Effective Recumbent Workouts

Do not let the relaxed and reclined demeanor fool you. Recumbent bikes can be a very useful equipment to add intensity to your everyday workout routine. Not to mention this cardiovascular machine is a handy tool to help shed those extra pounds.  However, you most likely will not see the results you want if you just mindlessly pedal while catching up on your soaps. You should get the most out of your bent if you have a workout routine. So, here are some great tips, exercises, and routines to help you reach your goal.

Effective Recumbent Workouts


All great workouts must begin with a proper warm-up to get your heart rate going and your muscles ready.  Warm-ups should only last about five minutes. To start off, do not apply any resistance and pedal at a steady and consistent pace. Gradually, increase your speed for thirty seconds off and thirty seconds on in bursts to really get your heart rate up.

Warming- up is absolutely essential especially for those who exercise on a bent for physical therapy and rehabilitation purposes. Many people have injuries and pain that hinders them to do pressure less exercises. So, it is just as important to remember to properly stretch beforehand so no more injuries occur.

Intervals are Key

The most effective method of an intense fat-burning workout is intervals. Interval exercise is composed of short bursts of intense cardio drills followed by periods of low concentration.  Which means you alternate between periods of high intensity and low intensity involving both resistance levels and speed. There are several recumbents that come preprogrammed with interval routines such as the Schwinn 270.However, you can get the same effects manually too.  Here is a great example of a workout you could do on your own.

  • 0-5 minutes: set resistance to 8 at 90 RPM
  • 5-6 minutes: resistance at level 15 at 80 RPM
  • 6-6:30 minutes: resistance level of 1 at 50 RPM
  • 6:30-7:30 minutes: resistance level 15 at 80 RPM
  • 7:30-8 minutes: resistance level 1 at 50 RPM
  • 8-9 minutes: resistance should be 15 at 80 RPM
  • (Alternate one minute at resistance level 15 and thirty seconds at resistance level 1 until the 20th minute)
  • 20-25 minutes: resistance level 8 at 90 RPM

Don’t Get Burnt Out

While high intensity interval training or HIIT for short is very effective, it can be very daunting and taxing on one’s body. You can easily be burnt out if you do intervals everyday.  It is necessary to fluctuate and add some duration routines into your workout as well. Twenty to thirty sessions of medium and consistent pedaling is just as important and vital. You could also check out other programs that are offered with your bent to switch things up.

Target Muscles

Not only is a recumbent bicycle a great cardiovascular workout but it targets a lot of “trouble” zones too. You have the ability to really tone the lower half of the body including thighs and your glutes. With the help of endurance levels, you have the capacity to really shape and sculpt those pesky areas.

Hamstrings: This muscle is located in the back of the thigh. It can be a difficult muscle to reach and it can easily be injured. Make sure you stretch your hamstrings before pedaling; otherwise you will be one sore person the next day.

Gluteal Muscles: Everyone is in need of a good butt workout. This is the main muscle that is used while you are on a bent. It tones both the gluteus minimus and gluteus maximus just by pedaling. The tougher the endurance, the more you target these muscles.

Calves: Calves are prominent behind the backside of your knee. They help lift your heels in order to pedal. To tone your calves while cycling, adjust more weight to the balls of your feet. Soon your calves will be looking really good in those heels you own.

Abdominals: The way you are positioned in the seat, your abs get a workout as well especially the lower ones.  All you have to do is modify your leg incline to make it closer to the pedals. Then, you feel begin to feel your abs contract and tighten during your workout.

Cool Down

Cooling down is equally as important as warming up. Make sure you take five minutes to decrease and stable your heart rate before you just jump off the machine. Also, make sure you keep hydrated during and after exercise. Most models come with a water bottle holder, so remember to use it. Remember to alternate routines so you will not get burned out or bored. You certainly can use pre-programmed sequences offered depending on the bike, but you can just as easily do it manually on your own. You absolutely can get a killer exercise in these seemingly simple machines when you know what you are doing.