The most common stationary bikes for cardio exercise are the recumbent bike and the upright bike. Now what to choose between the options? This is the question we will be answering here: Which is the better option and when? First, we need to understand the difference between the recumbent bike and the upright bike. Both the bikes serve a different purpose so their usage should be based on your requirements of the body and effort input.
The recumbent exercise bikes offer a reclined seated position which allows for a comfortable upper body and only engages the lower body while burning calories. These bikes are easy on the knees and back with lumbar back support providing backrest and hands are free. It does not engage the upper body and the pedals are in the front of the body offering a stable and smooth ride. They have larger seats as compared to the upright bikes which are more comfortable.
The stationary upright bike is similar to regular outdoor road bicycles in terms of their seats and pedal positions. The seats in upright bikes are smaller and there is no back support. So that the whole upper body and core are engaged while riding along with the lower body. In upright bikes, the body leans forward to reach the handlebars. And pedals are positioned underneath the body. This allows for engaging core muscles and requires more balance while riding. While shifting to the standing position will engage your glute muscles more.
Recumbent vs Stationary bike: Positioning, Safety, and Experience Levels
Safety-wise recumbent bikes are safer than the traditional upright bikes as they are in a reclined position. While in the upright bikes you lean forward to hold the handlebar. But for experienced riders who are comfortable with traditional outdoor bicycles the upright bike is not uncomfortable. If you are at the beginners level and do not want to engage in intense rigorous workouts then you can choose the more comfortable option of a recumbent bike in which you can relax your upper body and work on your lower muscles. The upright bike has an advantage over a recumbent bike for saving space as they are more compact than recumbent bikes and save on space. They are ideal for compact spaces and home gyms.
Recumbent vs Upright: Which bike burns more calories?
When it comes to choosing between the two for calorie burning for weight loss it depends upon the efforts you put while exercising on these bikes. The good thing is that both can burn the same amount of calories. If you are in a position to offer more effort and want results faster then choose the upright bike as it engages more muscles and offers a complete body workout that maximises the calorie burn. Those who want to avoid any joint pain or back pain like beginners, seniors, or those who do not require core muscle engagement can prefer a recumbent bike. It is much gentle on your joints and back.