minute warmup at an exertion degree of two out of 10
  • 1 minute interval at seven out of 10 exertion, adopted by 1 minute of restoration at three out of 10 exertion. Repeat 10 occasions.
  • 5 minute cooldown at an exertion degree of two out of 10


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