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Recumbent vs Upright Exercise Bikes
A stationary bike provides an excellent cardiovascular, low-impact workout no matter your level of fitness. Working out even a few times a week with an exercise bike can provide health benefits such as weight loss and toning. You can also reduce the risk of getting diabetes, heart disease and other serious medical conditions. For those power riders, exercise bikes are a popular way to build endurance, burn a lot of calories and firm up your legs, thighs and buttocks in the process.
When choosing an exercise bike, there are two different types of bikes for home use. Each design type has its pros and cons and it's important to understand the difference so you can make a well-informed decision:
- Upright stationary bikes look and feel more like a traditional road bike in design and function. You'll find the seat located directly over the pedals and high up off the ground. Generally you can modify the seat height on upright bikes to accommodate your specific fit.
- Upright bikes allow for more movement, such as riding while standing on the pedals or in a racing position, which can give you a more strenuous workout.
- The handlebars also work like a road bike to help maintain balance, pull yourself up or even capture your heart rate if the bike comes with that option.
- Many upright models have a built in fan to help keep you cool. As you pedal the flywheel spins and generates wind that cools you off.
- Unless you've spent a lot of recent hours on a road bike, the upright models can quickly become uncomfortable after prolonged periods of time. A quality seat is important for any stationary bike and especially critical for the upright models. With a lot of weight and pressure focused on the seat, choosing a bike that fits well will reduce some of the comfort issues.
- The upright models generally require less space. With a shorter and narrower design, upright bikes are easier to fit into smaller spaces. For some buyers this may be the deciding factor when choosing between an upright and recumbent bike.
- Recumbent bikes are a newer design to the stationary bike industry. A recumbent exercise bike is more like sitting in a chair close to the floor with your legs in front. When resting, the design mimics a recliner with the pedals situated straight ahead.
- Recumbent bikes are designed to provide a more comfortable ride and ease of use. If you have back problems, you'll really appreciate the padded seat and back rest. Many recumbent bikes allow you to adjust the seat to provide the best fit. Several personal trainers have stated that it's easier to get new clients pedaling on a recumbent bike over the standard upright versions. If you are new to exercise, you might pay attention to this opinion.
- For those uncomfortable when high off the ground, the recumbent models eliminate the fear of falling. You'll sit safely and securely close to the ground, so there is no need for handlebars. This is important to consider if you've never loved riding a road bike.
- As a result of the design, the recumbent models can encourage a less intense workout, which is good for those people looking to gently exercise at their own pace. For those that are looking to prepare for outside road bike action these less intense workouts might not get you were you want to be.
- Recumbent bikes can require a lot of space over the upright versions. Make sure you identify the dimensions of the model your considering and measure for proper fit prior to purchasing. You'll need a little extra space around the machine to comfortably use the bike.
Most experts say that choosing between an upright and recumbent stationary bike is only a matter of preference. The recumbent bikes provide a more comfortable workout while the upright models can offer more intensity. You need to decide which is right for you based on your personal needs. With either type, finding a quality model is essential in finding a stationary bike that works well and provides an effective workout. Consider and compare several brands in your search and look for independent reviews that help you in your decision-making.
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