Is a Recumbent Bike Better than an Upright?
Stationary bicycles are an excellent form of low impact, cardiovascular exercise and perfect for at home use. There are two different styles, the recumbent and upright bike. In the article below, we will look at whether a recumbent bicycle is a better choice versus an upright so that you can make the best decision.
What are the Differences?
A recumbent bicycle has a larger seat with a reclined body position and the pedals are positioned in front of the body. The recumbent style allows for the body to sit back into the frame and provides a comfortable position which helps reduce fatigue and muscle soreness, especially in the upper body.
With an upright stationary bicycle, the rider sits above the bike frame on a smaller seat. It is a similar position to riding an actual bicycle outside, where the body is slightly hunched over with a slight bend in the back. Some users complain of muscle soreness, especially in the neck if they are not positioned properly and may fatigue quicker. Because of the small seat size, some users find that they become sore after using – often referred to as saddle soreness.
Does a Recumbent Bicycle Burn More Calories?
When many people are trying to decide between an upright or recumbent bicycle, they want to choose the model that will burn the most calories and maximize weight loss. While each style of bike has its pros and cons, the truth is that both have the same potential for calorie shedding and weight loss. To maximize your workout and reach your fitness goals, choose the model that you will be most comfortable in.
Upright Stationary Bicycle Benefits:
For those looking for a workout that is similar to riding outdoors, the upright bicycle is a better choice as it simulates the position of riding a real bicycle. This model is often preferred by those that race or frequently mountain bike or cycle outdoors in warmer months. An upright bicycle also targets the same muscles that outdoor riding does, including:
With upright bicycles, the rider receives a better upper body workout as their shoulders, and arms are engaged. In addition, the abdominal muscles also get worked as a result of having to keep the body upright and supported while exercising.
Recumbent Stationary Bicycle Benefits:
For individuals that are seeking an exercise bike that will provide the least amount of stress on joints or those that suffer from lower back problems, the recumbent bicycle is a better choice. The larger, bucket seat supports the lower back and your knees and ankles workout in a motion which provides less impact. Recumbent bicycles are perfect for individuals of all ability levels, and as the body’s weight is spread throughout the buttocks and back, it reduces the risk of pain and muscle fatigue. For those that suffer from hip problems or even arthritis, a recumbent bike provides a safe and supportive workout.
Recumbent bicycles also target the following muscles:
Which is Better?
Both bicycles offer a great way to get a challenging workout without having to leave home or commit to a monthly gym membership. Which style of bicycle is better is ultimately up to your needs and lifestyle. For those that live in apartments or are limited on space, an upright model has a smaller footprint.
Where a recumbent bike shines is its ability to burn an equal amount of calories as an upright but suitable for those with back or joint problems as it reduces the risk of getting strained or hurt.
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