Easy Recumbent Bike Workout Plan For Beginners

Author: Alex Bristol

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Easy Recumbent Bike Workout Plan For Beginners

A recumbent bike is only as good as the type of exercise you do on it, so you must engage in the proper recumbent bike workout to shed off those unwanted pounds.

If you don’t want to hit the treadmill but want to go easy on your joints, the recumbent bike is the perfect way to have an efficient indoor cardio session without putting too much pressure on your knees and joints.

Recumbent Bike Workouts

Interval Training

Interval training involves cardio workouts done in short, high-intensity bursts that alternate with less intense periods of workouts. You could do 1 minute of hard sprints on the bike, followed by 30 seconds of a medium or slow pace. You can do this by simply increasing or decreasing the resistance on your recumbent bike.

You can customize the timings to whatever suits your needs, but most tend to go for a 1:1 push to rest ratio. So long as your rest periods are the same as or more than your exertion periods, you’ll find that you make decent progress using this method.

However, if you’re more experienced, you may find yourself wanting to have a lower rest period and spend more time exerting yourself during interval training.

Here’s an example of an interval routine

  • Warmup for 5 minutes
  • Raise your resistance and push yourself at around 90% effort for 30 seconds to a minute
  • Drop the resistance and use around 50% effort for 30 seconds (recovery time)
  • Alternate between the two for 20-30 minutes
  • Cooldown for 5 minutes

 Of course, this is just an example and one example of a bike workout for beginners; you can adjust the times to your suiting or implement extra steps into the cycle.

HIIT Workout

For this one, you’re going to need a recumbent bike that has a variety of resistance levels; here’s a routine, but again, as with any workout regime, you can customize this to your suiting.

  • Level 8 resistance, 90 RPM, 5 min
  • Level 15 resistance, 80 RPM, 1 min
  • Level 1 resistance, 50 RPM, 30 seconds
  • Level 15 resistance, 80 RPM, 1 min
  • Level 1 resistance, 50 RPM, 30 seconds
  • Level 15 resistance, 80 RPM, 1 min
  • Level 1 resistance, 50 RPM, 30 second

 During the fast workout segments, pedal as hard as possible and then move your legs slowly during the rest portion. During the fast segments, try to go as fast as you can to the point that you’re breathless, followed by the recovery period.

Dumbell Workout

Get a pair of dumbbells for this one. This workout is similar to the one above, except this time, you won’t be focusing on just your lower body during the fast segments; you’ll also be exercising your upper body using the dumbbells.

This will require more effort, but it will speed up weight loss and build up endurance. You’re going to be left breathless and probably feel a burning sensation, but it is part of the process and is good for your body.

It is acceptable to give your upper body a rest during the workout, but your legs must constantly be moving. Exercise your upper body as soon as you’ve recovered.

Endurance Training

Some like to work on endurance, and if that’s the case, this routine may help you reach your goals. Now, this is just a rough guide, and you can set the resistance levels according to your recumbent bike, skill level, or routine.

  • Level 8, RPM 90, 5 min
  • Level 11, RPM 80, 4 min
  • Level 13, RPM 65, 3 min
  • Level 15, RPM 50, 2 min
  • Level 2, RPM 50, 1 min
  • Level 12, RPM 80, 4 min
  • Level 14, RPM 65, 3 min
  • Level 16, RPM 50, 2 min
  • Level 2, RPM 50, 1 min

 If the workouts are too difficult, increase the recovery time or lower the levels. If they are too easy, increase the levels, or use weights, add to the dumbbell weight. Please don’t cut down on the recovery time unless it is an instruction from a specific workout routine or you’re training for something that requires a more intense workout.

Benefits of Using A Recumbent Bike

  • Knees – Cycling helps the knee joint stay naturally lubricated and strengthens the quads, which is beneficial if you have knee pain.
  • Variety- Most stationary bikes have programs to follow, and you can also use the above plans.
  • Low-impact- You won’t impact the joints, which is important if you have problems with your knees or hips. It is also good for people with chronic back pain.
  • Convenience- You can work out inside, disregarding the traffic or weather. You do not need to go to the gym anymore.
  • Cross-training –While running or walking, work on the hamstrings at the back of the leg, while cycling works on the front’s quads.

