It’s difficult to stay fit and healthy when you can’t participate in most exercises because you can’t skip, hop, or jump. This article will show you how to use a recumbent bike to stay fit with low impact exercise. A recumbent bike is an answer to when you want to get a good cardio exercise, but you are limited because of bad joints, injury, or neck or back issues.
I’ve been in that exact position and I was very frustrated, thinking I would get fat and out of shape. I searched for a way to keep my body healthy during my injury and the only two options I found were swimming and using a recumbent bike. Since I didn’t own a swimming pool, I decided to try using a recumbent bike and it worked once I learned how to use it. I want to share that with you.
What You Will Need
You won’t need much to use a recumbent bike but here is a list to make sure you are ready:
- A recumbent exercise bike (of course): There are many recumbent exercise bikes on the market today. Try to find one that has enough tension settings for an intense workout that will raise your heart rate. Make sure that the seat is comfortable, and the back support is reclined enough to take the pressure off your spine. Most models will include some tracking for speed, distance, and time. This comes in handy when you are trying to track your progress.
- Good comfortable clothing and shoes.
- Water to hydrate during your workout.
[Step 1] Warm Up And Stretches
Before you even step onto the recumbent bike, you need to make sure your body is ready for the workout. The best way to ensure you don’t get any injury is to warm up and stretch. The most important places to warm up and stretch are your calves, hamstrings, and quads.
Try with a quick 2-minute high step in place to get the blood flowing and the leg muscles warm. Next, do some walking lunges for a minute. As your muscles warm up you can begin to stretch. Do some toe touches, side bends, and quad stretches.
[Step 2] Adjust The Recumbent Bike
The next thing you want to do is adjust the bike to fit your body. Usually, the seat is adjustable. So are the feet pedal straps.
Sit on the seat and adjust to the setting where your knees are slightly bent. This is the ideal seat position for you. Next, put your feet into the straps and adjust the strap to be secure on your toes but not so tight that it will begin to cut off circulation 20 minutes into the workout.
[Step 3] Another Warm Up
Now that your body is warmed up and the recumbent bike is set up to your comfort, you will want to get used to using the recumbent bike and the movements that your body will be doing in the intense workout.
Start off by doing five minutes of slow biking. Make it as leisurely as possible while still maintaining some speed. This will get those muscles even more ready for the faster paces.
As it begins to feel easier, increase your pace until you feel confident in your form. Your shoulders should be relaxed and back. Your back should be up against the reclined back support to take the pressure off your lower spine. Your arms should be down and resting on the armrests.
[Step 4] Set Up Your Workout
Most recumbent bikes come with programs that help you get a good workout in. You can choose these on the computer, or you can just do it manually. If you choose a program already put into the computer, the time and resistance are already determined. All you must do is get on and start pedaling. Below is an image of a computer on a recumbent bike.
If you decide to choose your own time and resistance, you need to set those yourself. When deciding on a time, remember that most doctors recommend at least 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise each day. Any length of time above 30 minutes is great.
When choosing a resistance level, it is important to consider your fitness level now. All recumbent bikes have either a knob that turns to adjust the resistance or a button on the computer. Most recumbent bikes have up to 25 resistance levels. You would never want to start out anywhere close to the highest resistance.
Should you ever use the higher resistance levels, it should only be in an interval workout, where most of the workout is in the lower resistance levels. The reason for this is that the higher resistance levels are great for building leg muscles, but it would be hard to keep your heart rate high enough to benefit from a cardiovascular workout.
Speaking of interval training, many of the programs would be considered interval training, where the resistance level changes several times during the workout. This is the best way to burn calories and increase your metabolism.
Once you’ve set the time and resistance, you’re ready to pedal away!
[Step 5] The Workout
As you continue to pedal, make sure you are away of your form. Assess the difficulty of your workout. If it doesn’t seem like enough of a challenge, don’t be afraid to change things up mid-workout.
Make sure to always challenge yourself for the best results. Try using different tech to make your workout more fun and interesting. There are apps out there that are designed for that very purpose.
Try BigRing Virtual Cycling with a VR headset, or a simple tv program like Zwift to simulate real cycling. Have fun with it!
[Video] How to Use a Recumbent Exercise Bike
What do you think? Are you ready to try a recumbent exercise bike? I hope I taught you how to use a recumbent exercise bike well enough to make you feel confident to get on one and get all the benefits you can. Do you know of someone who could use a recumbent exercise bike? Feel free to share this article with them.
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