does recumbent bike work inner thighs

Can a Recumbent Exercise Bike Help Tone Thighs?

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Some people mistakenly assume that a recumbent exercise bike is a cop out… Exercising, while lying down? Sounds like wishful thinking! But the fact that you’re placed in a laid-back position isn’t actually a bad thing.

In fact, in many ways, it’s actually a superior form of exercise. So, if you want to blast those calves and sculpt those thighs, jump on a recumbent exercise bike, kick forward, and chill your way to legs of steel!

What Muscles Do Recumbent Exercise Bikes Work?

Recumbent exercise bikes are all about isolating the legs, so after a long spin session, expect to feel that satisfying burn and possibly some delayed onset muscle soreness (or DOMS) in your calves, hamstrings, quadriceps, and the all-important glutes!

It doesn’t matter that you’re partially reclined when using this apparatus – it’s the perpetual driving downwards and lifting that work out your thighs.

lady asking does recumbent cycling burn thigh fat

Another thing to keep in mind is that recumbent exercise bikes are great for our cardiovascular and respiratory health as well — hooray!

That’s right, folks — peddling raises the heart rate and gets the lungs working, which is why your general health improves a great deal when working frequent recumbent spin sessions into your exercise schedule.

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Why Are Recumbent Bikes a Better Choice Than Standard Exercise Bikes?

Okay, so remember when I mentioned that recumbent exercise bikes isolate the legs? Well, that’s exactly why they’re a better option than standard bikes.

Sure, an upright bike will work your legs, but due to the position of your body, you’re also putting quite a lot of strain on your joints, back, shoulders, neck, and arms.

If you’re working extra hard on a standard bike to tone your thighs, the pressure exerted on these other sensitive areas may get to be too much, which will lead to a reduced exercise regime and slower results.

Let’s see how recumbent bikes have the edge in this aspect.

Advantages of a Recumbent Bike

Stacey Using My Recumbent Bike
Stacey Using My Recumbent Bike
  1. No pressure on the joints – Recumbent bikes don’t put any pressure on your joints and keep the body relaxed and supported as the legs get to work.
  2. Isolates the legs – They allow you to truly specialize the workout, making them a fantastic addition to leg day or throughout the week as a daily leg burner!
  3. More comfortable – All in all, recumbent bikes are a lot more comfortable than standard exercise bikes, and if you’re comfortable during an exercise, you’re far more likely to keep to a schedule.
  4. Easier and safer to use – What’s more, recumbent bikes are incredibly easy to mount, take very little balance to use, and in the unlikely event of a fall, they’re much closer to the ground. This makes the recumbent exercise bike a popular choice for seniors and those working their way back into regular exercise after picking up an injury.

All these benefits by no means make recumbent bikes an “easy” workout. Much like any exercise apparatus, with the recumbent bike, you’re in charge of the challenge — you get everything you’re willing to put in.

So, if you’re looking to make some girthy leg gains, don’t shy away from the recumbent cycle, hop on and pedal, pedal, pedal!

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Drawbacks to Recumbent Bikes

Recumbent bikes sound pretty good, so far, right? In fact, they sound a little bit too good, and my bet is that you’re thinking to yourself, “Okay, but what’s the catch?”

does recumbent bike work inner thighs

Well, there isn’t really a catch, but there is one thing you can do on a regular exercise bike that you can’t do on a recumbent bike, and that’s standing up to pedal more forcefully.

On a recumbent bike, you’re kept in that relaxed reclined position, so you can’t hop up onto the pedals to simulate realistic incline riding. In my opinion, however, that is just another positive.

Since you can’t alter your body position to give your legs a helping hand when the going gets tough and the resistance is high, your legs have to do it alone, and thus, you reap even larger rewards!

This is also one aspect of recumbent bikes that make them a lot better for the muscles running either side of the spine, as it’s the standing pedaling that really puts pressure on the back.

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How Long Should I Be Peddling on a Recumbent Exercise Bike to Tone My Thighs?

I know you’re eager to get those ground guns pumping, but the important thing to remember is that going in all guns blazing is never a good strategy when it comes to exercise.

Unless you and your legs are already in pretty good shape, you’ll need to take it nice and easy to begin with. For the first week, I’d recommend doing 20–30 minutes on a low resistance, just to find your feet.

 

Next, I’d extend the workout time gradually until you’re cycling for about 45 minutes a day on that low resistance. However, increasing the “distance” traveled isn’t enough if you want to tone your thighs.

Long-duration cycling with relatively light resistance will improve your cardiovascular and respiratory health, but it will have a thinning effect on your legs.

Of course, this may be exactly what you’re after, but for those who want to build muscle rather than lose mass, it’s all about cranking up that resistance.

Once you’re able to do 45 minutes a day on the easier setting, it’s time to increase the resistance significantly and aim to blast out 20 minutes of cycling per day (not including rest days or days you’re isolating different areas of the body).

recumbent exercise

If you’ve ever done upper bodyweight training before, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. If you lift the same weights day in and day out, increasing the reps each week, your endurance will improve, but you won’t build much muscle.

Adding weight, however, will get those arms looking swole! It’s the exact same principle when you’re working on your lower body.

It’s also important to note that you can’t out-train a terrible diet. Exercise should always be paired with a well-orchestrated, nutritional meal plan, otherwise, you’ll be putting a lot of effort and time into something that simply won’t pay off.

Will a stationary bike burn belly fat – Learn More Here!

Recumbent Exercise Bike Recommendations

I imagine by this point that you’ve heard all you need to hear, and you’re itching to saddle up, sit back, and set a course for steely thighs, so let’s take a look at a few of the best recumbent bikes on the market.

Best on a Budget

The Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Recumbent Exercise Bike may be easy on the bank account, but it can be mighty hard on the thighs!

Best Mid-Range

If you’re looking to spend a little more to get more functionality, I’d recommend the Jeekee Recumbent Exercise Bike. It’s marketed towards seniors, but don’t be put off if you’re a young pup, this just means it’ll be super comfortable!

Premium Option

Looking for all the bells and whistles? You need the Schwinn Fitness 270 Recumbent Bike. With 27 levels of resistance, ventilated seat pads, and fitness tracker compatibility (see my top smallest fitness trackers here), this is all you need to take those legs from beanstalk to tree trunk!

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Final Thoughts

There you have it, friend. We’ve discussed plenty of reasons not to sleep on your recumbent bike, and why it’s superior to upright bikes in some instances. More, importantly, if you end up buying one, you know what to expect – like its pros and cons, and how long till you start seeing results.

So, pick one up for your home workout space or have a go on the ones at your local gym today — you won’t regret it!