What Muscles Does a Recumbent Bike Work

Recumbent bikes work your leg muscles, abs, and even your arms if you add separate resistance bands or free weights. But what muscles does a recumbent bike work precisely?

Read on as we discuss how a recumbent bike activates different body parts, and how you can build muscle and get in shape faster.

Does a Recumbent Bike Strengthen Legs? 

Recumbent bikes strengthen your legs, especially if you increase the resistance to challenge yourself. Remember that at the end of your workout, your legs should feel sore without hurting.

The main muscle groups that a recumbent bike works are:

  • Quads (front of your legs)
  • Hamstrings (back of your legs)
  • Calves
  • Hip flexors

Your recumbent bike also activates your:

  • Outer thighs
  • Inner thighs
  • Glutes

Pro tip: Don’t work for very long periods if you want more muscular legs. Instead, adjust your resistance until it feels challenging enough and give your muscles plenty of time to recover.

Will It Slim Legs? 

will recumbent bike slim legs?

The back and forth pedaling muscle elongates your legs and tones your muscles. As such, after a few weeks of consistent workouts on your recumbent bike, your legs will look slimmer. 

Pro tip: Remember that muscle has a smaller volume than fat, so don’t be afraid to increase your recumbent bike’s resistance. If you build up your muscle mass, your legs will look firmer and leaner.

Suggested: 8 Recumbent Bike Benefits And 3 Disadvantages To Look Out For

Does a Recumbent Bike Work Your Core? 

Recumbent bikes work your core as an assisting muscle group. While your lower back won’t get much exercise because you’re leaning back on your chair, your lower abs will feel the burn.

Pro tip: Contract your core muscles to slim them down faster.

Does a Recumbent Bike Work Your Inner Thighs? 

Your inner thighs will get a decent workout on your recumbent bike, though not as much as your hamstrings and quads. Besides, if you want to build more strength in your inner thighs, you should purchase a recumbent bike with a heavier flywheel.

Pro tip: Try to keep your knees slightly open when you’re pedaling to target your inner thighs more. 

Does a Recumbent Bike Work Glutes? 

do recumbent bikes work glutes?

Yes, recumbent bikes work glutes too, but less so than spin bikes or assault bikes because you’re sitting down. And of course, the more you increase the resistance, the better you’re going to end up working your glutes.

Pro tip: Contract your glutes or wear a resistance band above your knees to activate your butt muscles more.

Can You Build Muscle on a Recumbent Bike?

You can build muscle on a recumbent bike, but if that’s your goal, you need to choose a recumbent bike with a heavier flywheel. Heavier flywheels require more force to move, so that added resistance sculpts your muscles.

Pro tip: If you already own a recumbent bike with a lighter flywheel, you can wear ankle weights. Alternatively, you can replace it with a heavier flywheel or weld weights to it.

Is a Recumbent Bike Good for Toning? 

Recumbent bikes are suitable for toning, and this time, the flywheel weight doesn’t bear as much importance. As opposed to muscle building, toning doesn’t add more mass to those muscles and doesn’t increase their size. Instead, toning means your existing muscles will look more sculpted.

Pro tip: Moderate-intensity exercise on your recumbent bike for 30-50 minutes every other day will tone your muscles nicely.

Can You Get in Shape Using a Recumbent Bike?

Yes, you can get in shape using a recumbent bike because recumbent bikes burn 400-450 calories per hour. So, if you’re also eating healthily, getting enough sleep, and taking care of your general health, you can get in shape using a recumbent bike quickly.

Pro tip: Set clear goals, listen to your body, and track your progress to get in shape faster.


Recumbent bikes strengthen your legs and activate your core, but you can also incorporate upper body resistance bands to get a full-body workout. If you want excellent before and after results, set clear goals, to begin with, keep track of your progress, and keep a positive mentality.

Also, make sure to choose the best recumbent bike for your needs. Even if these indoor bikes operate using the same principles, the slight differences between their designs will target your muscles differently.

Mary D. Brown

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