What is a Recumbent Bike?

Have you been skipping your daily exercise because of lower back pain? In the event you answered yes, then this article will be of tremendous benefit to you. Okay, so maybe you are not experiencing lower back pain, you will still benefit from reading this article about this bike that is much talked about.

This is a good place to mention a previously written article about back pain and diabetes. Please click the previous blue link which says “back pain and diabetes.” Okay, so you are not feeling back pain, but read this article about energy and see why you should continue to read the article “what is a recumbent bike?”

Now that we are convinced that this article will be of benefit to all, especially those with back pain, those wanting to lose weight, those wanting to get and stay fit and the people who just want to become their healthiest, let us take a closer look at recumbent bikes.

What does this have to do with Diabetes?

Okay, so you want to know what this has to do with diabetes, especially type 2, since this is what this website is about. Here is a very short, simple and from the heart reason. Exercise has been helping me to control my blood sugar numbers. Riding my bike is changing my life.

The results are amazing! To hear my doctor state, “now that the diabetes is controlled…” Oh, I praise the Almighty! Good, now that we answered that question and we see the health benefit of lowering our blood sugar through riding, let us take a look at recumbent bikes.

Recognizing a Recumbent Bike

Recumbent bikes have seats that are just a little higher than the pedals in some cases. The point though is that when you are pedaling, your legs are extended in front of you. This seating position adds comfort for people struggling with lower back pain.

Speaking about comfort. There is more as the recumbent bike also have a backrest and a full seat. I absolutely hate sitting on my upright bike for a long workout. That thing squeezes my butt. I wrapped it with a towel to make it more comfortable. This is not the case with the recumbent bikes.

Lower Back Pain is not a Problem with the Recumbent Bike

For those without back pain, this kind of bike places less strain on your back and so you ride in comfort, knowing that you are not hurting your back in the end. Remember I told you earlier that the seats are lower than upright bikes. Yes, they are a little higher than the pedals. This makes it easier to go on and off the recumbent bike.

The backrest and full seats are great options for those with back pain. So too are the handles which can be easily reached without stretching. They are many times to the side of the seats, but they are rarely needed.

Yes, we can pedal away with hands that are free to hold a book and read. It is also possible to use some light weights at this point so that we also work our upper body. Do remember that your hands are free, so this is definitely a possibility.

Senior Citizen and those with Mobility Issues-A Bike for you

It is easy to get on and off these bikes, making them a plus for more senior people and also those with mobility issues. The point here is that these bikes are easier to mount and unmount.

Yes, you need very little effort to get on and off these bikes. Please, don’t go off to buy one just yet. Learn some more about the recumbent bike so that you can be an informed buyer.

Allow me to remind you that the recumbent bike also comes with a backrest. Yes, they do. Talk about ensuring good posture and reducing or, possibly preventing back pain. This is another plus for seniors and those with mobility concerns.

No Slouching Please

Yes, there is no need to slouch on these bikes. All you have to do is sit back, grab your handle without back strain, relax, ride and reduce your blood sugar numbers. But that’s not all you will get.

You will also experience better blood pressure readings, stronger, more defined muscles and keep cardiovascular issues at bay. Sounding good. Right? There is more to come, so, please continue to read.

Working the Muscles for Reduced Numbers 

Muscular System

Earlier I mentioned more defined muscles and I can just imagine your questioning eyebrows and the excitement. Let’s now take a look at some of the muscles used when we ride a recumbent bike.

Most of our major muscles are used when we ride a recumbent bike. Yes, this helps us to be toned in a number of areas and makes it super easy for us to lose weight. Yes, I am excited!

I like to do some arm exercise whilst I am on my stationary bike. This way I am working a number of major muscles at the same time. I even use a lightweight when riding to ensure that I do some resistance training. Or, there are days when I work the upper body on a different day.

Glutes and the Recumbent Bike

Every time we push on the pedal we are working our glute muscles. These are the major muscles in our butts. They are called the gluteus maximus. Once you place your thighs close to your body and then straightens the legs afterward, then we are engaging the glutes.

