A recumbent bike is similar to a regular exercise bike, except that it is designed differently. Instead of having a small seat above the cranks, it has a bucket seat with a backrest and the cranks are out in front of you. This takes stress off your butt and lower back while you are pedaling. Although the recumbent bike burns calories, it also works the major muscles in the lower body. By following a recumbent bike workout plan, you will not only slim down your body, but also tone up your glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings and calves.
Utilize dynamic stretches to loosen up your tight muscles and joints before getting onto the bike. Dynamic stretches are performed through a consistent, steady range of motion, instead of just holding body parts in fixed positions. By doing these stretches, you will get your body ready for exercising motions. Forward and side leg swings, lateral lunges, knee highs, alternating toe touches, spinal rotations, ankle bounces and forward bends are examples.
Slip your feet into the stirrups on the pedals and do a warm-up. Pedal at a light intensity when you first start and slowly increase your pace until you get to five minutes. This will gradually increase your core body temperature and further loosen up your joints. Hit the "Start" button when you first get on the bike, or simply start pedaling. With some bikes, the digital screen automatically comes on when you start pedaling.
Increase your speed and resistance to get to a comfortable exercise pace. Adjust the resistance to increase the workload and keep it at a point that is challenging, but not too difficult. You should be sweating and breathing heavily, but still able to carry on a conversation. Continue at this pace for the duration of your workout and finish with a light five-minute cool-down. Treat your cool-down like your warm-up, except gradually reduce your speed instead of increasing it.
Execute good form when cycling. Adjust the seat so your legs are just short of full extension when you turn the cranks. Hold on to the handles at the bottom of the seat or place your hands on the handlebars in front of you when exercising. Push forcefully with your legs to turn the cranks and move in a steady motion.
Exercise long enough to get a desired effect. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends 30 minutes of cardio for health benefits and 60 to 90 minutes for weight loss.
Perform interval training on the bike to spice things up. Increase your resistance and speed after your warm-up to a point that you are pedaling at about 75 to 80 percent maximum effort for 30 seconds. Reduce your effort to about 50 percent for 60 seconds, and then alternate for 30 minutes. Finish with a light five-minute cool-down.
- Do your steady-state workout three days a week and your interval training three days a week. Alternate your workouts.
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This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.