Recumbent Bike vs Upright Bike: Which is Best for You?

Recumbent Bike vs Upright Bike

There are so many exercise bikes on the market these days that you might be puzzled as to which one will work best for you. In many ways, the answer to that question lies in examining your purpose for having an exercise bike. For some purposes, both upright bikes and recumbent bikes will work. For others, one type might edge out the other.

Cardiovascular Workout

When it comes to getting your blood pumping and your heart racing, all indoor exercise bikes will do the job. It is a simple matter of applying the seat of your pants to the bicycle seat, your feet to the pedals, and pedaling away until you reach the heart rate desired, and hold the effort for the requisite amount of time. This effort is made easier when backed up by programs that manage the bike’s resistance and keep track of the vital information from each session. This information will help you plan your subsequent exercise sessions. If you are working with a doctor or therapist, the information can be shared with them for a suitably informed prescription.

Training for Bicycle Marathons with a Stationary Bicycle

If you are training for a bicycle marathon, planning to take a long biking tour on a real bike or doing some serious physical training, an upright stationary bike might be best for you. Upright bikes typically have a seat similar to those used on street bikes, and the pedals are positioned in the same way. Furthermore, balancing on a regular bicycle seat requires the use of your core muscles in a way not required by a recumbent bike, which has a wider, more chair-like seat. Some upright exercise bikes have moveable handlebars that create the opportunity for an upper body workout as well as lower body. For lengthy workout sessions, however, you might want to add a gel seat cover for comfort. For those bikes with stationary handlebars, you are likely to find yourself hunched over them for added effort.

Recovery from Surgery, Illness, or Protecting a Bad Back

If you have recently had surgery, a prolonged illness or have a bad back, then a recumbent bike is probably a better choice than an upright bike. Recumbent bikes have a wide seat with a supportive back. The user pushes out with the feet on the pedals rather than down. While just as useful for cardio, recumbent bikes will not work the core muscles as heavily as an upright bike. This is counterbalanced by the more comfortable seat possibly leading to longer workout sessions, as well as protecting the user from the extra strain. They are also a good choice for someone with bad knees who needs a bike that will allow them to gently rotate their joints while getting a little cardiovascular exercise going at the same time.

Both Upright and Recumbent Bikes Offer a Great Indoor Cycling Experience

There are a lot of advantages to indoor cycling. You are protected from the weather. You don’t have to worry about traffic, mean dogs or muggers. No one will tease you or laugh at how fat/thin/short/tall/in or out of shape you are. You are more likely to exercise regularly when you have an indoor exercise bike in your home or office. While you can join online “bike races”, you are primarily in competition with yourself, which means that you can slowly build your strength or stamina over time. You can pedal away in the security and anonymity of your own space. Only you will know how well you stick to your program.

Air Resistance Bikes

Air resistance bikes are available in upright and incumbent models. They are worth mentioning here because they are unique in that the harder the rider pedals, the greater the resistance and the more vigorous the workout.

Sticking to the Program

When it comes to sticking to the program, which is often the hardest part of any exercise regimen, selecting the right bike for you is an important decision. While it might seem smart to dash out and purchase an inexpensive indoor bike as a starter, you might find yourself needing to trade it far more quickly than you anticipated. While few people can afford not to be budget conscious, it is a good idea to select the best bike for you. If you have an exercise bike that you find comfortable for your needs, you are more likely to be faithful to your exercise plan.

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