Stationary bikes are a great option for a low-impact workout, or for those who are new to exercising. While recumbent – or reclining – stationary bikes are gaining in popularity in both commercial and home gyms, upright bikes offer a range of benefits. Keep in mind that this information is not provided by a medical professional, and you should always consult a doctor before attempting any new exercise regimen.
Here are some of the benefits of exercising using an upright stationary bike.
The Muscles Worked
Using an upright bike provides a more similar workout to riding a traditional bicycle than a recumbent bike does. The movements work more parts of your body, providing a full-body exercise.
The obvious body parts that benefit are the legs. All parts of your legs will reap the benefits, including your hamstrings, quadriceps, hip flexors, and calves.
As well, since you hold yourself in a position that is almost standing, an upright bike will work your core abdominal muscles. It is important to keep your core muscles taut while using an upright bike since this will keep you in the correct position.
This same position works your upper body, including shoulders, triceps, and biceps.
Variety of Movement
With recumbent bikes, you must stay seated in the same position. An upright bike allows a much greater variety of movement, such as a position sitting completely upright, or racing position.
Once you’re comfortable with your upright bike, you can remain seated while sitting straight up, instead of leaning forward over the handlebars. This gives you the opportunity to stretch your upper arms or perform arm lifts.
The racing position is great if you want to add interval training to your cycling routine. While seated, lean far forward and rest your forearms on the handlebars, then raise yourself off the seat. Once you have completed your interval of high-intensity cycling, you can sit back down to a standard position.
Changing positions during your workout means your body isn’t stuck at the same angle, which can lead to aches and soreness.
Size and Price
Upright bikes take up less room and have a smaller footprint than recumbent bikes, making it easier to keep one in your home. They are also easier to store, as most models can be folded and then put away.
As well, upright bikes tend to be less expensive. Finances are often part of the decision as to what kind of equipment to purchase, and your dollars will go further with an upright bike.
There are plenty of benefits of using an upright bike. Whatever your motivation is, an upright bike may be the right tool to help you achieve your health goals.