After a weight-bearing injury forced Jill to lay off treadmill sprints and stairmaster, she found herself on the recumbent bike, as a low-impact alternative. Forced to create her own intensity—which Jill’s always creating intensity when it comes to fitness—she pushed through some seriously tough workouts, torching fat and sculpting her legs like she never dreamed.
So when we created the My Gym Trainer gym workout books, we included recumbent bike workouts for this very reason, in addition to treadmill and elliptical workouts for the cardio portions. Many people have injuries and arthritis that limit them to non-weight bearing exercise, but for every injury, there’s usually some kind of exercise that you can do to still get a really great workout to burn fat and tone your body.
The Recumbent Exercise Bike
The recumbent bike is a piece of cardiovascular equipment that places the user in the seated position with the feet forward and back against a pad. Recumbent bikes—by definition—are slightly reclining as compared to the upright bikes used in spin classes which are more similar in orientation to a regular bicycle.
Advantages of Recumbent Bikes
From a biomechanical perspective, it is advantageous to use the recumbent bike to take pressure off the joints of the lower body. The recumbent has traditionally been recommended by doctors and physical therapists to patients whose joint conditions require them to get activity through non-weight-bearing exercise.
Another advantage of recumbent bikes is that it actually recruits more muscle power. While it can seem like you’re pedaling lazily along, give the “laid back” cruiser-style seats, you’re actually using more muscle because you don’t have the leverage of gravity and body weight that you can employ with the regular spin cycles.
Jill was thrilled to discover a new leg-burning device to generate real leg-shaping, fat-torching results, that she create—and shared—these workouts for you.
HIIT on the Recumbent Bike
Traditional fat-burning anaerobic exercise done via high-intensity interval training (HIIT) creates a hormonally and calorically favorable environment to lose inches.
High intensity interval training burns more fat than low to moderate aerobic exercise.
Ninety-five percent of exercisers want fat loss. And most females will point to various hip and thigh areas and want to get rid of localized fat in these places.
Since the recumbent bike only works the lower body, you can channel all exertion to the legs and glutes to create powerful pedal strokes for optimal fat burning. Studies prove that HIIT burns greater amounts of fat than low-to-moderate intensity aerobic exercise, as was shown via stationary bikes in an article published in the journal Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism (Dec 2008). 1)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19088769
Fat burning increased 60% from baseline with interval programs such as those contained in My Gym Trainer. Even though the recumbent bike utilizes only the lower half of the body, the metabolic effect created by interval training on the bike generates a universal fat-burning ripple effect.
The metabolic effect created by interval training generates a fat burning ripple effect.
Recumbent Bike Workouts
Recumbent Cardio Sprints
Workout #1 – 25 minutes: Traditional HIIT workout done on the bike. Pedal as hard as possible for the “working” segments and move the legs very slowly during the “resting” segment in order to recover and be able to generate the same force for the next working segment. Go for intense, all-out peaks of exertion (to the point of breathlessness), followed by low valleys of rest and recovery. Remember, it is not about duration, but instead about intensity.
It’s not about duration, but about intensity.
Use a recumbent bike whose highest level is 20. Choose the Manual program and adjust the level throughout the workout according to the time and segment lengths listed here.
Recumbent Bike + Resistance Training Using Dumbbells
Workout #2 – 25 minutes: Add an upper body component! Grab a set of lighter weights (perhaps 5-8 lb dumbbells for women and 12-15 lb dumbbells for men). The protocol is similar to Workout #1 in that we are incorporating intervals, however, in addition to pushing the legs hard during the “working” segments, you are going to perform upper body movements at the same time. Full-body movements like this can feel awkward, but will only exponentiate the fat-burning potential of the workout. By recruiting more muscle groups, the workout challenges not only their aerobic capacity but their muscular endurance too. The result is breathlessness, burning and an overall feeling of exhaustion.
Begin on a Manual Setting and adjust the levels as you progress through the workout. The upper body movements involved are also listed. During your “resting” segments, place the dumbbells in your lap so you can recover.
We hope you love these workouts! Your legs will love you for it… at least after a day or two. 😉
If you’re interested in Smith Machine workouts for resistance training, check out this article.
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