Comparing Recumbent and Upright Exercise Bikes

Recumbent Vs Upright Stationary Bikes

upright stationary exercise bike

When you combine cardio and stationary bike into one sentence, both recumbent and upright exercise bikes fall directly under this category. As the name suggests, an upright stationary bike is designed to have an upright body position, while a recumbent stationary bike is designed to have a reclined body position. Both stationary bikes are great means of cardiovascular activity and are still considered safe despite the stationary aspect of the bike. Getting further into detail, there are distinguishing features between an upright stationary bike and a recumbent stationary bike, which will be discussed in the next section of this article.

Comparing Price

An upright exercise bike is relatively cheaper than a recumbent exercise bike, with a difference of about $60 to $100 and it is part of the reason why most gyms have more upright exercise bikes than recumbent bikes. In addition, upright bikes were the first stationary bikes introduced into the market. Recumbent bikes followed years later by re-modeling the design of upright bikes.

Comparing Seat Size & Design

Recumbent stationary bikes take up far greater space than upright bikes, however, seat sizes for the recumbent models are larger in comparison to that of upright stationary bikes. The reclined body positioning in the design of a recumbent bike is also more comforting and less prone to muscle soreness in the upper body and its pedals are found to be in front of the body, making it a great start for beginners and in all levels of cycling ability. Upright bikes, on the other hand, due to its smaller seat, tend to cause saddle soreness. And with its pedals found just below the body, a lot of work is involved, leading to a higher rate of fatigue in the body.

Comparing Benefits

Apart from price, larger seats, and comfortable positioning, recumbent stationary bikes place less strain on the lower back and are great for workouts. These bikes target muscle groups such as calves, glutes, and hamstrings. Upright stationary bikes take up less space so they’re great for home use. In addition, perhaps one of the greatest benefits to reap from upright bikes is the whole body workout gained. Due to its upright design and positioning, abdominal muscles, including the upper body and arms, become part of the muscle group benefitting from this exercise. While both exercise bikes are great on their own standard, upright bikes are a recommended option for those used to outdoor cycling.

Comparing Calories

Truthfully, calories burned and weight losses have no relationship or dependence on the machine used. The secret to an efficient weight loss reduction is through clear goals, proper motivation, determination, and an adequate diet to regulate proper metabolic activity in the body. While the two exercise bikes can differ evidently in positioning and muscle groups worked, this will highly depend on the sheer effort put into the exercise plan and not because the machine is simply better than the other.

An upright stationary bike makes a great choice for experienced cyclists and those looking for whole body exercises. As for those who prefer longer durations while cycling or have lower back pains, then a recumbent stationary bike is a better option to take into consideration. Differentiating between the two boils down more to the price and the level of comfort involved. But don’t mistake the recumbent bikes to be less calorie burning since a relaxed position could also mean longer time spent on the machine and thus, an equal amount of calorie burned in an upright bike.