Recumbent Bike vs. Upright Bike: Which Is Best For You?

Recumbent Bike vs. Upright Bike: Which Is Best For You?

, 3 min reading time

If you’re looking to grow your home gym, but you want something different than a treadmill or a rower, consider a stationary bike! There are two common types, recumbent and upright.

What’s the difference between a recumbent bike and an upright bike?

The short answer is the position of the rider. But no matter which way you go, stationary bicycles are a safe and effective way to accomplish low-impact cardio. Stationary bikes place less stress on the joints than other cardio equipment. So when it comes to recumbent bike vs. upright bike, you just need to decide which features work best for you. Check out the comparison below!

Recumbent Bike Vs. Upright Bike

Back pain while biking: Recumbent bikes are easier on the lower back because of the reclined seat. An upright bike puts you into a position similar to the traditional bicycle.

Joint pain while biking: Both recumbent and upright bikes offer low-impact cardio. However, recumbent bikes may be a bit gentler on all your joints. An upright bike forces you to hold yourself up and use a bigger range of muscles.

Stationary bike seat size: One of the most enticing features of the recumbent bike is the larger seat. The upright bike typically has a smaller seat that can be uncomfortable, especially for beginners.

Stationary bike safety: Recumbent bikes are generally safer because you are almost in a reclined position. But for those who are comfortable riding a traditional bicycle, using the upright bike wouldn’t be an issue.

Muscles used while biking: On a recumbent bike, you are mainly using your quadriceps, hamstrings, tibialis anterior, calf muscles, and glutes. With an upright bike, you are using those same muscles plus your abdominal and arm muscles to hold yourself upright. This means the upright bike is considered more of a total body workout than the recumbent bike.

Size of stationary bike: Recumbent bikes tend to take up more space than upright bikes do. So take the space in your home gym into account when deciding which bike style is right for you.

Experience level with a stationary bike: Recumbent bikes are better for beginners because you don’t have to hold yourself up while you pedal. For those looking for more of a challenge, the upright bike is a better option.

Which Stationary Bike Burns More Calories?

Are you concerned about maximizing your calorie burn for weight loss purposes? The good news is both bikes have the same calorie burn potential and meet the recommended amount of aerobic activity. It all comes down to how much effort you put into using the bike, so choose the one you will stick with for the long haul.

Which One Is Best For Your Home?

In general, we would recommend seniors or people who prefer not to engage too much core muscles during an exercise to choose a recumbent bike. For those, who focus more on the results and an overall fitness, you would want to choose the upright bike. For an even more intense workout, try the HIIT program on our CycleBoxer Cardio Upright Bike.

If you’re looking to get a stationary bike for your home, you’ll want to make sure you have adequate space for clearance of all moving parts as well as enough room to safely dismount the bike.

Switch up your cardio by adding a stationary bike in your home gym. Remember, whether you choose a recumbent bike vs. upright bike, the goal is to add movement into your day for a healthier life. If you want to get moving while you work, consider an under desk bike or a treadmill desk!


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