Top 5 Arm Workouts When Riding A Recumbent Bike

By Nancy LangLast update: 2024-04-16

Most people buy an indoor exercise bike to do casual workouts in the comfort of their home. While that is an effective way of getting a good workout in, some people feel like they could be getting a better workout if they just had a way to incorporate their arms.

Some exercise bikes have handles that allow you to move your arms while you pedal, but what we are going to focus on is the recumbent bike. With a recumbent bike, you are sitting lower in a seat with your legs straight out in front of you.

Here are the top five arm workouts that we suggest you try the next time you exercise with your bike.

1. Bicep Curls

Top 5 Recumbent Bike Arm Workouts

If you have some lightweight dumbbells, then grab them and do some curls as you pedal on your exercise bike. Depending on how fast you are riding, you will likely feel more burn in your arms than you do in your legs.

Doing a few repetitions of ten curls each time will help get your upper body involved in the workout. You can also vary the number of reps that you do depending on your upper body strength and the weight of the dumbbells that you have.

The only thing you have to be careful about is losing your balance on the recumbent bike.

2. Overhead Press

Top 5 Recumbent Bike Arm Workouts

Grab your weights again and do some overhead presses to work out your shoulders and arms. You won’t have to worry about losing your balance as easily with these exercises since you are only raising and lowering your arms to shoulder height.

You might be able to do more repetitions with these than you would with bicep curls. Just use your judgment on how many you can do.

Don’t burn yourself out to the point where you can’t lift the weights anymore. Staying active and using your arms with the exercise bike will help you produce results more quickly.

3. Lateral Raises

Top 5 Recumbent Bike Arm Workouts

These can be pretty difficult to do unless you have very light weights. Lateral raises involve extending your arms out to your sides until your hands are parallel with your shoulders. These are generally a lot harder than they look on paper.

If you aren’t used to working out that much, then you may want to start without using weights at first and then work your way up.

If you do lateral raises properly, you will feel the burn in your shoulder after just a handful of reps. Sets of ten may be too much at first, so do 3-5 reps at a time with short rests in between. You will eventually be able to work yourself up to more reps.

4. Use Resistance Bands

Top 5 Recumbent Bike Arm Workouts

Most people don’t just have resistance bands lying around their house. They can actually be a pretty good investment to help you work on your arms. These can be key products to help work your back and arms while you’re exercising on your recumbent bike.

Simply loop the band around the center part of your bike. You may need to adjust your seat or wrap the resistance band around the center console a few times to get the right length.

Once you have it set up perfectly, you need to hold onto the band, tuck in your elbows, bend your arms and pull back as far as you possibly can. Hold that position for a few seconds, if possible, and then slowly release.

You will likely feel a lot of tension in your back and arms, which just means they are getting a good workout.

If you want to work more on your arms, hold on to the band and open your arms out as wide as you can to do a reverse fly motion. These may be a little harder, so don’t overdo it to the point where you injure yourself.

5. Medicine Ball Exercises

Top 5 Recumbent Bike Arm Workouts

If you don’t have a medicine ball or two, I would highly recommend investing in a couple. There are so many types of exercises that you can do with them, including exercises on a recumbent bike.

The first exercise you can do is hold onto the ball and press it over your head repeatedly and in short, swift motions. You don’t have to count the number of repetitions with this exercise. Instead, count the seconds and try to go continuously for around 30 seconds at a time.

A similar exercise would be to press the ball out straight from your chest in quick, repetitive motions. Do as many repetitions as you can in 30 seconds and you will likely feel pretty fatigued after the time is up.

Finally, you could work some core into your recumbent bike exercise by holding the medicine ball in front of you and twisting your body from side-to-side. The farther you twist, the more you will feel the burn, which is a good thing!


Recumbent bikes sometimes have a misconception that they are only for people who are recovering from an injury or aren’t physically able to go through intense workouts. However, that notion is beginning to go away with the new technology.

When you add in some upper body work while you’re riding the recumbent bike, you will be getting a full body workout that is similar to going to a personal training session.

It’s easy to work out your arms while riding an exercise bike. As long as you don’t just go through the motions, then you’ll be giving yourself a complete workout. Focus on the areas that you want to be worked out so you will get the full benefits of the workout!

See also: Top 3 Killer Recumbent Exercise Bike Workouts

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