The Advantages of Recumbent Exercise Bikes
By: Michael Walker
There are so many exercise bikes available that itís easy to be overwhelmed. Spinning bikes, stationary bikes, dual action bikes, and recumbent bikes are probably some of the terms youíve heard. Itís almost as though you have to be a fitness equipment engineer to understand the differences! Hereís a quick summary of these confusing terms.
Youíve probably heard about the spin craze that has become so popular in health clubs. Spinning bikes usually have at least a front wheel that spins (which is why they are so brilliantly named spinning bikes). These bikes might be the current fad, but they arenít very comfortable. The seats are small and hard. The classes make these boring bikes more interesting, but as home exercise bikes, they quickly become tedious.
Stationary bikes (or upright bikes) are the exercise bikes that most people can identify. Itís the same basic model as in the 1980ís. Once again, itís fairly uncomfortable. You canít really do anything like read or watch TV because youíre leaning left and right and bouncing, so it, too, quickly gets boring.
ēDual Action Bikes
Dual action bikes are aptly named, as they give you both an upper and lower body workout. There are handles that move independently - much like an elliptical machine. Itís a good workout, but a bit tough for beginners, and as usual, the time on the bike will eventually get boring.
You can also get dual action bikes that allow you to adjust the machine to create an arm-pedaling workout. Itís usually fairly difficult to make the adjustments. Itís also two separate exercises, which create a longer workout. Most people arenít as likely to keep up such a routine.
Recumbent bikes are the exercise bikes with the comfortable bucket seats. You sit back and lower to the ground as you pedal. These exercise bikes are easy enough for even the most sedentary beginners, and they usually offer workout programs to keep the workouts from becoming mundane.
The Experts Recognize the Advantages of Recumbent Bikes
Most physicians and personal trainers recommend recumbent bikes. Recumbent bikes are better for people of all different fitness levels. You are more likely to keep up a recumbent bike routine over time, the bikes are safer, and there are different benefits for both men and women.
ēRecumbent Bikes for All Fitness Levels
Even the most sedentary person will find a recumbent exercise bike easy to use. You can adjust the settings to offer little or no resistance as you pedal. People who are overweight will definitely find the seat much larger and more comfortable than other exercise bikes.
Athletes will find the recumbent exercise bike a challenge. The resistance can become incredibly difficult. The bike can simulate pedaling up hills. Most recumbent bikes offer various programs that will require you to sprint and tackle hills. If you want an upper body workout as you pedal, you can easily add weights and do repetitions as you sit back in the recumbent bike seat.
ēRecumbent Bikes Offer a Sustainable Workout
The programs offered by most recumbent exercise bikes definitely keep the workout from becoming boring. You can simulate a course that is easy or difficult, flat or hilly. When shopping for exercise bikes, itís better to get a bike with as many variations as possible.
The fact that a recumbent bike is suitable for all levels will keep you getting back on the bike. If youíre feeling particularly tired or lazy one day, you can have an easy workout where you can read a book or newspaper. If you really want to test your limits, you can crank up the music, set the machine to more difficult levels, and add some weights for an upper body workout.
ēRecumbent Bikes are Safer
Because you sit back and lower to the ground in a recumbent bike, it is better for your body. Most exercise bikes force you to hunch over, causing a stiff back. Some dual action bikes are back injuries waiting to happen. Recumbent bikes require that you sit with good posture as you pedal.
Recumbent bikes also offer one of the few cardio workouts that put no pressure on your knees and other joints. You canít ďcheatĒ on a recumbent bike and stand up when youíre finding it more difficult to pedal. Standing like that on other types of exercise bikes puts unnecessary pressure on your knees and ankles. Recumbent bikes let your body exercise at an angle where your body weight is not stressing your joints. Even people with back and knee problems will find a recumbent bike easy to use.
