Physical Therapy Recumbent Exercise Bikes

The design features of a Recumbent Bikes physical therapy add stability and comfort for individuals exercising the thighs, calves, and glutes without adding to their aches and pains. This type of exercise equipment is used in homes, physical therapy centers, and gyms. It's popularly used because a recumbent seat is wide with a backrest so that exercise is sustained longer in a relaxing reclined posture. An added benefit is they can exercise while reading a book or watching a movie. Unlike an upright bike, it offers a lower profile that's easier and safer to mount with both feet touching the ground, if necessary. Additionally, its lower profile places the pedals forward, with the user's legs stretched out so their weight is distributed away from the joints for a lower-impact workout that won't cause additional stress.1 These safety and comfort features help individuals stay active while rehabilitating muscles and ligaments. A recumbent bike for rehabilitation is an ideal piece of exercise equipment since it meets the needs of a variety of mobility needs and fitness levels.

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Physical Therapy Recumbent Bike vs. Upright Stationary Bike

Physical therapy recumbent exercise bikes are lower to the ground, so they're easier for users to mount when they have limited strength and mobility. A comfortable backrest helps sustain longer exercise sessions. This opens up physical activity for a range of users, getting them moving safely and comfortably. A recumbent bike for rehabilitation provides a low impact workout with less strain on the joints, making it possible to endure and sustain physical activity during the healing process.

An upright stationary bike mimics an outdoor saddle bicycle seat. The user must have full control of their sitting or standing posture; therefore, the goals of using an upright stationary bike greatly differ from the objective of using a recumbent bike. Upright bike users tend to seek a higher-intensity workout with the desire to burn more calories and improve their overall fitness. For this reason, the design features don't have to cater to particular movements or take into consideration joints and posture.


Effective and Comfortable Workouts for All Fitness Levels

The comfortable sitting position opens fitness to a majority of mobility levels but a recumbent bike also accommodates a full range of fitness levels. Whether the user selects a programmed interval setting or creates custom resistance, the bike provides a safe and effective workout for anyone just starting out, recovering from an injury, or improving on their fitness goals.


Who Can Benefit?

Recumbent bikes are helfpul for:

  • Patients receiving physical therapy
  • Individuals with limited mobility
  • Individuals with back or hip pain
  • Individuals with arthritis
  • The elderly


Benefits of Sustained Workouts

  • Cardiovascular exercise strengthens the heart
  • Burns calories
  • Assists with muscle and joint recovery training
  • Assists with lower body muscle training and strengthening
  • Helps to achieve weight loss goals


Woman sitting posture and peddling on a recumbent bikeWoman sitting posture and peddling on a recumbent bike

Recumbent Features for Rehabilitation

  • Wide and Lower Seat
  • Supportive Backrest That Doesn't Require Core Strength
  • Custom Resistance Levels
  • Programmed Strengthening Workouts
  • Backrest Promotes Spinal Alignment
  • Comfortable Seat With Reduced Pressure on the Back
  • Strengthens Muscles in the Thighs, Calves, and Glutes
  • Low-Impact Peddling Aids Joint Recovery
Recumbent bike peddling demonstrating low impact on the jointsRecumbent bike peddling demonstrating low impact on the joints

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Is a recumbent bike a good workout?
Yes. Recumbent bikes provide a cardiovascular workout for every fitness level.

Is a recumbent bike good for weight loss?
This style of bike is comfortable to encourage regular physical activity that strengthens muscles and burns calories to support a healthy lifestyle and weight loss goals.

What are the disadvantages of a recumbent bike?
The term recumbent refers to the leaning-back posture. Since the user is reclined, they don't engage their core muscles like they would riding an upright exercise bike.

Does the recumbent seat work for a spin routine?
No. A spin class requires the upright bike that requires core strength and ability to sit and stand.



1 TFM Staff. "Recumbent Bike: Muscles Worked." TopFitness Magazine, 20 Oct. 2021. Accessed 6 Jun. 2022.

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