The Reason Why Exercise Bikes Do Not Put Stress On Joints

By: Alex Bristol

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The Reason Why Exercise Bikes Do Not Put Stress On Joints

Exercise bikes are brilliant for everyone and people of all ages can benefit from using an exercise bike, but why is that?

Well, this is because exercise biking has many benefits for our health and it is a great form of cardio that won’t put too much stress on your joints.

Cycling is a much better form of exercise than running for those with bad knees and joints because you don’t need to put your full weight on your legs to get the most out of the exercise. 

Plus the top benefit of exercise bikes and the reason why exercise bikes do not put stress on joints is that your muscles aren’t being jerked, they move in a swift and gentle motion which you don’t get in running. 

But wait let me tell you something:

Knee injuries, joint genetic disorders tend to narrow down your exercise options, a stationary bike may actually help with a fast recovery and even pain relief.

Let’s break down all the key reasons why exercise biking is so beneficial for our joints and why it is the best form of cardio for building up muscle.

Reasons Why Exercise Bikes Do Not Put stress on Joints 

Compared to outdoor and stationary bikes, exercise bikes have many advantages when it comes to knee pain and knee joint pain.

Cycling on a stationary bike differs from cycling outside as you’re faced with a wide range of terrains and surfaces, from hills to uneven and bumpy roads, which can cause shocks to your joints.

If you suffer from knee pain, then there’s nothing I would recommend more than using an exercise bike as you can change your resistance while still riding on a flat surface that is gentle on your joints.

Indoor cycling also eliminates any potential injury and danger, as well as the need for any extra bits of kit such as helmets, knee caps, knee straps, and much more. It is consistent and offers complete adjustability in resistance.

You can also ride day and night on an exercise bike; you don’t need to worry about the weather, darkness or be wary of rush hour and busier times.

For arthritic knee pain, it is always best to consult your doctor first to work out your limits, but exercise biking may help ease the knee pain caused by arthritis. Always start slow and build up your skill level gently as your muscles grow.

Exercise bikes are brilliant for building muscle without causing injury; you can gently progress, build the resistance levels, and cycle longer while strengthening your joints.

Benefits of an exercise bicycle on your joints:

Stationary bikes are brilliant because they are a great form of cardio and don’t put too much pressure on your joints. If you’ve suffered from a knee injury or torn a muscle in your leg, then cycling is a brilliant way to build your muscles back up again.

Unlike running, you don’t have your full body weight pounding on your joints as you cycle in cycling. This relieves stress and strain on your joints and gently builds the muscles to reduce the chance of injury.

If you’re recovering from surgery or badly torn a muscle, then I would recommend riding a recumbent bike as, unlike spin and upright bikes, the pedals are in front of you and don’t put your full body weight on your knees and ankles.

Low impact

There are many reasons to want a low-impact exercise bike workout. Whether you’re new to working out, you aren’t the fittest of people in the world or if you suffer from balance problems, joint pain, or underlying health conditions.

Cycling is a brilliant way to build up muscle and build up your fitness level, it is low impact, and it will gently build muscles and prevent the chance of injury while you workout.

As you progress, you can get into the more intense workouts, but gentle cycling for an hour multiple times a week has been proven massively beneficial.

Anybody can do it:

Just as Nike said, ‘just do it’ exercise bikes are so accessible nowadays, with a wide range of workouts for a wide range of fitness levels, it has never been so easy.

You don’t have to be at the topmost highest fitness level to use an exercise bike; anyone can do it as it is the most versatile machine you will find on the market. Your whole family can use it!

Understanding your joint injury needs:

The only thing that won’t make cycling beneficial for knee pain is your knee pain’s underlying causes.

If the knee injury is caused by a torn ligament, tendons, and muscles, which cause your joint to weaken and make it unstable, factors like bike height may be important; you will want to keep your leg straight bottom pedal position.

You should also feel comfortable and sturdy while you ride to prevent the exercise bike from causing any further injury. Plus, factors like handlebar positioning are important for your upper body joints.

Having your handlebars at a higher position will prevent putting additional stress on your upper back or arms; using a light resistance should gently build muscles and aid in gentle rehabilitation.

Benefits of weight loss for your knees:

Another important factor to consider when using an exercise bike is the amount of weight you’ll lose as you burn calories and fat. As you lose weight, your weight is putting less and less strain on your joints.

As a general rule of thumb, the more weight you lose, the less stress on your knees. Exercise bikes are a brilliant way to burn calories without causing injury; as you cycle more, your joints and muscles get stronger, and you’ll also burn more calories as a result.

Which exercise bike is best for knee problems?

When choosing an exercise bike, there is a wide array to choose from. It is important to the right one for your type of knee pain.

Upright Bike:

Upright bikes are very similar to regular road bikes, but they’re on a stationary surface. You get a full-body workout without putting strain on your joints; they work out both the upper body and lower leg muscles.

You will activate the same muscles as riding outdoors without the challenge of tackling different road conditions and road surfaces.

Upright bikes keep your body in an elevated seat position; you can extend your legs to reach the pedals, which adds intensity to the workout without damaging the knee joint. This also adds intensity to your workout.

