If you are looking for a low-impact exercise that can help you shed some pounds, riding recumbent bikes is a good option for weight loss.
But how effective are recumbent bikes for weight loss? How many calories can you burn on a recumbent bike? How to lose weight with a recumbent bike? In this blog post, we will answer these questions and more, based on the latest research and personal testimonies.
What are Recumbent Bikes?
Recumbent bikes are a type of bicycle that features a reclined seat and pedals that are positioned in front of the rider, rather than below. This innovative design enables a more comfortable and ergonomic riding posture. Recumbent bikes are available in several configurations, including indoor recumbent exercise bikes.
How can a Recumbent Bike Help You Lose Weight?
But how can recumbent bikes help you lose weight? Here are some recumbent bike weight loss benefits.
Recumbent bikes burn calories
Cycling is a great way to burn calories and fat, as it engages your large muscle groups and elevates your heart rate. Recumbent bikes can burn even more calories, as they allow you to pedal faster and harder due to the lower wind resistance and better support.
Recumbent bikes build muscle
Cycling also helps you build lean muscle mass, especially in your legs, glutes, and core. Muscle tissue burns more calories than fat tissue, even at rest, so having more muscle mass can boost your metabolism and help you lose weight. Recumbent bikes can help you build more muscle, as they allow you to use more of your hamstrings and glutes than upright bikes.
Recumbent bikes are low-impact
Cycling is a low-impact exercise, meaning it does not put too much stress on your joints, bones, or tendons. This makes it suitable for people who have injuries, arthritis, or other conditions that limit their mobility or cause pain. Recumbent bikes are even more low-impact than upright bikes, as they distribute your weight more evenly and reduce the pressure on your spine, hips, knees, and ankles.
Recumbent bikes are fun
One of the most important factors for weight loss is motivation. If you enjoy your exercise routine, you are likelier to stick to it and achieve your goals. Recumbent bikes are fun to ride, as they offer a different perspective and sensation than upright bikes.
How Many Calories Can You Burn on a Recumbent Bike?
The number of calories you burn on a recumbent bike depends on several factors, such as your weight, age, gender, fitness level, and workout intensity.
However, according to some sources, an average-sized person can burn about 400-450 calories per hour on a recumbent bike at a moderate intensity.
Of course, this is just an estimate and your actual calorie burn may vary. To get a more accurate number, you can use a heart rate monitor or a fitness app that tracks your calories burned. You can also adjust the resistance and speed of your recumbent bike to increase or decrease the intensity of your workout.
How to Maximize Weight Loss With a Recumbent Bike?
Burning calories is not the only factor that affects your weight loss. You also need to consider your diet, lifestyle, and overall health. Here are some tips to help you maximize your weight loss with a recumbent bike:
Follow your heart rate
You need to bring your heart rate to the fat-burning zone to make sure you are losing more fat than muscle. The fat-burning zone is typically between 60% and 70% of your maximum heart rate (220 minus your age). You can use a heart rate monitor or check your pulse to see if you are in the right zone.
Mix it up
Don’t do the same workout every day. Vary the speed, resistance, duration, and frequency of your recumbent bike sessions. This will prevent boredom, plateaus, and injuries. You can also try some interval training, where you alternate between high-intensity and low-intensity periods.
Add some core exercises
Recumbent bikes work mainly on your lower body muscles, such as your glutes, hamstrings, quads, and calves. To balance your workout and strengthen your core, add some abdominal exercises to your routine. You can do crunches, planks, leg raises, or twists off the bike.
You can’t out-exercise a bad diet. To lose weight effectively, you need to create a calorie deficit by eating fewer calories than you burn. However, this doesn’t mean starving yourself or skipping meals. You need to eat nutritious foods that provide you with enough energy and nutrients for your workouts and daily activities. Choose lean proteins, complex carbohydrates, healthy fats, fruits, and vegetables. Avoid processed foods, added sugars, trans fats, and alcohol.