ēWhy Men Should Choose Recumbent Exercise Bikes
So many men neglect their lower bodies when they workout, especially in strength training. Itís common to see buffed out men with giant biceps and tiny little bird legs. Thatís because itís easier to get an upper body workout at home. If you just invest in a recumbent bike, you can set the machine to high resistance. You will build leg muscle, and you can even do curls while you pedal.
Recumbent bikes can also allow men to get a great cardio workout without the discomfort that only a man knows on regular bikes or other types of exercise bikes. With the large, comfortable seats of recumbent bikes, you are much more likely to enjoy your workout pain-free.
If you move the seat of a recumbent bike up a bit to bring your legs higher, you can even target the lower abs and have to do less crunches to get the bottom of your six-pack!
ēThings Women Should Know About Recumbent Bikes
Two words, ladies: legs and bottoms. Recumbent exercise bikes are so comfortable and easy to use that eventually you can do workouts giving you results like youíve spent hours a day on a stair-stepper.
Recumbent bikes can give you a fat burning cardio workout with enough resistance to help you build long, lean muscle. Picture Tina Turner legs. Recumbent bikes also are great for your inner thighs. Using different programs and settings, you will be able to target different muscle areas in your legs for longer looking, leaner legs.
According to most polls, women claim in higher numbers to not have time for exercise because of more responsibilities in the home. With the positioning of a recumbent bike, you can multi-task to more easily fit in a workout. You are able to read, catch the news, and even use a phone or your handheld organizer.
Finding a Recumbent Exercise Bike
With prices between $200 and $3000, there is quite a variety of recumbent bikes available. Use the Internet to find great deals (including free shipping most of the time). Because the bikes are great for any level and help you to finally be able to stick with a safe and effective workout routine, you can splurge a little. This is definitely one of the best investments you can make for your health.
About the Author
Michael Walker is a freelance author providing useful information about exercise bikes, recumbent exercise bikes and spinning bikes.
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The Power of Stretching - Dave Snape
muscles ache from a good stretch. This is quite
normal and is part of the process. Stretching has
seemingly been with us and particularly with athletes
since the beginning of time.
A very key point to good stretching is to hold the
stretch for at least seventeen seconds. This is a
pearl of wisdom gleaned from a ballet teacher a few
years back. She said that any stretch under 17
seconds was just not effective.
The 17 second rule is exceeded in the high intensity
Bikram's yoga where stretches are held for about 30
seconds. Don't forget the high level of heat that is
used in Bikram's to extract that last little bit of
stretch out of your muscles. An interesting twist
is not necessary to gain benefits from stretching.
it can't hurt, right?
So what kind of benefits can you expect from
stretching? That's an easy one. Have you ever seen
movie, Blood Sport? Did you know that Frank Dux could
truly stretch his body to the extreme. The actor that
played him was quite elastic as well.
Great elasticity is also something you might see in
well trained Spetsnaz (Russian) agents. They often
out with Russian kettlebells too. They are for
strength gains and the ability to withstand ballistic
Why are stretching and flexibility considered
to these people? Stretching gives one the ability to
have explosive power available at one's fingertips
without the need to warm up. Of course most of us are
not martial artists or agents. But, you'll be happy
know there are plenty of other benefits.
Let me give you an example. After learning to sit in
the full lotus position for long periods of time, my
ankles became very flexible. One day I was walking
along and my left foot fell into a pothole. This
pushed my ankle sideways to about 90 degrees from
Amazingly, this didn't even hurt, not one bit. If my
ankle hadn't been so flexible, I may have suffered a
sprained ankle. At the very least, it would have hurt
Key point: stretching helps you to avoid injuries.
Not only that but if you do have a muscle, tendon or
ligament injury it should heal faster, theoretically
Stretching actually grows the ligaments, tendons and
muscles being stretched. They really grow longer over
Check with your physician before undertaking any type
of exercise, including stretching.
Here is some good
instructional material on stretching:
If you enjoyed 'The Power of Stretching' article, consider
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