Recumbent Bike for Hamstring Workout

The hamstring muscles are found at the back of our thighs. They help us to flex our knees. That action of bending and straightening our knees when pedaling is a good workout for these muscles. Yes, they are major muscles. When this muscle gets damaged, we see athletes hopping and hold the back of their thighs in excruciating pain.

Quadricep Muscles and the Recumbent Bike

These are opposite the hamstrings. Yes, they are at the front of our thighs. These muscles also help the knees to flex. They partner with the glutes to help us to push on those pedals.

Stretch those Calves

These are located below our knees on the lower back part of our legs. We work our calves by pointing our toes downward and moving our feet around. I am sure we can see how using a bike helps us to use these major muscles in this part of the body.

Work for the Tibialis Anterior

These are located at the front of our legs and are opposite the calves. When we are pedaling and move our toes back towards our body we are using these muscles.

The Famous Abdominal Muscles (Abs)

The muscles here are forever on the lips of many as we seek for a fitter, nicer-looking body. Our upper bodies would not be able to balance without the abdominal muscles. As we turn the pedals, and the fact that the seat is so close to them, we give the abs a proper workout.


Cycling, like other forms of exercises, should follow a warm-up session to prepare our muscles and heart. This help to prevent injuries which can be painful.

 What I Love About the Recumbent Bike and Others

When using a stationary bike, I get to exercise in spite of the weather. This affords me the stability that I cherish, especially as it relates to my exercise program. Note, that I have to force myself to exercise and so the rain would provide me a fantastic excuse. The same for the heat.

I also love an activity that keeps my heart pumping a bit more than the norm but goes easy on my knees and joints. I have an old tendon injury, which makes walking far distances for exercise rather risky. Something that I can do at home offers me the security of stopping when the need arises. I can’t recall a time I cycled and felt pain in the vicinity of that injury.

My bike is easy for me to drag on the floor to my bedroom, without scratching the floor so that I can cycle whilst I watch the news or a movie. Sometimes I leave it where it is kept so that I can exercise and see nature from my window. Yes, I like to change things because variety keeps me interested and motivated.


It is indeed a blessing to be able to exercise on a bike that is easy to mount and unmount. The backrest offers extra back support, whilst the seat which is close enough to the pedal also ensures less strain and more comfort for our backs.

The idea of using so many major muscles is indeed a plus, coupled with the fact that we can exercise with our hands free of a bar so that we can hold a book or weights making it possible for us to either read a book or exercise our upper bodies at the same time.

This is sounding like a great option for those wanting to get in shape and stay that way for weight loss, muscle strength and to give our hearts that much needed cardio workout.

In my next article, I will review a recumbent bike. Stay tuned.

Medical Disclaimer

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  1. // Reply

    I had never known anything about a recumbent bike until I read this.
    It is good to see bikes which give you comfort and since I am struggling with upper back pain maybe it can help me, what do you think?

    I have been looking for methods to help with this

    1. // Reply

      Thabo, I am sorry to hear about your back pain. I have never experienced pain in the upper back, but I would suggest you check with your doctor to see if the recumbent bike would be a good and safe choice for you. All the best and I look forward to “seeing” you again.

  2. // Reply

    Hi Josephine,

    Thanks for sharing such a detailed and informative post. I often get lower back pain due to a previous injury and wasn’t aware that riding on a recumbent bike could support my lower back while making it easier for me to ride a bike. Also due to my previous injury where I broke my tailbone, I haven’t felt like I could ever ride a bike again due to the seat, but this type of bike will give me the opportunity to allow me to ride and get those muscles moving again, yay 🙂

    1. // Reply

      Sorry to hear about your back and I pray for continued healing. It can be annoying how injuries can stop us from exercising and the domino effect of not being fit can be so horrible. Check with your doctor and see if the recumbent bike is a good choice for you. Continued healing and all the best that life has to offer. Take a look at the video below.

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