The seat’s height also allows for your knees to bend and extend with ease; this helps the knee cartilage and allows you to build muscle gently and with ease. It also allows for your hamstrings and quads to work effectively.

The only drawback is that it has no back support like a road bike; if you suffer from back pain, this may not be the bike. However, it allows you to build your core and back muscles while you workout.

Strengthening your core is a brilliant way to help with knee pain as it puts less strain on your knees as your body isn’t relying on your legs to hold your body up.

Recumbent stationary bike:

A recumbent bike is brilliant for those that suffer from back pain, hip pain, and even pain in the knees. This is because the position of the seat comes with a backrest. Also, the way the seat is shaped allows you to pedal in a sitting-like position.

If you suffer from the poor balance or hip pain, this is also ideal for you because the larger and more round seat provides support and helps keep your body balanced while you cycle.

It is also a brilliant way to lose weight and build lower leg muscles. Using a recumbent bike burns more calories than you may think and will help you lose weight and help put less strain on your knees in everyday life.

The only issue with recumbent bikes is the flexion angle of your knee; it shouldn’t be more than 25 degrees when dealing with bad knees, which can be an issue in some recumbent bikes.

Spin Bike:

A spinning bike is brilliant for bad knees and people with joint issues. This is because spinning is a low-impact exercise that works wonders for toning and shaping muscles as well as strengthening your core.

Although I wouldn’t recommend doing an intense spinning workout on your spin bike, it can put stress on your joints when cycling at a high intensity or high speed.

When you start to pick up speed while riding a spin bike, you gradually switch your entire body weight to your knees and ankles; this can cause issues for knee pains.

Spinning workouts on spin bikes are brilliant for building muscles but may not be the best idea for weak joints.

The safes option out the three has to be riding a stationary upright bike as you can adjust your seat, and it will work on building your core and leg muscle rather than just legs. It also allows you to exercise at your own pace.

Find out more about the best exercise bikes for knee pain here.

Can you still use Spin Bikes if you have bad joints?

Spinning bikes have many benefits but come with some drawbacks, but they can still help with knee problems and joint pain when used effectively.

Exercise bikes can actually make a world of difference for those with bad knees, and here are the top pros and cons.

Benefits of using a spin bike:

The first benefit of using a spin bike is that it is much more traditional and replicates the same kind of exercise as a regular road bike. A spinning stationary bike’s motion is the same as a road bike; it offers smooth and steady rotations through the pedals.

It can keep your knees moving without putting too much pressure in the wrong places. It is a much better option than the treadmill as it is much more efficient at shock absorption as when you’re running on a treadmill, there is still a constant striking of your foot on the ground that sends shocks up your body.

You don’t get this while cycling or spinning as you have the simple motion while sitting in a seat which puts less strain on your hips and joints. It is super easy to get a smooth motion which is crucial for the knees.

The flywheels are often much heavier, and the drive belt keeps the pedals moving even while you’re struggling; it helps to maintain a rhythm and keeps using moving while working out, which means there are no jerky movements no strain while you ride.

As you progress and begin to ride more regularly, you can begin to strengthen your knees and reach your fitness goals. Stationary spin bikes are so many benefits to your health too.

Spinning bicycles build a better strength in your muscles around your knee and strengthen and make the tendons in your leg stronger. It may be slow progress at first, but it makes a noticeable difference with time and patience.

Drawbacks of spinning stationary bicycles:

The main benefits of using a spin bike and the benefits of your knee health all depend on how you approach the session and the comfort of your bike.

Sessions like interval training or HIIT sessions where you have periods of standing up on your bike can never be good for your joints; this is because it puts strain on them as you have stages of putting your full weight on your joints as you stand.

Those who do these sessions don’t tend to have pre-existing knee issues to worry about and tend to be a lot fitter in general, so they don’t need to worry too much about the strain as the muscle is most likely already strengthened and supporting them.

Standing up will inevitably put more strain and pressure on your joints and increase the risk of injury, same with pushing too hard during interval training. It is important not to cycle for too long or push at speeds and gently increase your resistance rather than jumping in the deep end right away, as this may damage your joints.

Knee pain and injury often occur if there’s a sudden change in the joint’s action; if you change direction too quickly or increase speed too rapidly, any jerking within the leg can aggravate your knees.

This is why Spinning and HIIT sessions are not recommended; instead of using a spin bike intensely, rather use it at your own leisure and with your own workouts while you build up the muscle surrounding your knees.


All in all, cycling is a brilliant way to build muscle, get fit, and lose weight without putting strain on your joints. It is a low-impact form of cardio that has major benefits.

When you do a cycling workout session I would recommend taking it easy and gently building up the resistance with time. The movement and positioning on the saddle are gentle on your legs and with every session, you will notice the pain-relieving.

An exercise bike is everything you would want. It is convenient, you can do it home, there are plenty and a wide range of gentle workouts to choose from and you can pedal at your own leisure.

Overall exercise biking has so many pros and will improve your fitness while gently easing the pain on your joints.

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