Recumbents for Joints


If you have knee pain or any other kind of joint pain, then exercising quite possibly is the absolute last thing on your mind. You are not alone with this issue, as the baby boomers are getting older and older. Exercising is a good treatment for knee and joint pain, but it needs to be the right type of exercise. High-impact exercises could, in fact, make the pain even worse. Recumbent stationary bicycles allow you to get a quality cardiovascular workout without stressing your knees and joints.

Recumbents for Joints

Who Would It Help

Really anyone and everyone can benefit by using a recumbent bike. However, those who have arthritis or osteoarthritis (in the knees) or back pain would greatly benefit from this machine. For senior grownups with arthritis in their legs or feet or knees, weight-bearing exercises are most likely very painful.Also, recumbents are used very often in physical rehabilitation facilities. Physical therapists usually implement this machine with patients slowly recovering from an injury or surgery. It is used whether the patient is older or younger. Many athletes with sports-related injuries use bents in rehab.Finally, bents help the people who just cannot find upright or spinning stationary bikes comfortable. If you are not comfortable, you will not find it pleasing to exercise.

Why is it Helpful

So what makes this bike different than the rest? Why can people with joint issues ride with ease as opposed to on an upright?  Well it’s in the design and shape that makes it unique and ergonomic.  Below are the parts of the bent that are most helpful to people with aches and pains.

  • The large, bucket-like seating
  • The front-facing pedals
  • The grip placement
  • The height

More Detail

Lets dive into more detail as to why these ergonomic and other features reduces the amount of stress and alleviates the pain in the knees and joints as well as your back. It’s important to keep in mind that this stationary bike was purposely designed for how the body naturally moves. That is why many customers compliment and write positive reviews on how comfortable it is to exercise on a recumbent.

The Seat: You can obviously tell the difference between a bent and all of the other styles of stationary bikes just by one glance. This is due to the seating. A recumbent has a large, bucket seat. When you sit in it, you are in a reclined position. Many reviews compare the feeling as if they were sitting on a comfy piece of furniture or in a lounging lawn chair.The seat supports both the lower and upper back. Therefore, you do not have to bend over and strain. In fact, it forces you to sit up straight the entire exercise routine, which takes weight off of the knees as well.

The Pedals: The motion of cycling helps to increase or sustain your range of motion at the disturbed joints. A recumbent has the pedals in front of you as opposed to below you like the pedals of a traditional or spinning bicycle.You can actually start pedaling with the recumbent bike pretty early in recovery of surgery. You may not be able to do a full rotation, but the pedals in front will allow for a low-impact workout.

Grip Placement: When people think of handlebars, often time’s people think of a spinning bike with the handlebars in front of them.  This can lead to straining of the back to lean forward and bend to reach them. It also adds stress to hands and wrists, which is painful to those with arthritis.This style of stationary cycle has it’s grips placed where the arms naturally falls – by your side. You do not have to hold on to them for balance. Most companies such as the Exerpeutic 400XL put sensors on the grips to read the heart rate.

Height: The recumbent is built to be low to the ground. This is for two reasons. The first reason is for stability. An upright bike’s seat is high which makes it more difficult to maintain your balance as you pedal. The more vigorous the exercise, the harder it is to balance yourself. A bent is low to the ground making your center of gravity low. A low center of gravity equals more stability. The last thing needed is another injury from falling.The low height is easier to mount the bike both on and off. It can be risky and painful to throw your leg over the saddle-like seat of an upright. However, this style lets you to simply sit down and stand up.

Bottom Line

If you have joint pains whether it is in the knees or the wrists or even back pain, a recumbent bicycle is your best bet.  Remember that exercising habitually can help relieve knee pain, recuperate joint function, and improve general wellbeing. Also, if you find upright stationary bikes uncomfortable, then a recumbent bike may be exactly what you are looking for.


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