Recumbent stationary bikes have become far more common and desirable in recent years. To understand how a recumbent stationary bike might benefit you, it might first help to understand why it is called a recumbent bike (sometimes simply referred to as recumbents).
What Is A Recumbent Stationary Bike?
The word recumbent itself means to be lying down in a state of rest. How could a definition like that be associated with an effective means of exercise? Well unlike a traditional upright stationary bicycle, on a recumbent stationary bike you are seated in a position that is fundamentally more comfortable for most people and imposes less stress on your body overall. The combination of this comfort and this minimized physical stress makes it easier to start and maintain a regular exercise routine with a recumbent stationary bicycle.
With a recumbent stationary bike, you sit further back from the recumbent pedals and the cycle’s wheel and more low to the ground. In most cases, such a stationary recumbent exercise bike will feature a larger, more comfortable bucket seat than a traditional upright stationary bike. They are in fact, the most comfortable of indoor exercise bikes.
This body angle still provides excellent exercise benefits while minimizing stress on knees and the lower back. The comfort and ease of the position makes recumbent exercise bikes excellent for people who are relative beginners to regular exercise.
What Are The Benefits of Recumbent Stationary Bikes?
A workout routine with recumbent stationary bikes provides the rare cardiovascular exercise which provides little to not stress on joints and knees. Even with an upright bike, your body’s weight pushes down on your knees slightly and the traditional positions of the seat and handle bars can cause some discomfort on the lower back. These drawbacks are eliminated with a recumbant stationary bike.
One associated drawback of this, however, is that you don’t get the gravity-assist to do hill biking with a recumbent bike. In other words, if you’re tackling a hill or higher resistance program on your recumbent cycle, you can’t help yourself by standing to help you push down on your pedals. Yet this actually results in being a benefit because you are forced to isolate your muscles in a more accurate and consistent fashion rather than to cheat by standing and using gravity.
And despite what you might think from the greater comfort of the recumbent cycling position, you burn calories at about the same rate with a recumbent exercise bike as you do with an upright exercise bike.
Recumbent Stationary Bikes for Women
Many polls indicate that women who don’t exercise regularly claim that is because of a lack of time. The great thing about having a recumbent stationary bike in your home is that it makes it really easy to do things like watch news, read the paper, read a book, use your phone, even operate a netbook or laptop, all while you’re continuing your exercise. A recumbent exercise bike allows far more freedom for multitasking than any other exercise machine, including upright exercise bikes.
Another benefit of a stationary recumbent exercise bike for women is that the muscle and cardio work provided by a stationary bike is optimum for slimming and firming areas many women feel particularly insecure about: their butts and thighs. Exercise machines like stair masters may strengthen these areas, but some studies indicate they actually build muscle in a way that broadens the butt, where as bicycling more strictly slims.
Men And The Recumbent Stationary Bike
For men, stationary bikes are an excellent way to balance their workout. A common phenomenon among men — especially men who workout at home — is that they develop their upper body more than their lower body. Additionally, some studies indicate that men are more likely to not achieve proper cardio exercise as they are more apt to do strength and resistance training.
A recumbent stationary bike addresses both these matters by making cardio exercise more consistently accessible and appealing and working their legs in an effective and consistent fashion.
Additionally, recumbent bikes are excellent for men with any kind of prostate problem. An enlarged prostate can make sitting on the typical saddle of an upright stationary bike quite unpleasant. However, leaning back into a comfortable bucket seat allows men with enlarged prostates to still get good cardio exercise without the discomfort.
Recumbent Stationary Bikes for Hemorrhoid Sufferers
Last but not least, recumbent stationary bicycles are an excellent way for men and women to get their cycling in if they’re suffering from hemorrhoids. Hemorrhoids are an unpleasant topic and most people don’t like to talk or even read about them, but they’re more common than people realize.
And once again, the traditional saddle seat of an upright stationary bike can be a pain in the… well, you get the picture. The larger seat and more laid-back position of the recumbent bike will allow you to get your cycling routine in without flaring those painful hemorrhoids.
You will discover a large variety of recumbent cycles on the market these days. If you need to stay within a strict budget, you will find simple models with little more than pedals and a seat in the recumbent position. You can even take your favorite standard recumbent bike and turn it into a stationary recumbent bike with a stationary bike stand. But if you want to go all out, you will find sophisticated bikes with elaborate monitors for interfacing with detailed settings for resistance and interval workouts. Whether you choose a Proform recumbent stationary bike or a Schwinn recumbent stationary bike, I’m sure you can find one which is comfortable and suits your needs.
I hope this helps you appreciate the many advantages of recumbent stationary bikes. In the future I will add a series of recumbent stationary bike reviews to this site.