If you’re like me and enjoy getting intense workouts frequently, then you’ve probably never considered exercising on a recumbent exercise bike. The majority of people think that recumbent bikes are designed for people with joint problems and need to exercise in order to recover. While that is true, there are still some high-intensity workouts that you can do on them.
When I injured myself working out, I was forced to break down and buy a recumbent bike so I could make a quicker recovery. It worked well since my feet were forward and my back was resting against the comfortable back pad. I could feel it rehabilitating my injury, but I also noticed that I was getting a workout in other areas of my legs. It was at that point that I realized that my recumbent bike could be used as a good exercise machine as well!
How Can A Recumbent Bike Provide A Good Workout?
Once my injury was healed, I couldn’t help but keep exercising on my recumbent bike. It got to the point where I started doing intervals to keep me going at a high intensity and then slow it down a little bit. If you have a recumbent exercise bike to burn fat, lose weight and tone your body, then you definitely have the right equipment to help you get on the right track.
High intensity interval training is widely regarded as the best way to burn fat. Little did I know that some recumbent bikes have enough resistance to give you the intense workouts that you need to trim fat and tone your legs as well.
With interval training, you normally do some tough exercises, followed by some lower intensity and then go back to full speed. Those intervals actually keep your body guessing at what’s going to happen next, so you are working on stretching the muscles out more, which in turn burns more fat and tones your body.
You can do a lot of different recumbent exercise bike workouts, but if you really want to get a solid regimen going, then there are three main ones that you can follow.
Workout #1 – Standard High-Intensity Interval Training
The key to this workout is going in short bursts of your highest intensity followed by slower periods. This workout will only last about 25 minutes, so be sure to give it all you’ve got when the high-intensity portions come.
- For the first five minutes, set your recumbent bike about halfway on the resistance level scale that it offers. Pedal steadily and consistently for those five minutes as a warm-up
- Once you’ve completed the five minutes, immediately switch the resistance to the highest possible level that you can handle and pedal as fast as you can for one full minute. It’s important not to stop until the full minute is up
- Then set the resistance to the lowest possible level and pedal slowly for 30 seconds
- Repeat the highest level in one minute followed by the lowest level for 30 seconds until you reach 20 total minutes of time.
- Then for the final five minutes, set the resistance about halfway again and cool down
Workout #2 – The Full Body Workout
Who would have thought you can work your upper body as well as your lower body with a recumbent bike? That’s exactly what you’re getting with this next workout.
You will also work out for 25 minutes with this program, but your intervals will be a little different.
- Grab some light weights (maybe 8-10lb dumbbells or whatever weight you can handle) and set your resistance level about halfway.
- For two minutes, pedal fairly quickly and punch across your body with the weights in your hands.
- After two minutes, drop your weights, increase the resistance by two notches, and pedal a little more slowly for the next two minutes.
- Once those two minutes are up, increase the resistance another two notches and do some shoulder presses with your weights for the next two minutes. At that point, you might feel completely exhausted, but think of the fantastic fat burning that you’re doing and keep pushing!
- You will continue the same two-minute intervals throughout the rest of the workout, but you may have to adjust the resistance level depending on how much you can handle. Incorporate different arm workouts as you go, such as side raises, alternating shoulder presses, front raises, bicep curls, upright rows, etc.
- Once you have four minutes left in your workout, set the resistance to the halfway point again, select an arm workout that you haven’t done yet and pedal as fast as you can in order to keep a steady pace to finish up!
See also: 7 Proven Ways to Get Toned Legs
Workout #3 – Alternating Resistance to Feel the Burn
This workout is designed to get your glutes a solid burn. You won’t need any weights for this workout, but be prepared to get a heavy leg workout!
The time intervals that you spend on each segment will go down by one minute. For example, you will set your resistance halfway for five minutes and pedal as fast as possible, then crank the resistance up to a couple notches and go for four minutes at a slightly slower pace, then crank it up another couple notches and go for three minutes at an even slower pace.
Follow that pattern until you reach the highest resistance level that you can handle for two minutes. The last minute should be on the lowest resistance level and pedal slowly.
Once you’re done with the one-minute segment, start back at four minutes at a challenging resistance level and pedal quickly. Repeat the same process until you get to the one-minute mark, where you’ll decrease the resistance as low as your bike will go and pedal slowly to cool down.
This 25-minute workout may not seem as difficult as the others on paper, but your legs should feel like they can’t handle anymore after you get done. Just be sure to follow the pattern and don’t short yourself on any step in order to get the most out of the workout!
Final Thoughts on Recumbent Exercise Bike Workouts
Once you do these workouts, you will quickly see how you can get a good workout in with a recumbent bike. As long as you push yourself and take the intervals seriously, then you should have a high heart rate and be sweaty and exhausted after just 25 minutes, which is a good thing!
The best part about these workouts is that they can be done at home while you’re watching television, so you can fit them into your busy schedule. Your recumbent bike will be your new best friend once you use these workouts and you can even create workouts on your own!
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