The Advantages of Recumbent Exercise
by Michael Walker
There are so many exercise bikes
available that it's easy to be overwhelmed. Spinning bikes, stationary
bikes, dual action bikes, and recumbent bikes are probably some
of the terms you've heard. It's almost as though you have to
be a fitness equipment engineer to understand the differences!
Here's a quick summary of these confusing terms.
You've probably heard about the
spin craze that has become so popular in health clubs. Spinning
bikes usually have at least a front wheel that spins (which is
why they are so brilliantly named spinning bikes). These bikes
might be the current fad, but they aren't very comfortable. The
seats are small and hard. The classes make these boring bikes
more interesting, but as home exercise bikes, they quickly become
Stationary bikes (or upright
bikes) are the exercise bikes that most people can identify.
It's the same basic model as in the 1980's. Once again, it's
fairly uncomfortable. You can't really do anything like read
or watch TV because you're leaning left and right and bouncing,
so it, too, quickly gets boring.
Dual Action Bikes
Dual action bikes are aptly named,
as they give you both an upper and lower body workout.
There are handles that move independently
- much like an elliptical machine. It's a good workout, but a
bit tough for beginners, and as usual, the time on the bike will
eventually get boring.
You can also get dual action
bikes that allow you to adjust the machine to
create an arm-pedaling workout. It's usually fairly difficult
to make the
adjustments. It's also two separate exercises, which create a
longer workout. Most people aren't as likely to keep up such
Recumbent bikes are the exercise
bikes with the comfortable bucket seats. You sit back and lower
to the ground as you pedal. These exercise bikes are easy enough
for even the most sedentary beginners, and they usually offer
workout programs to keep the workouts from becoming mundane.
The Experts Recognize the
Advantages of Recumbent Bikes
Most physicians and personal
trainers recommend recumbent bikes. Recumbent bikes are better
for people of all different fitness levels. You are more likely
to keep up a recumbent bike routine over time, the bikes are
safer, and there are different benefits for both men and women.
Recumbent Bikes for All Fitness
Even the most sedentary person
will find a recumbent exercise bike easy to use. You can adjust
the settings to offer little or no resistance as you pedal.
People who are overweight will definitely find the seat much
larger and more
comfortable than other exercise bikes.
Athletes will find the recumbent
exercise bike a challenge. The resistance can become incredibly
difficult. The bike can simulate pedaling up hills. Most recumbent
bikes offer various programs that will require you to sprint
and tackle hills. If you want an upper body workout as you pedal,
you can easily add weights and do repetitions as you sit back
in the recumbent bike seat.
Recumbent Bikes Offer a Sustainable
The programs offered by most
recumbent exercise bikes definitely keep the
workout from becoming boring. You can simulate a course that
is easy or
difficult, flat or hilly. When shopping for exercise bikes, it's
better to get
a bike with as many variations as possible.
The fact that a recumbent bike
is suitable for all levels will keep you getting
back on the bike. If you're feeling particularly tired or lazy
one day, you
can have an easy workout where you can read a book or newspaper.
If you really want to test your limits, you can crank up the
music, set the machine to more difficult levels, and add some
weights for an upper body workout.
Recumbent Bikes are Safer
Because you sit back and lower
to the ground in a recumbent bike, it is better for your body.
Most exercise bikes force you to hunch over, causing a stiff
back. Some dual action bikes are back injuries waiting to happen.
Recumbent bikes require that you sit with good posture as you
Recumbent bikes also offer one
of the few cardio workouts that put no pressure on your knees
and other joints. You can't "cheat" on a recumbent
bike and stand up when you're finding it more difficult to pedal.
Standing like that on other types of exercise bikes puts unnecessary
pressure on your knees and ankles. Recumbent bikes let your body
exercise at an angle where your body weight is not stressing
your joints. Even people with back and knee problems will find
a recumbent bike easy to use.
Why Men Should Choose
Recumbent Exercise Bikes
So many men neglect their lower
bodies when they workout, especially in strength training. It's
common to see buffed out men with giant biceps and tiny little
bird legs. That's because it's easier to get an upper body workout
at home. If you just invest in a recumbent bike, you can set
the machine to high resistance. You will build leg muscle, and
you can even do curls while you pedal.
Recumbent bikes can also allow
men to get a great cardio workout without the discomfort that
only a man knows on regular bikes or other types of exercise
bikes. With the large, comfortable seats of recumbent bikes,
you are much more likely to enjoy your workout pain-free.
If you move the seat of a recumbent
bike up a bit to bring your legs higher, you can even target
the lower abs and have to do less crunches to get the bottom
of your six-pack!
Things Women Should Know About
Two words, ladies: legs and bottoms.
Recumbent exercise bikes are so
comfortable and easy to use that eventually you can do workouts
results like you've spent hours a day on a stair-stepper.
Recumbent bikes can give you
a fat burning cardio workout with enough resistance to help you
build long, lean muscle. Picture Tina Turner legs. Recumbent
bikes also are great for your inner thighs. Using different programs
and settings, you will be able to target different muscle areas
in your legs for longer looking, leaner legs.
According to most polls, women
claim in higher numbers to not have time for exercise because
of more responsibilities in the home. With the positioning of
a recumbent bike, you can multi-task to more easily fit in a
workout. You are able to read, catch the news, and even use a
phone or your handheld organizer.
Finding a Recumbent Exercise
With prices between $200 and
$3000, there is quite a variety of recumbent bikes available.
Use the Internet to find great deals (including free shipping
most of the time). Because the bikes are great for any level
and help you to
finally be able to stick with a safe and effective workout routine,
splurge a little. This is definitely one of the best investments
you can make
for your health.