How To Use A Recumbent Exercise Bike

To say I have a love hate relationship with my recumbent exercise bike is an understatement. Every time I walk past my nemesis sitting in the corner of my home gym, I look to the floor and shake my head. Mostly out of respect.

When I first looked into buying a recumbent bike, I felt confused yet curious. The bikes on display had more knobs and buttons than a traditional bike. But once I learned to use all the buttons and knobs to structure my workouts, I started liking it.

As with any piece of exercise equipment, I made it a point to learn the fundamentals first. The last thing I wanted to do was call someone and say, “Can you come over and help me figure this out?”

Seat Positioning

In the beginning I had to decide where to position my seat. A short seat position crowed my legs and hurt my joints over time. And a seat placed too far back caused me to use the balls of my feet when pedaling.

To adjust my seat, I unscrewed the knob and sat down extending one leg in front of me. Then, I placed my foot flat on the pedal and adjusted the seat. I made sure to pedal five to ten times making sure my legs moved naturally with full range of motion.

From there it’s a matter of locking the seat in place and tightening the adjustment knob.

Getting Started

Depending on the model of bike, you may need to start pedaling in order to turn on the digital display. Once the display comes to life, simply pick the type of program to use. Mine asks for age and weight. The computer uses these two factors when determining my calorie burn during the workout. To be honest, I don’t know how accurate this formula is, but I do feel great once I’m finished.

Typically I like to change the resistance setting at different stages of my workouts. It comes down to whether I’m looking for a cardio workout or a strength workout using interval training.

What to Expect

On my “cardio” days, at 180 pounds, I can expect to burn between 250-280 calories cycling at a moderate rate for 30 minutes. I know I could burn more if I ran, however I don’t enjoy running.

On fat burning days I’ll complete interval training. Most bikes offer several interval options. Whether time intervals or elevation intervals, whatever I choose pushes my lung capacity along with my length strength.

Bike Maintenance

Maintaining my recumbent exercise bike is a breeze. The key points are making sure the area under and around the bike are clean. This includes vacuuming under my bike.

The computer display is powered by two AA batteries. I make sure I change them before the computer stops working. If you’re prone to letting your bike sit, such as I do at times, make sure you check the batteries regularly. A corroded battery will destroy your computer rendering the bike all but useless.