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Can You Lose Weight on a Recumbent Bike?

is recumbent bike good for weight loss?

Trying to keep your weight under control can be such a difficult endeavor. There are literally thousands of weight loss products on the market, but the best way to lose weight, in addition to eating a healthy diet, is to do a cardio workout on a regular basis.

You may be wondering whether you can lose weight on a recumbent bike. I’ll make this short and sweetyes, you can! Many people think that a recumbent bike looks too comfortable to actually help them in their weight loss goals. They can think again! The truth is that recumbent bikes can help you lose weight.

If you’ve been planning on buying an exercise machine to help you drop some extra pounds but your back says “No Way!” perhaps you should consider a recumbent bike.

Let’s discover the difference between exercise bikes, spin bikes, and recumbent bikes when it comes to losing weight and getting a body you can be proud of.

Remember that you should always consult with your doctor before you start any exercise program or weight loss program to ensure that you don’t risk any potential problems. I am not a doctor, and this should not be considered medical advice.

Are Recumbent Bikes Good for Losing Weight?

You might think that sitting comfortably on a recumbent bike means that there is no way you can lose weight, but that bike is giving you a bigger workout than you think.

Even beginners who can’t exercise for very long can still burn a considerable amount of calories. Depending on your weight and the intensity at which you ride a bike, a 150-pound person can see a calorie burn of about 7 calories per minute.

While most people are looking for the fastest possible way to burn calories, you shouldn’t expect to burn the same amount as you would on a spin bike or even a regular exercise bike.

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Why Do You Lose Weight Faster on a Spin Bike than on a Recumbent Bike?

When you consider that both recumbent and upright bikes are very similar, you might wonder why a spin bike burns more calories.

recumbent bike weight loss before and after

This is because spin bikes use air in the form of a fan for resistance. Most recumbent bikes use magnetic resistance, which is quieter but often doesn’t offer the resistance that assault bikes use.

This doesn’t mean that you won’t burn calories on your recumbent bike, you just won’t burn them quite as fast as you would with an assault bike.

Click Here to See Our Top Recumbent Bike Combos!

Does a Recumbent Bike Burn Belly Fat?

If you’re trying to burn belly fat, what you need is a cardio workout three or more days per week for at least 30 minutes of working in your optimal heart rate zone each time.

It’s a myth that you can spot reduce by doing exercise. You can make your core muscles stronger by doing certain types of exercise or by using other exercise machines, such as rowing machines, but to lose weight all over your body, you need to create a calorie deficit of about 250 calories per day. This would allow you to lose about 2 pounds a month.

For someone weighing 175 pounds, riding your recumbent bike for only 30 minutes at a moderate intensity can burn 284 calories! I can see the weight dropping off your body already!

Using a recumbent bike regularly will help you with weight loss and give you firmer muscle tone.

Don’t forget to do a good warm-up before you hop on your bike and burn those calories.

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Can You Get a Good Workout on a Recumbent Bike?

You absolutely can. Don’t believe me? Check this out.

Swimming is one of the best exercises around. Now, you can actually hit the pool and swim laps, burning lots of calories, or you can play around and float on your back, which won’t do much of anything to help you with your weight loss efforts.

The same is true with recumbent bikes. You can work up a sweat and feel that calorie burn, or you can sit back, watch TV, and barely move those pedals. The intensity you put into your workouts is up to you and no one else.

A recumbent bike can give even a beginner a real workout. When it comes to losing weight, you need to get into your optimal heart rate zone and hold it there for 20-30 minutes so that your body starts to burn fat and calories.

Which Is Better for a Beginner: Exercise Bikes or Recumbent Bikes?

Both upright exercise bikes and recumbent bikes are terrific for weight loss. The only difference is that on one bike you can sit back and on the other, you must sit up straight or bend over the handlebars.

Both of these bikes are great for interval training. They work for any fitness level, offer a high-intensity workout (if you wish), and give you a great cardio workout to help with your weight loss efforts.

People who choose recumbent bikes often have issues with back pain, low back issues, or other spine problems that require support for the back. Still, other users who have none of these back problems find that recumbent bikes have a comfort level that no other exercise bike can match.


You can work out as hard or as easy as you like, but it’s the level of intensity you choose that will have an impact on your fitness and weight loss goals.

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Is a Recumbent Bike Better Than a Treadmill or Cross Trainer? 

Recumbent bikes and exercise bikes are much more forgiving on the joints than a treadmill. However, recumbent bikes don’t do much for the upper body muscles, which cross trainers work out.

If you like the back-support of a recumbent bike but want the upper-body exercise that an elliptical provides, you can go with a recumbent cross trainer, such as the Teeter FreeStep (see the best elliptical rowing machine here ).

Discover the Benefits of the Teeter FreeStep Elliptical Trainer with Olympic Rower Rachael Taylor:

Beginners should remember to always warm up before they start any exercise program, including riding a bike.

What Other Reasons Are There for Using Recumbent Bikes?

You may have used a recumbent bike when you were in physical therapy. This type of exercise bike is commonly used for those who have suffered injuries but who need to strengthen certain muscles.

Other reasons that people use recumbent bikes include:

  • Recumbent bikes reduce inflammation
  • This type of exercise allows you to strengthen muscles that surround a joint for less joint pain
  • A recumbent bike allows you to exercise the lower half of your body with less strain
  • Using a recumbent bike takes no balancing skills
  • The seat is lower and wider, which makes it more comfortable for many
  • The cycling motion of a bike can irritate those with bad knees, while most recumbent bikes use a more linear motion
  • Your hands are free with a recumbent bike, which leaves you free to multi-task if you like

I think the one reason many people ride a recumbent bike, and they fail to mention it, is simply because they like it!

I’ve always said that the best exercise machine you can buy is the one you will use!


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The Bottom Line

If you’re a serious athlete who wants to move to the next level of fitness and you’re not injured or have no joint or back problems, a recumbent bike may not be the best choice for you.

However, for anyone with balance problems or joint pain, or if you have been injured or are suffering from back problems, a recumbent exercise bike is right up your alley.

For those who find a regular exercise bike too difficult, or if you want to burn calories and still get a great workout, you will also love a recumbent bike.

Seniors who simply want to get in some cardio workouts but find that traditional exercises are too difficult or too painful will get a lot of use out of their recumbent bike.

For losing weight, a recumbent bike is a terrific choice, especially if you combine it with upper body exercises to help tighten and tone the muscles of the arms, shoulders, back, and stomach, such as using a stability ball or practicing high-intensity interval training.

Be good to your body, friends, and it will return the favor.

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