We get a lot of requests for recumbent bike workouts because for people with bad knees, knee injuries or arthritis, usually doctors or physical therapists will recommend this machine as the cardio of choice because it is non-weight bearing. The recumbent bike (as opposed to the upright bike) has the exerciser in a seated position with the legs forward.
Because of this orientation, the movement loads the glutes and the quadriceps predominantly, paying particular attention to the area right below the glutes referred to as the “glute-hamstring tie-in.” The glute-hamstring tie-in is a notoriously stubborn place of fat storage for many women and also one of the first places on the body take on cellulite with age. The beauty of using the recumbent bike is that it helps burn fat all over, while also eliciting a localized burn in the legs, attacking both the glute-hamstring tie-in and the lower part of the quad near the knee (referred to as the “tear drop” and the “sweep”).
Traditional fat-burning anaerobic exercise done via high-intensity interval training (HIIT) creates a hormonally and calorically favorable environment to lose inches, while aerobic pedaling using heavy resistance generates a similar effect to that of weight training, thus shaping the leg. If the resistance and speed combinations are enough to elicit a strong lactic acid burn in the legs and glutes, the result is a great fat-burning, leg-sculpting effect.
I used to think nothing could be more boring that sitting on the bike watching the minutes tick by………zzzzzzzz……..UNTIL the crew at Metabolic Effect introduced recumbent bike intervals with arm movements! Now I watch the minutes tick by instead because I am sweating my butt off, wishing the interval was up already! :)
To show you what we are talking about, here is JillFit Coach Tara Ballard demonstrating the different arm movements that are possible to perform WHILE cycling. Talk about multi-tasking! These movements will and should feel awkward, that is part of the increased calorie burn. You will be doing upper body weight training exercises while pushing the legs through a tough interval. Check out the vid, and then take a look below for our favorite Recumbent bike interval workout for fat-loss!
25-min Recumbent Bike Interval Workout w/ Arms
|Time||Level||RPM||Segment Time||Upper Body Movement|
|0-2||8||80+||2 min||Punches (across the body)|
|4-6||12||60+||2 min||Shoulder Press|
|7-9||9||80+||2 min||Side Raise|
|11-13||13||60+||2 min||Alternating Shoulder Press|
|14-16||10||80+||2 min||Front Raise|
|18-20||14||60+||2 min||Upright Row|
|21-25||8||90+||4 min||Alternating Biceps Curl/Triceps Ext.|
Want more? Lots of great info on recumbent bike workouts on the Metabolic Effect Blog if you are interested, and here’s a video of Jade and Keoni doing a short interval on the bike with arm movements.