My Recumbent Exercise Bike

Submitted by Miss Danielle on Thu, 01/17/2008 - 8:40pm.

With joint pains and a bad back, it's a challenge to find exercise methods that are effective yet not overwhelming. I've done a Bollywood dance class for a semester (great for the first 40 minutes, but too much after that), and looked into joining a gym. Truth is, I would find too many reasons not to go to a gym (including the insane fees they charge). So after some research, I chose a recumbent bicycle.

A recumbent bike has many advantages over other pieces of exercise equipment.

  1. A recumbent exercise bike offers great support for the lower back and lumbar region.
  2. The seat is more comfortable than a regular bike seat, and even though you're sitting back on your tushy, that's one of the areas being targeted.
  3. It's gentler on your knees.
  4. Most come with preprogrammed ride programs and options to tailor it to your size and age.

Having it in the house (set up so that I can watch dvds as I push through the 30 minute workout) has been great. It works me hard enough for a "good sweat", but not so hard that I dread doing it again. So far, I've used it every other day for the past month, and I still really like it (though I would prefer if we could lose weight by eating cheesies and sitting on the couch). The best part is it doesn't make my energy level bottom out or cause a total crash the next day. So all my fibro friends out there, this might be something for you to look into.

 
Submitted by Anonymous on Thu, 02/21/2008 - 12:32pm.

Is a recumbent exercise bike a good exercise to do to lose weight? Is an upright bike better for exercise, or is a recumbent just as good or better? I want to target my belly area! Can exercise on a recumbent exercise bike help trim down a fat belly?

Submitted by Miss Danielle on Thu, 02/21/2008 - 2:56pm.

I did a lot of research on the bikes and equipment before I invested, so let me tell you what I found out in my research.

There is a split in the fitness community on what's "better" for a workout: recumbent vs upright. It seems to come down to your needs and preferences as opposed to a clear winner overall.

People who choose the upright bike tend to do so because they like how it simulates a real bike riding experience. These are usually intermediate to advanced fitness level people; people who are in above average condition.

I can't use upright bikes. They immediately hurt my back and my butt, and eventually blow my knees. They're uncomfortable and within 3 minutes I want to get off it.

Since a recumbent bike supports your back, and your weight isn't over top of your knees, it's better on the body. You're also pushing out from you (as opposed to down), which requires more energy (no help from gravity with your weight over top) and gives, in my opinion, a better workout.

With a recumbent bike, faster does not mean better. It's the resistance of the magnetic belt that gives you a work out. It targets the hips and butt, but it's such a good cardiovascular workout (when you reach your target heart rate) that you burn calories while you build muscle (which means you lose weight all over).

If you work toward building muscle and reducing body fat you will eventually tackle those trouble spots. You can "tone" target areas, but it's hard to specifically "lose weight" in target areas. Usually, as you may have found, you lose it in your face first..then maybe your hands...and for the ladies, the boobs...then the rest of the body. You have to give it time.

So, can a recumbent bike help you lose belly fat? Yes, because it's a good workout that's comfortable enough that you won't quit! I'm a chronic exercise quitter, and I've been using my bike every second day since the start of January. That says a lot.

My advice: Find out if the local YWCA/YMCA has a recumbent bike (or if a gym nearby lets you have a free visit) and test it out for yourself. Or go to a Fitness Equipment store and try it there. See if you like the feel of it, and compare the comfort to an upright bike. And do a search on google about it!

Submitted by Anonymous on Mon, 03/10/2008 - 11:09pm.

I would be interested in how you are doing now? I just bought my bike after riding one for about 4 months at the gym. I found myself only being allowed to ride 30 minutes and only about 200 calories before someone wanted the bike after me. I bought the New Balance, and so far I'm happy with it. I'm steadily losing weight, and I'm working my arms by wearing 2 pound weights on my wrists and moving them in a running or circular motion. I also carry 3 pound bells after the first 15 minutes of just the waving of my arms. I'm tired, but I'm getting the best work out ever. I wanted to know how you are doing. E-mail me: faith@faiththedog.net

Submitted by Miss Danielle on Tue, 03/11/2008 - 10:11am.

Great idea on the weights during the workout. And congrats on your new purchase and success with the bike :)

As for me, I'm still at it. I'm maintaining weight as opposed to losing it at the moment (which is a good thing at least since I was gaining at a steady rate). I need to build up strength first, and need to make sure I don't "burnout" from overdoing it on a particular day (because then I can't exercise for a couple of days afterwards).

So how do I measure my success?

1) When I started, I was averaging exercise on the bike 2-3 times a week. Now I am at 3-4 without burnout.

2) I was only averaging 35-45 rpms through the various difficulty levels, and now I average 43-55 rpms.

3) My bike has a "recovery" feature where at the end of a workout it gauges your fitness level. I was always getting the highest rate (which means the poorest fitness) a month ago, and now I get progressively lower numbers.

SO I'm going to have to believe the professionals when they say that even if the scale isn't telling me I'm losing weight, chances are I'm burning fat and replacing it with muscle. Meanwhile, the main focus is to build strength and endurance.

Submitted by Anonymous on Thu, 10/23/2008 - 6:57am.

Thanks Miss Danielle. Reading about your sucess has kept my on my bike for my first two weeks and now I am planning on keeping it up...hope your doing well! Update?

Jared

Submitted by Anonymous on Thu, 02/26/2009 - 10:55am.

Hi,

Im glad to see others are suffering as well with working out. I cry the whole time iw ork out. I hate it i hate it, lol. But i have come to the end of this fat thing. I went out and bought a recummlent bike and a eliptical and man it is so hard. I just started it like two weeks ago i do 10 minutes on eash and the eliptical kicks my ass. I glad to see others are doing it too. I force myself everyday but im wondering does riding that bike actually help u lose is in the hips and butt.

Lisa

Submitted by Anonymous on Mon, 03/02/2009 - 11:32am.

I haven't been on this side for ages, but had it bookmarked. I am right along side with you. I haven't started exercising yet, but hope to today.

Can you tell me which bike and eliptical you got? Ooops, you might just go to the gym. If not, any suggestions? My problem is getting a bike that can hold more weight.
Thanks!

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