Upright Vs. Recumbent Exercise Bike – Which Is Better?

Written by: Tim Bura

The upright exercise bike has been around for a long time now and was one of finest indoor workout machine to be invented, along with the treadmill. A relatively new entry into the world of fitness machines is the “recumbent” exercise bike. The recumbent exercise bike seeks to do away with all the discomfort and disadvantages that an upright bike posed for many workout enthusiasts who were just starting off. In this article we pit the recumbent exercise bike with upright exercise bike and see which one is the better of the two.

Upright Bike Versus Recumbent Bike – Pros and Cons

The recumbent bike comes with a seat with proper back support, it’s like sitting on a comfortable chair and pedaling away with your legs. So “comfort” is the USP for this exercise bike.

Let’s look at some of the obvious advantages provided by the recumbent bike:

  • It provides support for your lower and upper back, thus reducing any strain around these regions.
  • You will not end up with a sore bottom after a bout of workout on this bike. One of the most frequent complaints with the upright exercise bike was that it gave a sore butt to deal with after the end of the workout.
  • One can exercise longer on the recumbent exercise bike because of the muscles along lower back and mid-back region are supported and less tired
  • It’s a great way to burn off calories while also toning the muscles of the gluts, hamstring, calves, thighs and butt. If you are looking to shape up your butt, then the recumbent exercise bike is the way to go, the upright bike is no help in this area.
  • You will not end up with sore hands and wrists, like you would with an upright exercise bike, because the recumbent bike does not need you to support your weight with your hands
  • This is great workout machine for beginners. The upright bike can be a strain for people who are starting to workout, mostly because of the posture and movement required on this bike. The recumbent bike with its comfortable posture allows beginners to exercise with less strain.
  • The recumbent bike is recommended for people who are over-weight. While using an upright bike, an over-weight person can easily strain his/her back, hands or hamstring because of the intense pressure on these areas.

Now let’s look at the disadvantages of a recumbent exercise bike:

  • Workout experts believe that an upright exercise bike gives you are more intense workout than an recumbent exercise bike. The upright bike involves more muscle groups and thus allows for more calories to be burnt, it also helps strengthen many more muscle groups along your leg and hip region, than the recumbent bike.
  • The upright bike takes up less space because it has a smaller frame compared to the recumbent bike.
  • Recumbent exercise bikes are more expensive than the upright ones because of their design and larger frame.
  • Your movement is very restricted on the recumbent exercise bike while on an upright bike you can pedal standing up, sitting down or even slouching forward (like in a race bike position).

So there you have it, you might want to try out both these exercise bikes once (at a gym) before you decide to buy one for personal use. Based on various inputs on forums and online groups, the recumbent bike does have a huge fan following.

Which Exercise Bike is Better?

So upright vs. recumbent exercise bike, which is better? Well, based on the various advantages offered by the recumbent bike, it’s certainly better than the upright bike especially for the beginner and over-weight trainers. The upright bike is good for people who have been working out for a long time and have stronger muscles along their lower back and arms.

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Author Info
I went through an extremely unhealthy period in my life after which I decided to change my lifestyle completely. And I am glad I did. I believe in natural living and positive thinking through inner awareness. 1.) Eat traditional natural foods. 2.) Avoid processed foods. (Once in a while is okay). 3.) Walk everyday. 4.) Eat lots of fruits and drink lots of water. 5.) Snack healthy - Raw veggies, nuts etc. 6.) Be in nature and get lots of sunlight. 7.) Meditate daily for 20 minutes. 8.) Practice relaxation.