Water is essential for your health and weight loss. It helps you flush out toxins, regulate your body temperature, lubricate your joints, and prevent dehydration. It also helps you feel full and suppresses your appetite. Drink at least 8 glasses of water per day, or more if you sweat a lot during your workouts.
Weight loss is not a quick fix. It takes time, effort, and dedication to see results. Don’t expect to lose weight overnight or after one session on the recumbent bike. You need to be consistent with your workouts and diet for at least several weeks or months to notice any changes in your body composition and weight.
Best Recumbent Bikes for Weight Loss
Recumbent indoor bikes are suitable for people of all fitness levels and ages, especially seniors, beginners, and those recovering from injuries. They can also help you burn calories, improve your endurance, and tone your lower body muscles. However, not all recumbent bikes are created equal. There are many factors to consider when choosing the best recumbent bike for weight loss, such as:
- Resistance levels: The more resistance levels a recumbent bike has, the more challenging and varied your workouts can be. You can adjust the resistance to suit your fitness level and goals, and increase it as you progress. Higher resistance levels also mean higher calorie burn and more muscle engagement.
- Display and programs: A good recumbent bike should have a clear and easy-to-use display that shows you important metrics such as time, speed, distance, calories, heart rate, and more. Some recumbent bikes also have preset programs that can guide you through different types of workouts, such as interval training, hill climbing, fat burning, etc. These programs can help you stay motivated and challenge yourself.
- Comfort and adjustability: A comfortable recumbent bike should have a padded and ergonomic seat that supports your back and buttocks. It should also have an adjustable seat position that allows you to find the optimal distance between the seat and the pedals. Additionally, it should have a sturdy and stable frame that can support your weight and prevent wobbling or shaking.
- Extra features: Some recumbent bikes have extra features that can enhance your workout experience and convenience. For example, some have Bluetooth connectivity that allows you to sync your data with fitness apps or stream interactive workouts. Some have speakers, fans, media racks, or USB ports that can make your workouts more enjoyable. Some have folding or compact designs that can save space when not in use.
To help you find the best recumbent bike for weight loss, we have reviewed some of the top-rated models on the market based on these criteria. Here are our picks:
Best Overall: NordicTrack Commercial R35 Recumbent Bike
The NordicTrack Commercial R35 Recumbent Bike is our top pick for the best overall recumbent bike for weight loss. This high-end model has everything you need for an effective and comfortable workout. It has 26 digital resistance levels that can automatically adjust to match the intensity of your chosen program or interactive workout.
It also has a 14-inch HD touchscreen display that lets you access thousands of on-demand workouts from iFit trainers around the world. You can also use Google Maps to create your own custom routes and explore scenic destinations. The display also shows your real-time stats and heart rate.
The NordicTrack Commercial R35 Recumbent Bike has a comfortable seat with lumbar support and easy-glide adjustability. It also has an AutoBreeze fan that adjusts its speed to match your workout intensity. Other features include dual speakers, a media shelf, a water bottle holder, a tablet holder, and a wireless chest strap for heart rate monitoring.
The NordicTrack Commercial R35 Recumbent Bike has a weight capacity of 350 pounds and comes with a 10-year frame warranty, 2-year parts warranty, and 1-year labor warranty.
Runner-Up: Sole LCR Recumbent Bike
The Sole LCR Recumbent Bike is another excellent option for weight loss. This durable and reliable model has 40 levels of magnetic resistance that provide a smooth and quiet ride.
It also has ten preset programs that include manual, hill, fat burn, cardio, strength, interval, user 1&2, and heart rate 1&2. You can monitor your progress on the 9-inch LCD display that shows time, speed, distance, calories burned, pulse rate, RPMs (revolutions per minute), watts (power output), level, and program profile.
The Sole LCR Recumbent Bike has a gel-cushioned seat with an adjustable backrest that conforms to your body shape. It also has ergonomic pedals with adjustable straps that prevent slippage.
Other features include pulse grip sensors on the handlebars, a chest strap receiver for wireless heart rate monitoring, a built-in cooling fan, a sound system with MP3 compatibility, a water bottle holder, and transport wheels for easy mobility.
