Upright vs Stationary Recumbent Bike: Which Is Right For You?

In this article "Upright vs Stationary Recumbent Bike: Which One Is Right For You" we will compare these two types of bikes so you can decide which one best meets your exercise and workout needs

Upright vs Stationary Recumbent Bike: Which One Is Right For You?

Category: Exercise Bike Reviews

There are two basic types of exercise bikes, the upright bike and the Stationary Recumbent Bike and many people simply don’t know which bike is right for them.

In this article “Upright vs Stationary Recumbent Bike: Which One Is Right For You” we will compare these two types of bikes so you can decide which one best meets your exercise and workout needs and help you get or stay fit.

The good news is that not only do many fitness centers have both upright and recumbent bikes that you can use, both of these types of exercise bikes are affordable making them a good piece of home exercise equipment allowing you to exercise any time during the day or the night.

Upright vs Stationary Recumbent Bikes: How They Look

The first difference you will notice between an upright bike and a recumbent bike is there is how they look. An upright bike looks more like a traditional road bike. The seat is a reasonable distance from the ground and the pedals are most directly under the seat. In addition, the handlebars are placed in such a way that you need to lean slightly forward when riding the bike.

A recumbent bike in a uniquely shaped bike that sits closer to the ground than the upright bike.

It also has a more comfortable seat with back support, which allows you to recline rather than lean forward when riding most of the seats have arms on them where you rest your arms when riding (or use the handlebars.) The pedals on this type of bike also sit forward of the seat.

Muscles Exercised By An Upright vs Stationary Recumbent Bike

Many people want a fitness routine that is low impact, resulting in less strain on their ankle, knee and hip joints. One of the most popular low impact exercisers is the riding of exercise bikes to burn calories, built stamina and provide a solid workout for the legs.

Keep in mind that both upright bikes and recumbent bikes are mainly for cardio workouts. These bikes will help tone certain muscles, but they aren’t likely to build muscle mass like weight lifting would. With that in mind here is a look at the various muscles that get a bit of workout when you use an upright bike and a Recumbent bike.

What Muscles Does An Upright Bike Workout On?

An Upright bike does work a number of different muscles including the hamstrings, calves, hip flexors, quadriceps, back muscles, biceps and triceps. Riding an upright bike will also work out your glutes, but you need to be standing up to give these a good workout.

However, keep in mind that upright bikes also puts more strain on knee joints and riding leaned forward for long periods can result in back and neck pain. In addition, no matter how padded those saddle seats on upright bikes may be, they can cause discomfort and even saddle sores.


14 Top Rated Upright Exercise Bikes: Fitness Expert Guide

What Muscles Does A Stationary Recumbent Bike Work on?

Stationary recumbent bikes exercise your hamstrings, calves, hip flexors, and quadriceps. They also work out your glutes without needing to stand up. However, since you sit in a more relaxed position you aren’t going to be working out those back muscles, biceps, or triceps.

However, recumbent bikes put less strain on your knees and won’t cause either back or neck pain since you are basically sitting in an easy chair while pedaling. In addition, when it comes to saddle sores the more comfortable seat on recumbent bike is not likely to result in any pain.

As you can see when it comes to working more muscles the upright bike is certainly the better choice, however, if you have knee or back problems then you may want to choose the recumbent bike to get a good workout without any serious joint issues.


17 Best Recumbent Exercise Bikes: Ultimate Buying Guide

Stationary Recumbent Bike

What Are The Benefits And Downsides Of Upright Bikes vs Recumbent Bikes?

When it comes to upright bikes vs  stationary recumbent bikes knowing the benefits and cons of each of each of these bikes will help you to decide which of these bikes is right for you.

Benefits of Upright Bikes

Upright bikes have many advantages that are well worth your consideration. These advantages include:

  • Upright bikes can help improve your fitness in a number of ways, they are great for helping you lose weight, build stamina, and to improve your cardio fitness helping your to strengthen your heart.
  • Upright bikes can give you a decent lower body work as well as working out your abdominal muscles, and the muscles in arms as well as your back muscles.
  • Upright bikes are suitable for use by those beginning or continuing an overall exercise program.
  • Upright bikes are affordable pieces of exercise equipment so that you purchase one and use it in your own home whenever you have free time to workout.


22 Best Indoor Exercise Bikes Under $500: A Best Buy Guide

Downsides Of Upright Bikes

  • Upright bikes may be unstable for people who have balance problems, making getting on and off this bike somewhat dangerous.
  • People who have knee or back problems may find riding an upright bike extremely painful and uncomfortable.
  • The discomfort some people experience due to the seat of these bikes, and the constant leaning forward may make some people reluctant to use an upright bike on a regular basis.

Benefits and Cons of A Recumbent Bike

Like upright bikes, recumbent bikes also have their own list of pros and cons that need to be considered when determining which bike is right for you. Here is a look at those pros and cons.

Benefits of  Recumbent Bikes

  • Recumbent bikes offer many benefits including helping your burn calories for weight loss, increasing stamina, and strengthening the heart.
  • Recumbent bikes are a great form of exercise for the elderly and those people who suffer from knee joint pain and back pain.
  • Lower height of a recumbent bike combined with a chair with a back may provide more safety for those who have balance problems and still want or need to work out.
  • Recumbent bikes provide a comfortable way to work out for most people.
  • Recumbent bikes are quite affordable making them an excellent choice for home workouts.

Downsides Of Recumbent Bikes

  • Workouts on recumbent bikes are quite limited.
  • Recumbent bikes don’t strengthen as many muscles as do upright bikes
  • Users may become bored with the lack of variety in their workout

Final Take:

As you can see when it comes to Upright vs Stationary Recumbent Bike, both have their own distinct advantages and disadvantages and deciding which exercise bike is right for you is a simple matter of weighing the pros and cons of each type of bike and deciding which one best meets your needs and your individual health issues.




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