Recumbent bikes activate your abdominal muscles better than other home gym equipment because of your slightly reclined position. But how do recumbent bikes work your abs, and what can you do to achieve better results?
Keep reading below to find out.
How Do Recumbent Bikes Work Your Abs?
Here’s why a recumbent bike will benefit your abdominal muscles:
Recumbent Bikes Assist Weight Loss
Although recumbent abs are low-impact and very easy to use compared to spin bikes or assault bikes, they provide excellent aerobic workouts. You can burn up to 200 calories/ 30 minutes pedaling on a recumbent bike.
So, if you also mind your diet, a recumbent bike will help you lose weight quickly. As a result, your entire body will look more sculpted – your abs included.
Recumbent Bikes Are Comfortable
Doing endless crunches and twists can sculpt your abs wonderfully, but these exercises also put a lot of stress on your lower back. So, if you have chronic back pain, you have to be very picky about your core-targeting routines.
That means avoiding specific movements altogether and limiting the number of reps for other exercises.
However, recumbent bikes have large, comfy seats that cushion your lower back. As such, you can maintain that slightly tilted position for longer – and thus engage your abs for more extended periods.
Basically, comfort equals longer workouts so that you can see faster results.
Recumbent Bikes Keep You At A Slight Tilt
Sitting on a recumbent bike keeps your upper body slightly tilted backward, and even though you can lean on the seat’s backrest, you’ll still need to contract your abs to maintain your correct posture. Besides, pedaling activates your glutes, front of your hips, and lower abs.
This combination of muscle groups worked, and position offers a superior engagement for your abs. Your rectus abdominis will get the most workout, while your obliques act as supporting muscle groups. So, in the end, your entire abdominal area will become toned and taut.
How To Work Your Abs Better With A Recumbent Bike
Sure, recumbent bikes can do wonders on your abs, and now you know why too! But you can also apply the tips & tricks below to reap even better results:
Many people have powerful abdominal muscles, and that means they can do a lot of fantastic exercises. However, if your diet is poor, your abs will be hidden under a layer of fat or bloating. Once you eliminate unhealthy foods from your menu, though, you can see those abs better.
Also, some foods promote better abs definition. For example, eating lean protein encourages muscle growth, while healthy fats and fiber give you more energy for your workouts.
Bring Your Seat Closer to the Pedals
Choose an ergonomic recumbent bike that allows multiple adjustments. One reason is that you can share it with other people living in your home, but the other reason is that you can adjust the seat-to-pedal distance according to different workout goals.
Thus, if you bring that seat nearer the pedals, you’ll target your lower abs more. Besides, your entire rectus abdominis will have to work harder to keep your upper body supported.
Try Other Exercises
Even if you buy a recumbent bike, you’re still allowed to do other exercises. In fact, we strongly encourage you to do so because repetitive routines wear out your muscles.
So, you can do specific exercises that target your abs:
- If you have the strength for it and no previous back pain, try planks or crunches.
- If you’re not comfortable doing these exercises, consider leg raises, slow high knees, or tabletops.
Alternatively, Tai Chi is an excellent exercise for building overall core strength because it involves executing your movements very slowly along with deep breathing. As such, you can activate your abs seamlessly while also working on your flexibility, range of motion, and stress levels.
Maintain the Correct Form
Keeping the proper form on your recumbent bike will engage all the right muscles and prevent the risk of injury. So, to ensure maximum effects with no strain on your abs:
- Do at least a quick warm-up to avoid injury.
- Keep your shoulders straight, not crunching towards your ears.
- Keep your chin up.
- Grab the handlebars and ensure you have a good grip on them.
- Keep your back straight.
- Contract your abs throughout your workout.
- Cooldown thoroughly after your routine.
Keep Your Abs Tight
If you want to activate your abs, even more, contract them and keep them taut throughout your workout. However, if keeping your abs tight for long periods feels uncomfortable, alternate between periods of contraction and release.
Work on Building Back Strength
It isn’t wise to strengthen your abs while your back stays weak because this type of muscle imbalance can cause injuries. So, if you have some preexisting pain in your lumbar area, you should find non-conventional exercises that will strengthen that back.
Here are some examples:
- Prone lumbar extension
- Cat-to-camel stretch
- Side bends
- Pelvic tilts
- Trunk rotations
- Single knee to chest stretch
- Quadruped arm/ leg raise
Recumbent bikes engage your abs and help you burn calories so that you’ll look sculpted in just a few weeks. However, ensure you’re getting the best out of your stationary bike. Eat healthily, keep a correct posture, and contract your abs. Try different exercises to build core strength, and don’t neglect your lower back either.
Of course, choosing the best recumbent bike for your needs is paramount. The right bike is easy to adjust to your shape and goals, plus you’ll feel comfortable throughout your workout.
Otherwise, you risk delaying your progress and increasing the chance of injury.