Recumbent bikes are comfortable and easy to use, but how effective are they? Read the article below as we delve into how to use your recumbent bike for weight loss.
We’ll analyze how many calories you can expect to burn, belly fat loss, maximizing your weight loss, and more. Keep scrolling below.
Is a Recumbent Bike Good for Weight Loss?
Many sources indicate that you can burn about 400-450 calories on a recumbent bike if you’re an average-sized person doing moderate-intensity workouts. So, considering that you need to burn 3500 calories to get rid of a pound of fat, that means:
You need about 8-9 hours of moderate-intensity workout on a recumbent bike to lose one pound of fat.
These figures look pretty good compared to other low-impact exercises:
- 60-minute walking at 3 mph burns 225 calories/ hour
- 60-minute leisurely swimming burns 400 calories/ hour
So, by comparing these figures, you can say that recumbent bikes are pretty good tools for weight loss.
How Many Miles on a Recumbent Bike to Lose Weight?
3500 calories on a recumbent bike require 8-9 hours of moderate exercise, so at least 15 mph. That means you need roughly 120 miles to burn a pound of fat.
The point is you need at least 30-60 minutes of moderate (or higher) intensity workouts every other day on your recumbent bike to lose weight.
Unfortunately, the number of miles on your recumbent bike doesn’t influence your weight loss as much as your workout intensity. Let’s say you’re pedaling 100 miles:
- Your weight loss is negligible if you’re doing that distance at 5 mph for 5 minutes every day, but:
- You’ll shed those pounds quickly if you’re going at 20-30 mph for an hour every other day
Can You Lose Belly Fat Using a Recumbent Bike?
Many “before and after” testimonies show that recumbent bikes work for weight loss, including belly fat loss. So yes, the short answer is yes, you can lose belly fat with a recumbent bike because you’re losing general body fat. Besides, recumbent bikes contract those lower abs so that you can gain more muscle definition there too.
However, here are some tips to remember:
- Adjust the exercise intensity so that you’re challenging yourself. You want to feel nice and sore after your workouts.
- Don’t overdo it. You need your body to look sculpted, not worn out.
- Keep your abs contracted when your pedaling. This strategy will help you gain more definition in that area as your core muscles work harder.
- Don’t expect to lose belly fat without any other effort. You’ll need to add some other core-targeting exercises in your routine, including – or especially – back-strengthening ones. You can’t have your belly fat disappear by itself; you need a strong foundation, and that includes strong back muscles.
- Eat properly. Processed foods can make you gain weight needlessly, whereas some healthy foods like beans can leave you bloated and thus hide your abs. If you want to show off your six-pack, eat calorie-dense, nutritious foods and hydrate yourself properly.
Recumbent Bike vs. Upright Bike Weight Loss
Upright bikes burn about 500 calories/ hour compared to the 400-450 calories/ hour that recumbent bikes burn.
So when comparing these two pieces of equipment, your perspective is critical:
- 50-100 calories are about the size of an apple, so it’s not that much, but:
- 50-100 calories represent 10-20% of the total calories burnt by an upright bike
However, you shouldn’t purchase an upright bike if your lower back can’t handle it. Instead, aim to increase your recumbent bike’s calorie burn.
We’ll tell you how to do that below:
How to Maximize Weight Loss With a Recumbent Bike?
You can maximize weight loss with a recumbent bike if you listen to your body and give it what it needs. That advice sounds relatively generic, so we’ll show you how to do that below:
- Follow your heart rate. You need to bring your heart rate to the fat-burning area to make sure you’re losing more weight. So, wear a chest strap or fitness watch if your bike doesn’t have built-in pulse sensors.
- Do HIIT. HIIT is shown to increase your caloric burn and to help you avoid weight loss plateaus. You can find plenty of recumbent bike HIIT workouts on YouTube.
- Exercise your upper body. Try some resistance bands or do bodyweight upper body exercises while you’re pedaling. Your body will burn more calories for fuel to feed those extra movements you’re doing. Alternatively, you can do upper body strength training during your rest days.
- Challenge yourself smartly. Don’t overdo it with very intense exercises that damage your muscles in the long term. If you like intense routines, give your muscles at least 24-48 hours – or even more – to recover.
- Eat properly. Say no to processed foods and excess carbs. Instead, focus on lean protein, healthy fats, and lots of fiber.
- Talk to your GP. Contact your doctor for any blood work or tests they recommend. It’s wise to find out if you have any metabolic problems that should be fixed before starting your weight loss journey. Alternatively, a full panel may be indicated if your weight loss efforts don’t bring you the expected results.
Recumbent Bike for Weight Loss Conclusion
Recumbent bikes are valuable tools for weight loss, but you have to use yours wisely. Remember that everyone is different, so you need to listen to your body.
Do exercises that you enjoy and that challenge you. You need to have a healthy approach to your weight loss and take all the time you need. Remember that you shouldn’t punish your body or try to mold it into an unattainable ideal of beauty; instead, give your body the love and attention it needs, and that weight is going to come off in no time.
- 10 Monday Fitness Motivation Quotes That’ll Get You Pumped - October 11, 2022
- Rebounding for Weight Loss: How Does It Work and How Long Do You Need? - September 16, 2022
- The Muscles Worked by the Stairmaster – How to Maximize Results - September 16, 2022
4 thoughts on “Recumbent Bike for Weight Loss: How to Shed Pounds Quickly”
Thank you so very much for this content! It has been very helpful in answering my questions about recumbent bikes. I just purchased one. I have a semi-long term goal of losing about 35 lbs this year. I have 2 teens and a toddler and husband and work a sedentary job from home so I really need this to work for me. My life has turned into a never ending cycle of cooking meals for my family and eating.
You can do it, Lena!
Thanks very much Mary…your article was very helpful. I mistakenly thought my recumbent bike wasn’t helping me with cardio..or to loose weight. I thought it was just to tone my lower stomach.. legs and butt..now I know better. I stopped going to the gym after the Pandemic hit..so my walking..recumbent bike and floor exercises are now my gym routine. Plus now I’m retired.. home more and more sedentary. Ugh! 🙂
You’re welcome, Belinda! It’s a great workout, and it’s definitely helping with your cardio and weight loss goals. It sounds like you’ve got a good routine going, so keep it up!