The Sole LCR Recumbent Bike has a weight capacity of 350 pounds and comes with a lifetime frame warranty, a 5-year parts warranty, and a 2-year labor warranty.
Best Value: Marcy ME-709 Recumbent Exercise Bike
The Marcy ME-709 Recumbent Exercise Bike is our pick for the best-value recumbent bike for weight loss. This affordable and simple model has eight levels of magnetic resistance that you can adjust with a tension knob. It also has an LCD display that shows time, speed, distance, and calories burned. The display is battery-powered, so you don’t need to plug the bike into an outlet.
The Marcy ME-709 Recumbent Exercise Bike has a padded seat with a contoured backrest that supports your lower back. It also has counterbalanced pedals with adjustable foot straps that keep your feet secure. Other features include foam-covered handlebars, a step-through design for easy access, and transport wheels for easy storage. The Marcy ME-709 Recumbent Exercise Bike has a weight capacity of 300 pounds and comes with a 2-year limited warranty.
Best for Small Spaces: Lanos Folding Exercise Bike
The Lanos Folding Exercise Bike is our pick for the best recumbent bike for small spaces. This compact and foldable model can be used as an upright or recumbent bike, depending on your preference. It has ten levels of magnetic resistance that you can adjust with a knob. It also has an LCD display that shows time, speed, distance, calories burned, odometer, and pulse rate.
The Lanos Folding Exercise Bike has a cushioned seat with a backrest that can be adjusted to fit users between 4’5″ and 6’7″ tall. It also has large pedals with straps that prevent your feet from slipping. Other features include pulse sensors on the handlebars, a phone or tablet holder, a water bottle holder, and transport wheels for easy moving and storage.
The Lanos Folding Exercise Bike has a weight capacity of 330 pounds and comes with a 1-year warranty.
Other Low-Impact Exercises for Weight Loss
Now that you know the benefits of recumbent biking for weight loss, you might be wondering what other low-impact exercises you can do to complement your cycling routine.
Low-impact exercises are those that do not involve jumping, running, or any other movement that causes a lot of stress on your joints and tendons. Some examples of low-impact exercises are:
Walking is one of the simplest and most accessible forms of low-impact exercise. It can help you burn calories, improve your cardiovascular health, strengthen your bones and muscles, and reduce stress. You can walk anywhere, anytime, at your own pace and distance. You can also vary your walking intensity by changing your speed, incline, or terrain.
Swimming is another great low-impact exercise that works your whole body without putting any pressure on your joints. Swimming can help you burn calories, tone your muscles, improve your lung capacity, and enhance your mood. You can swim in a pool, a lake, or the ocean, depending on your preference and availability.
Yoga is a low-impact exercise that combines physical poses with breathing techniques and meditation. Yoga can help you improve your flexibility, balance, strength, posture, and mental clarity. Yoga can also reduce stress, anxiety, and inflammation in your body. There are many types of yoga to choose from, depending on your level of experience and goals.
Rowing is a low-impact exercise that works both your upper and lower body muscles simultaneously. Rowing can help you burn calories, increase aerobic capacity, build strength & endurance, improve posture & core stability, etc. You can row on a rowing machine, an indoor rower, or a water rower, depending on your preference and availability.
Low-impact exercises can offer many benefits for your health and fitness without causing too much stress on your joints and tendons. They can also be fun, enjoyable, and suitable for people of all ages and fitness levels. You can mix and match different low-impact exercises to create a well-rounded workout routine that meets your needs and goals. Remember to always warm up before exercising, cool down after exercising, and drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.
Recumbent bikes are a good option for weight loss if you use them properly and consistently. They can help you burn calories, build muscle, and prevent injury while providing comfort and support for your back and joints.
To get the most out of your recumbent bike workouts, you should follow your heart rate, exercise your upper body, and mix up your workouts. Doing so can help you achieve your weight loss goals and enjoy the benefits of recumbent biking.