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Well, let me be super blunt here. A recumbent bike doesn’t directly work on your arms. Most of the time your legs are engaged in pedaling the bike while your upper body except the core remains at rest. Using a recumbent bike, you can get moderate weight training. It will help you lose some weight and tone up the muscles.
However, nowadays different brands are creating a recumbent bikes with moving handles. It works more like an elliptical machine. Hence, actively offer a fine workout to your entire body including your arms. If you want good exercise on your arms then you should better seek the best recumbent bike with an arm workout. Well, they are also known as dual-action bikes. Alright, let see they work over your arms.
When you are pushing and pulling the handlebars on a dual-action recumbent bike, it employs your upper body and arms. Particularly, lats, biceps, and triceps. Let me simplify it. The biceps assist in pulling the handles towards the body and the triceps push it away. Meanwhile, your hand muscles get worked on and toned up gradually. Your shoulder muscles also contribute when pushing the arm crank.
Now, what about those recumbent bikes that have fixed handlebars? Can they work on your arms? Let’s find out.
The recumbent bike is usually designed for low to moderate-intensity workouts. That’s why you can notice the seat with a padded backrest. It is pretty larger than a usual stationary bike and fully supports your shoulder and spine. Besides, the pedals are placed forward and it minimizes pressure on your knee joints. Now, what about your arms? They remain hanging in sideways with no purpose. Well, that’s not so fair.
Instead, make your hand useful and combine some upper body exercise while training on a recumbent bike. It is time-saving and magnifies the workout efficiency. Here’s a list of it given below:
1. Bicep Curls:
Call them bicep curls or dumbbells, whatever you want. Since they are the most versatile pieces of equipment that can be combined with cycling to get a total body workout.
So, when you are in the gym, grab a lightweight pair of bicep curls in both hands. This has benefits on swinging your arms for momentum (if you want). Then perform curls as you are pedaling on the exercise bike. For this, you have to press the handles in both hands and bend the elbows to curl the weights up to your shoulders. Then drag them slowly down to your sides. Remember to keep the elbows firmly wrapped at your sideways. So, the upper arms don’t move. Also, keep the arms sideways with the palms directing forward.
Note: You will feel like your arms are more worked up than your legs no matter how fast you are pedaling.
You can repeat 10-15 curls depending on the strength of your upper body and the dumbbell weight. This will also help to get your upper body engaged in the training. You just have to be careful not to lose balance while pedaling in your recumbent bike.
2. Resistance Band:
The resistance band is good for both hands and back muscles and getting one can be a smart investment. You need to get a resistance band and wrap it around the center console until you get the right length. Otherwise, you can adjust the seat. So, keeping your arms straight, grab the end of the tubing. Your elbows should be drawn together in at your sides. Then bend the arms and pull the resistance band as far as you can take. Grasp it for a few seconds and then let go.
You can try out the reverse fly motion to work up your back. But it can be difficult and if done rigorously can cause you injury. So, hold both ends of the band and expand your arms to the sides as much as you can.
3. Lateral Raises:
Lateral raises are an efficient way to strengthen the shoulders by giving them a significant amount of burn. Get a hold of some weight then raise your arms to your sides until it aligns with the shoulders. If you are a newbie, it can be hard for you. So, initially begin without any weights in your hand and perform 3-5 reps at a time with a short interval in between. Later, you can gradually increase up to the sets of 10-15 reps.
4. Medicine Ball Workout:
A Medicine ball workout can speed up your effort. Since it gives a high-intensity interval workout to your upper body. You can get a medicine ball at your home to combine it with another exercise for an excellent result.
When on a recumbent bike, you have to press up the ball quickly over the head and lower it down. Try it for 30-seconds at a time. Repeat the same workout but this time compress the ball horizontally from your chest. You can also try out trunk rotations by grabbing the medicine ball in front of you and spiraling your torso from right to left. Do it for 30 seconds and maintain a consistent cadence on the bike.
5. Overhead Presses:
So, the exercise is pretty self-explanatory. You just have to grab some weight like a dumbbell on your both hands. Then lift your arms to the shoulder’s height that is over your head and repeat for a few sets. Basically, this exercise is easier than all and you don’t have to sweat about losing balance. Besides, it is effective in giving a great workout to your shoulder and arms. Just don’t overdo it as it can strain your muscles.
Does a recumbent bike work your arms? Well, it does work on your core actively. But your arms won’t get any workout. So, if you have dual action recumbent bike then it can give an amazing workout to your arms. And for fixed handlebars, you shouldn’t lose hope. You can still try out the exercise we have mentioned above. Combined with the recumbent bike they can strengthen and tone up your arm muscle. Hence, you get a total body workout at ease.
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