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What are Upright Exercise Bikes?

When it comes to exercise bikes you may believe they’re all the same.  How wrong you would be!  There are actually a few different types of exercise bikes, of which, upright exercise bikes are only a single style.  You can also get recumbent exercise bikes as well as indoor cycling bikes, or spinning bikes.  In this article, we’ll try to answer the question of “What are upright exercise bikes?” by comparing them with recumbent bikes and spinning cycles.

What Do These Bikes Have in Common?

Exercise bikes are meant to give you a cardiovascular workout while using your legs.  You’ll be working your gluteal muscles, quadriceps, calves, hamstrings and hip flexors to increase your heart and breathing rate which will result in burning calories.  As the name suggests, you achieve this by simulating the motions you would use on a regular bicycle.

Upright Exercise Bikes

Upright exercise bikes have the pedals located directly beneath the body and have a small seat on which to sit.  The pedals are connected to the flywheel by a belt or chain and the amount of resistance can be controlled by magnets, friction pads or other devices.  You’ll be using the same muscles, including your abs, as you would when you’re riding an outdoor bike.  You’ll get a bit of arm workout as well as you’ll be using these muscles to keep yourself balanced.  Standing up on a regular upright bike isn’t recommended because the pedals are rarely reinforced for the added weight.

Spinning Bikes

Spinning bikes allow the rider to assume various positions while pedalling.  They’re built to handle the rider standing up on the pedals to simulate riding up a hill.  As spinning bikes are typically used by those looking for more of a strenuous workout, they’re constructed to be very stable regardless of the rider’s size or the amount of effort expended.  Spinning bikes also typically have much heavier flywheels than those of upright exercise bikes.  The heavier the flywheel, the more stable the ride and the more it resembles riding a real outdoor bicycle.

Recumbent Bikes

Recumbent bikes have much larger seats than the other two types since the rider sits back and engages pedals that are in front of their body rather than beneath.  As the name suggests, the body is reclined rather than sitting upright.  Recumbent bikes are better for those with bad backs or joint problems.  You’ll be unable to stand on the pedals of a recumbent bike which takes the weight off your back and joints.  It’s possible that your legs can receive a greater workout on a recumbent bike due to the force of gravity being unable to help your pedal power.

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