Recumbent Bike Workouts for Weight Loss That You Can Try

recumbent bike workout

Most gym goers probably have this erroneous notion that a recumbent bike is not physically challenging enough or that it is a bit boring because all you do is pedal away. But we are here to prove them wrong.

You’ll find three different types of recumbent bike workouts in this article. There is a workout for the beginner-level fitness enthusiast, a workout that targets the full body and not just the leg muscles, as well as a workout for those who want interval training. Take your pick.

Recumbent Bike Workout For Beginners to Lose Weight – 20 Minutes

Okay, you’ve finally purchased your first recumbent stationary bike and set it up at your home’s exercise area. If you’ve never used exercise bikes before so you’re unsure what to do next, then this recumbent bike workout for beginners is perfect for you.

  • Warm Up Phase (5 Minutes) - Set the recumbent bike’s resistance level to where you can pedal it without any difficulty. Normally, those who are fitness buffs would set the resistance level at the halfway point during warm up but since you are a beginner, don’t be too hard on yourself yet so you can set it way lower. Anyway, you can increase it later as you become more physically fit.
  • After determining this comfortable level of resistance from your bike, pedal away at a constant but comfortable pace. Do this for 5 minutes as this serves as your warm up.
  • Baseline Phase (3 Minutes) - After doing the 5-minute warm-up phase, it’s time to determine your baseline. Again, the actual resistance level on the recumbent exercise bike will vary from person to person but it should be 1 to 4 notches higher than the setting you used for your warm up. A simple way to gauge if you’ve reached this level is if you feel like you’re really putting up a bit of an effort while pedaling but, at the same time, can still carry a conversation with your fellow gym goer. Pedal for 3 minutes in this baseline phase.
  • Increase Workout Intensity Up a Notch (2 Minutes) - Sweat it out a little more by increasing your pedaling pace or increasing the bike’s resistance or both. Pedal at this intensity level for 2 minutes.
  • Go Back to Baseline (3 Minutes) - After that intense but short phase, go back to your baseline and pedal for 3 minutes.
  • Increase Intensity Level Once More (2 Minutes) - Just like before, raise the intensity of your workout up a notch by increase your pace and/or increasing the recumbent bike’s resistance. Stay at this intensity level for just 2 minutes.
  • Cool Down (5 Minutes) – Lessen your pacing or decrease the bike’s resistance back to the level you used in the warm-up stage. Pedal leisurely for 5 minutes as this is your cool down period.

Full Body Recumbent Bike Workout – 25 Minutes

You might have read that the recumbent exercise bike targets the glutes and other lower muscles such as quads, hamstrings, calves, tibialis anterior, and, to a certain degree, your abs since you need them to balance while pedaling. But what you probably did not know until now is that that recumbent bike can actually be used to give you a full body workout.

Check out this 25-minute full body recumbent bike workout and give it a try the next time you exercise. You need to lose weights for this recumbent bike workout. Dumbbells around 8 to 10 pounds are ideal but you can also get lighter or heavier ones as long as you can handle them.

  • Warm up phase (2 Minutes) - Set the resistance level of your recumbent bike about halfway. Start your workout by pedaling fairly quickly while simultaneously punching in the air and holding the weights in your hands. Do this for 2 minutes.
  • Increase Resistance without Weights (2 Minutes) - Change your recumbent bike’s resistance level, increasing it by two notches from its halfway setting. Drop your dumbbells and resume pedaling for another two minutes but at a slightly slower pace than before.
  • Increase Resistance Once More, Pedal with Weights (2 Minutes) - Increase the bike’s resistance level by another two notches. This time, do some shoulder presses with the weights while pedaling. Do this for two minutes. The increment in the recumbent bike’s resistance coupled with the weights should make you feel exhausted at this point. Don’t be discouraged as it’s all part of the workout, a path you have to take on your way to fitness.
  • 7 Sets Of 2-Minute sub workouts (14 Minutes) - At this point, you are already 6 minutes into this full body recumbent bike workout. For the next 14 minutes continue to do seven sets of these 2-minute intervals. You can adjust the bike’s resistance level as you want but it should still be above the halfway point. Remember to incorporate different arm workouts for each 2-minute period such as front raises, upright rows, side raises, bicep curls and shoulder presses so your upper body muscles are used.
  • Reduce Bike Resistance to its Halfway Point (5 Minutes) - After doing the 7 sets of 2-minute intervals, you are now 20 minutes into this recumbent bike workout. For the remaining 5 minutes, bring down the bike’s resistance level to the halfway point once more, the same level when you started. Pedal as fast as you can while doing some arm workout until the time is up.

High-Intensity Interval Training Using Recumbent Bike - 25 Minutes

Interval training is where a high-intensity period is followed by a low-intensity period within the exercise routine. Some of the health benefits of this type of training include improved cardiovascular fitness, burning more calories as well as compressing a complete workout at a shorter time frame. The good news is, you can actually do interval training using your recumbent bike.

  • Warm Up at Halfway Resistance Level (5 Minutes) – Set your recumbent bike’s resistance level to about halfway on its scale. Then pedal steadily for the next five minutes as your warm up.
  • Highest Intensity (1 Minute) – Immediately after your warm-up is done, set the bike’s resistance to its maximum. Once done, pedal furiously for one full minute. Remember not to stop until the minute is up.
  • Lowest Intensity (30 Seconds) – Set the bike’s resistance level to its lowest. Pedal slow for just 30 seconds in this setting.
  • 9 Cycles of Highest Intensity and Lowest Intensity (13 Minutes 30 Seconds) – You basically repeat the high intensity(1 minute) and low intensity(30 seconds) periods for another 9 cycles which mean that there is a total of 10 cycles including the first one.
  • Cool Down Phase (5 Minutes) – For the next five minutes, pedal steadily as you did during the warm-up with the resistance set halfway.

As you can see, the recumbent bike is far from being a boring piece of exercise equipment. You can spice up your routines and use the bike in ways you’ve never thought possible before. Be sure to subscribe to this site and learn more when we publish another set of recumbent bike workouts in the future.

About the Author

I am a fitness enthusiast, a workout freak and an Author from San Francisco, CA. I have years of experience in the the field healthy living.

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