How to Lose Weight on a Recumbent Bike?

Recumbent bikes have grown very popular over the years as good exercise companions. A recumbent bike exercise is a very effective method to lose a staggering amount of weight. Compared to regular exercise bikes, recumbent bikes are the most comfortable to use. You will have fewer chances of getting injured on a recumbent bike.

Most of us think that extra time is needed in losing weight. We just don’t want to have that extra time to visit a gym or invest in buying heavy exercise equipment. Recumbent bikes are perfect for these kinds of people. Recumbent bikes can be considered as versatile exercise machines.

They are effective exercise companions, more than treadmills. Recumbent bikes help get rid of those extra pounds. In this article, we will show you some useful ways and tips for losing weight on a recumbent bike. But first, you must understand what recumbent bikes are.

What is a recumbent bike?

Recumbent bikes are similar to regular exercise bikes. What makes them different are added design specifications that make them comfier than any regular exercise bike.  A recumbent bike has bucket-like seats and not a small seat above the cranks like regular exercise bikes.

They also come with backrest support that helps keep your back in a comfortable position. The cranks are in front of the rider and not below the seat in recumbent bikes.


Advantages of using a recumbent bike

Using a recumbent bike is not as tiresome as using regular exercise bikes. There are many advantages of using a recumbent bike rather than regular exercise bikes. They are as follows:

  • A recumbent bike is half the price of treadmills. But they provide the same workout as treadmills, which make them the perfect exercise machine if one has a tight budget.
  • A recumbent bike is comfortable to use, as it has larger seats than regular exercise bikes. Body fatigue is reduced, and muscle soreness disappears.  Recumbent bike seats are as comfortable as a good office chair.
  • You can set long-term goals when using recumbent bikes. On recumbent bikes, recovery time is quicker than other types of cardiovascular workouts.
  • Hands-on activities like reading a book, working on a computer, playing games or reading the morning newspaper are much more comfortable on recumbent bikes.
  • One is likely to continue work out on a recumbent bike than on regular exercise bikes. This is because there is no pain after you work out on recumbent bikes.
  • A recumbent bike is safer to use than an upright or elliptical bike. The back support and larger seats reduce chances of injury from exercise. This is why recumbent bikes are used widely in rehab facilities around the world.
  • Recumbent bikes don’t have a lot of moving mechanisms. The pedals are directly connected to the motor; the bike needs low maintenance.
  • You will save lots of money you would have usually used for services at a gym. The money you use to travel to the gym and on gym services can be used to buy a portable recumbent bike instead.

Losing weight on a recumbent bike

Now that you know what recumbent bikes are and the advantages of using one, you are ready for a work out session with the bike. But where should one start? Here are tips and tricks to lose weight using recumbent bikes.



It is advised that you warm up your body before using a recumbent bike, to avoid any injury. Without a warm-up session, you might start feeling pain in muscles when using the bike. This pain is due to sore or strained muscles.

You can either march or jog in a place or take a 10-minute walk to warm-up your body. Pedal slowly and continue pedaling slowly for 10 minutes. This slow pedaling method also works as a warm-up session, known as the pedal warm-up.

Adjusting speed:

You must reach the exercise pace you are comfortable with slowly. To do so, you must increase pedaling speed and resistance at a slow rate. If you are sweating and breathing heavily, but are still able to converse, you are good to go. Increase the speed gradually over a period of 5 minutes. End the workout session with a cool-down session of 5-minute.

Adjusting recumbent bikes:

Adjust the recumbent bike properly in a position you feel comfortable. The seat and backrest should be adjusted at a place you are comfy with. If one is not in good form, working out on a recumbent bike is worthless. Your cycling motion must be steady and regular. Move the crank arms with either of your legs with force, so that it’s easy to reach that steady and regular cycling motion.

Taking intervals:

Taking intervals during a workout on recumbent bikes is necessary.  A recovery period between exercises is needed. Otherwise, you may face injury.

For beginners recovery period must be twice of intense workout period. The intense workout must be continued for 30 seconds and recover period should be 1-2 minutes for any beginner.

Avoid exercising:

Over-exercising on recumbent bikes is a complete no for both beginners and professionals. An average human requires only 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise and a 90 minute of weight loss exercise session.

Following a timetable is necessary. You will start noticing health benefits of exercising on recumbent bikes if you follow the schedule mentioned above.

How to lose weight on a recumbent bike

Burning calories on a recumbent bike

You don’t burn as many calories on recumbent bikes as you would in weight-bearing exercises like running. But compared to other bike exercises, recumbent bike exercise helps burn a noticeable amount of calories in your body.

The amounts of calories burned on recumbent bikes are lesser than the amount you will consume on a spin or upright bike. This is because you don’t engage the core muscles when using recumbent bikes.

For example, a person weighing 150lbs working out for 30 minutes on recumbent bikes will burn 204 calories or less. On a treadmill, the same person will burn 264 calories. But working out on treadmills has more impact on the body joints.

Pedaling faster on recumbent bikes burns calories too. Increasing the resistance also works.


Using a heavy flywheel:

When a heavy flywheel is installed on recumbent bikes, you will have to put more effort in pedaling. Use of heavy flywheels help burn calories in the body and helps you lose weight quickly.

A diet plan:

Having a bad diet plan means exercising on a recumbent bike will be of no use. A proper and nutritious diet accompanying exercising on recumbent bikes will work wonders on your body. No matter what form of exercise you perform, having a balanced diet plan is also necessary thing.

The exercise of lower abdominal methods:

The abdominal muscles, calf, glutes and the thigh muscles also need working out. If you can adjust the seat of the recumbent bike closer to the bike pedals, than the amount of energy, your legs use for pedaling decreases.

This adjustment allows one to use the abdominal muscles for exercising on recumbent bikes. To further tone the muscles one can perform other types of muscle strengthening exercise like crunching on a stability ball.

Staying in the heart-rate zone:

You must cycle at the heart-rate zone. It is recommended that one cycles in the heart-rate zone. The heart-rate zone is the maximum rate you can exercise or the maximum heart-rate percentage. One can lose weight faster and burn noticeable calories using this method.

Recumbent bikes with pre-set programs:

Using recumbent bikes that come with pre-set programs, help you burn calories faster. These programs are designed to provide anyone with exercise that is needed to lose weight.


Because of the numerous advantages, they are providing recumbent bikes the first choice or method for losing weight. Recumbent bikes provide anyone with a good work out that doesn’t feel like a workout at all.

If your only goal is losing weight, then you must combine a diet that is calorie-reduced with your recumbent bike exercise. Also, try drinking water regularly all day and during exercise sessions. The body must be hydrated at all times and during a workout, as working out makes the body to sweat tremendously.

A Recumbent bike is also space-saving and can easily be assembled and disassembled. Recumbent bikes can easily be fit into rooms that have limited space and have no space for big treadmills or elliptical bikes.

We suggest you look into available recumbent bikes in the market. Though a recumbent bike is said to be perfect for rehabilitation centers, they can also be used by people who are beginner level exercisers. Workout enthusiasts will also find recumbent bikes useful, as they are portable and easy to carry around for travels.

Buying a recumbent bike which has a motor that is magnetic resistant is a good idea. Motors with magnetic resistance allow your recumbent bike to have a larger life span, as the bike will have less moving parts.

Hope your exercising experience on recumbent bikes is fruitful and you quickly lose weight!!

Team Chooserly

A passionate blogger! Editor at Chooserly, and a regular author at HuffingtonPost, LifeHacker & Forbes!

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