Tips For A Recumbent Bike Beginner

 Seat Adjustments

One of the most important factors in a successful workout is seat adjustment and it only takes a few seconds. However, it is still overlooked by many newcomers. Not only does it make things more enjoyable, but it also improves the efficiency of the workout. Correct the seat by sliding it back and forth until you have a slight bend in your knee when your foot is on the pedal, and the pedal is pushed out as far away from you as possible.


Proper form is important during your recumbent exercise bike workout. Not only does it help minimize injury, but it also helps you burn more calories. If you don’t get the right posture, you’re not going to get the results, and you might even be the trigger of an injury. Keep your back aligned and close to the back of your seat. It’s all useful to grip the handles on the sides of the seat during hard cycling sessions. This is to prevent injuries and make sure you can get that weight loss you’re seeking.


Most newbies aren’t sure which resistance to use. It’s all too common for people to overestimate their resistance and this leads to inefficiency or even injuries. Riding a recumbent bike is similar to doing any other kind of exercise. You don’t want to go full speed right away. When you first start out, pick a resistance that is easy for you. The greater the resistance, the harder it becomes to pedal. During your ride, we suggest changing the resistance numerous times. Additionally, if you want to strengthen the muscle, try using a resistance band.


Warming up is both important on and off of your recumbent bike.It eases your joints and muscles and raises the temperature of your body before your workout. Don’t rush straight into a workout. Before you even get on your recumbent bike you can do dynamic stretching that loosens the muscles and increases their range of motion. To get thoroughly stretched, spend about 5 minutes doing exercises like toe touches and trunk rotations. Once you’re on the saddle spend an extra 5 minutes pedaling gently on your recumbent exercise bike after you’ve stretched out thoroughly.


Knowing how long to spend on your recumbent bike is essential, if you spend too little or long on it you’ll become inefficient and end up wasting your time. You should strive for at least 30 min of cardio a day but sixty minutes of moderate cardio a day is ideal for weight loss.

Stay Occupied

When you use a recumbent bike you’ll find a major benefit is that you can do other things while riding and this is a key to success when using these machines. While cycling, some like to read a magazine or look at tablets or iPhones. Some people use their laptops to answer emails when exercising. It speeds up the flow of time.


If you really want to take your weight loss seriously then the clothes you wear can play a big part in your cycling experience. Wear the right trainers for better grip and comfort during long sessions and a good pair of bicycle shorts can prevent any butt pain which is a real motivation killer.

Be Consistent

We all have off days where we just want to avoid any strenuous activity but when it comes to weight loss and fitness in general you have to stay consistent. Luckily, a recumbent bike is a great tool for staying motivated with the ability to do other things while cycling due to its hands-free design.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long should I exercise on my recumbent bike?

A good timeframe for beginners and in general is around 30 minutes to an hour for your recumbent bike workout. But of course, this all depends on the type of routine you do but as a baseline, this amount of time daily should help you achieve the goals you’ve set for yourself.

Does a recumbent bike give a good workout?

Rest assured a recumbent exercise bike is comfortable to use and perfect for workouts at home. The recumbent bike is the best way to get a vigorous indoor workout session without having too much stress on your knees and hips if you don’t have or want a treadmill.

Can you lose weight on a recumbent exercise bike?

 It’s a common misconception that due to the semi-reclined position of a recumbent bike you cannot lose weight on one however, this isn’t true. A recumbent bike does not offer an extreme, successful workout for weight loss. However, you can perform an intense workout using interval training on a recumbent exercise bike.

Is a Recumbent Bike Good for Belly Fat?

A recumbent exercise bike is one of the fastest ways to get a fat-burning workout. This moderate-intensity aerobic workout will help you lose weight, improve your heart, and prep you for more intense workouts, including high-intensity interval training. During your workout, you strengthen and tone your lower body’s main muscles, such as the buttocks and back of your legs and calves. A recumbent bike can offer a low-impact, fat-burning cardio workout. It’s possible to burn approximately 275 calories in 30 minutes, depending on your weight and how rough you ride.


Whether it is burning fat, improving cardiovascular fitness, or recovering from an injury, exercising with recumbent bikes has amazing benefits. As an added bonus, the workout is impact-free unlike many other types of workouts and exercise bikes.

As with all types of exercise, the benefits can only be seen after you follow a regular workout regimen. Once you invest in the best recumbent bike for your needs, ensure that you work out on it at least five times a week for maximum benefits. At the same time don’t push your limits too much in the beginning. Nothing puts a dampener to your fitness goals like getting injured early on.

Keep cycling and stay fit!

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