When you’re thinking of an exercise bike, you probably think of an upright bike. You see these most often in your local gym, and it’s the position closest to what you experience when riding your bike on the open road. You also may have seen another type of exercise bike – the recumbent bike. What are the differences, and what are the advantages & disadvantages of an upright bike compared to a recumbent bike?
Which ever bike you choose, exercise bikes are a great way to enjoy a low-impact cardio workout. But, there are differences between each of these types of bikes.
What is an Upright Bike?
An upright bike is very similar to a standard road bike, where you sit on the seat with your legs below you and your body leaning forward over the handlebars. If you’re used to riding a regular bike on the road, this will be very familiar to you when it comes to training, and is a great tool for whole body workouts as well as race training or hill work.
What is a Recumbent Bike?
A recumbent bike features a more natural, seated position with the pedals in front of you and the handlebars low and along side you. This helps to make your body feel more stable and comfortable on the machine. If you have back issues, or find the position on an upright bike uncomfortable, a recumbent bike may be a good alternative choice for you.
Upright Bike Exercise Benefits
Upright bikes work your core and ab muscles, since you have to hold your body upright during your workouts. You’ll also engage your arms (including biceps and triceps), as well as your shoulders as you lean over the handlebars. Due to this, you’ll engage more muscles, and get more of a whole body workout, than you would with a recumbent bike.
Upright Bike Disadvantages
The downsides of an upright bike include – more stress on your knees and ankles, greater muscle fatigue due to holding your body weight over the handlebars, harder to keep balanced, and extra stress on your back due to the hunched over position.
Recumbent Bike Exercise Benefits
Compared to an upright bike, a recumbent bike is much easier on your knees and ankles, as well as your back. If you’re new to working out, exercising on a recumbent bike may be easier for you than on an upright bike – you can read or watch TV while exercising on a recumbent bike much easier than you can on an upright bike. And the seating position means your seat may be more comfortable, making longer workouts easier to tolerate.
Recumbent Bike Disadvantages
First, since you’re engaging less muscles than you would on an upright bike, you’ll burn fewer calories, so if your goal is weight loss, you’ll need to work out longer than you would on a upright bike to burn similar amounts of fat. And, you may find that even though you’re putting less stress on your knees than an upright bike, you can experience “knee shear” much easier on a recumbent bike.
No matter which type of exercise bike you choose, Fitness 4 Home Superstore has a wide selection to choose from. Stop into any of our three Phoenix area stores and check out our full selection of upright bikes and recumbent bikes today!
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