A recumbent bicycle is an ergonomically designed bicycle that enables the rider to sit in a laid-back, reclined position. It has a back rest, which helps the rider maintain an almost supine, relaxed posture. Thus, it distributes the body weight over a larger area of the back and buttocks, unlike the conventional bicycles in which the rider sits upright, and the body weight is spread across the sit bones (bones that support all the weight when a person is sitting), the feet, and hands. Due to their benefits, the recumbent bikes have become exceedingly popular among the health-conscious crowd.
As the recumbent bike allows the rider to sit in a laid-back position, it prevents hunching, and helps in avoiding a stiff back, and shoulder pain. One can maintain a good posture while riding. The arms, wrists, neck, shoulders, and lower back are relatively more relaxed. The numbness in hands and fingers that is caused by cycling for long durations would not happen with these bikes.
People who travel long distances on conventional bicycles should give this bike a try, as it greatly reduces or eliminates the problem of back pain experienced by them. Another significant benefit of this bike is the positioning of the legs. The legs are on a level closer to the heart, due to which the blood flow, to and from the heart is aided and one's endurance increases.
These bikes reduce the problem of saddle sores. Moreover, the distribution of body weight over a larger area allows good blood circulation to those blood vessels which get compressed for long periods of time on regular bicycles. The problem of chronic compression of the perineal nerve, which runs under the symphysis pubis, becomes virtually non-existent.
These bikes are a boon for men with prostate problems because these bikes provide a more comfortable seating than the conventional bicycles. Further, riding this bike is much safer than conventional bicycles, because the rider is placed at a lower level, the height being the same as in case of a person driving a car. Also, a fall from these bikes would not hurt as much.
These bikes are more stable than the upright exercise bikes, so people with balance problems find them more suitable. These bikes are recommended for those who cannot perform interval training (exercising at a higher effort level for short periods of time, followed by a recovery period) on a treadmill or upright exercise bike.
A workout session on this bike causes lesser strain on the lower back. This allows the user to continue the workout for a longer period of time. They help build leg muscles and tone the inner thighs. All one needs to do is set the resistance of the exercise to a higher level. Furthermore, they allow multitasking, that is, they provide some stability so that one could perform certain activities like reading or attending phone calls, while cycling (without falling off).
This is one bicycle which can actually make cycling a pleasurable activity, as its ergonomic design reduces all unnecessary stress. With a wide range of health benefits, the use of these recumbent bikes as a convenient means of transport might prove beneficial.
Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only. Always consult a physician before starting any physical fitness program in order to reduce the risk of injury.