Recumbent Bike Vs Upright Bike

image of best recumbent bike

The Covid-19 pandemic has impacted our lives in many ways. It has changed the way we exercise as well. People are nowadays preferring to exercise at home rather than going to a public gym. While many of the exercises can’t be performed outside the gym, indoor cycling is one activity that you can easily do at home. You would only need to get a stationary bike to get started. There are two different types of stationary bikes available. You have the upright bike and the recumbent bike. Both these bikes have their advantages. You need to decide which of them is suitable for your needs. In this article, we will be comparing a recumbent Vs upright bike to see which one can offer the best workout to you. 


When it comes to comfort, recumbent bikes are the clear winner. The reason for this is their shape. A recumbent bike has a shape similar to that of a chair. Its seat has ample space for you and comes with a headrest as well. You get more lumbar back support too thanks to the wider seat area and a reclined backrest. Moreover, the pedals of the recumbent bikes are located in front of your body. This ensures that you don’t have to put a lot of effort into pedaling. Your body will be in a natural position throughout the workout. 

The upright bikes, in contrast, have a shape that closely matches that of a regular outdoor bicycle. It has a very small seat without any back rest or headrest. The pedals are located below the body and the handlebars are out in front of you. You will have to lean slightly forward to reach the handlebars too. This puts you in an uncomfortable position and will put stress on your tailbone, wrists, arms, neck, and shoulder during the bike ride. Thus, for senior citizens and people with back issues, the recumbent bike is a much more suitable option than an upright bike. 

Muscle Engagement

The recumbent bikes keep you in a stable position during exercise and mainly engage the lower body. Since you don’t have to grab the handlebars, your hands remain free to do anything you want. You can read a book or utilize weights while doing your workout on a recumbent bike. Although the workouts on these bikes are more comfortable, they fail to engage your core and abdominal muscles. The sitting position and the lack of a standing option hamper the ability of the recumbent bike to provide a comprehensive workout to you. 

If you are looking for a full body workout, the upright bike is the better option for you. These bikes allow you to pedal both in a seated position as well as while standing. You can alternate between seating and standing on an upright bike and engage different muscles both in the lower body and also your core. When you pedal in a standing position, you will even engage your arms and glutes too. Thus, from a muscle engagement point of view, the upright bike is better than a recumbent bike. However, do keep in mind that you will need more stability and balance when exercising on an upright bike. 

Calorie Burn

In terms of calorie-burning capability, both the recumbent and upright bikes are not that different from each other. People have the assumption that since upright bikes engage more muscles, they can burn more calories than recumbent bikes. However, this isn’t true at all. The amount of calories you burn while exercising depends heavily on the intensity of the workout and its duration rather than its difficulty. Since the recumbent bikes are more comfortable, they allow you to workout longer and at a faster pace. This is why these bikes are recommended for people who want to lose weight. 

The upright bikes are considered to be more effective for burning calories. This is due to the fact that they engage more muscle during exercise. While this is true, the workouts on an upright bike are not that easy. You have to train at a lower intensity first and slowly build up your stamina over a long period of time. The workouts in the beginning on an upright bike are usually shorter and don’t burn as many calories. However, as you get used to the difficulty level of the bike, you can increase the intensity and duration of your workouts and burn more calories. 


Simply put, both the recumbent and upright bikes can provide low-impact cardio workouts to you. The upright bikes are similar to traditional outdoor bicycles while the recumbent bikes look more like a chair with a pedal. While the recumbent bike is more comfortable to exercise on, the upright bike engages more muscles during a workout. Both these bikes can burn calories equally effectively if you work out for a longer duration. Thus, it all comes down to your need. The recumbent bike is more suitable for elderly people and beginners who want to exercise in a comfortable position. The upright bike, on the other hand, is ideal for athletes who want to have a comprehensive workout and engage more muscles while exercising.  

Looking for More Information?

If you are looking for more information then take a look at our homepage.

Best Trampoline Reviews is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to