Spin Bike or Recumbent Exercise Bike?
The two most common types of stationary exercise bike you will find in the average gym are spin bikes and recumbent bikes. There are also several types of upright bike, and they all have a number of similarities, like the fact that they are all bikes. However, there are numerous differences that can radically change the quality of your workout and you should choose the one that is best for your particular needs. How do you make the right decision for your workout or home gym? We're glad you asked. Here are several things to consider when you're deciding between a spin bike and a recumbent or upright exercise bike.
Which Exercise Bike Is Right for You
- Strength Training Benefits – Both spin bikes and recumbent bikes have strength training benefits for the lower body. Each bike has options for increasing the resistance and, in turn, making you work harder to keep pedaling. Recumbent bikes are slightly better at working your hamstrings and your quads evenly, while a spin bike will often focus on quad development. If you’re looking to tone and develop muscles, the recumbent bike might be your best option.
- Sprinting – Do you enjoy using your bike for high intensity interval training? For HIIT, you want a bicycle that allows you to sprint and get your heart rate going! Recumbent bikes allow for a certain degree of sprinting, but past that things can get uncomfortable due to bouncing on the seat. However, it can raise the difficulty level of the exercise that you’re doing. The spin bike is a sharp contrast to the recumbent bike because it is designed for HIIT. You can reach very fast speeds and exert yourself as hard as you would like in a very short period of time. If you're interested primarily in HIIT, the spin bike could be a better option for you.
- Fat Burning – Because it can more easily be used for HIIT, the spin bike is often considered a better choice for fat burning benefits. Sprint training is an incredibly effective way to burn fat all over the body, particularly because you can stand up on a spin bike. It is much harder to stand while cycling than sit, and the higher the difficulty level of your workout, the harder your body will work to burn fat.
- Variability – Do you prefer to do the same workout most of the time or keep your body guessing? If you prefer the latter, the spin bike might be a better choice. Because you can stand up and vary the speed to such a great degree, spin bikes offer a tremendous amount of variability. However, both recumbent and spin options allow you to increase resistance and sit down. If you don’t plan on standing up during your ride or pushing yourself to the limit, the recumbent bike could be a better choice for you.
- Programability – If you don’t like designing your own workouts, the recumbent bike can be excellent for you. Most recumbent bikes have a keypad and console for you to choose from a variety of program options that will help with fat loss, muscle toning or even mimic a famous bike path or hike. This helps you to add some variety to your workout regimen and avoid getting bored. Some spin bikes come equipped with various built-in programs, but it's not as common as with a recumbent exercise bike.
So Now What?
Our intent here is not to confuse you. The truth is, you are the only one who can evaluate the pros and cons of each piece of equipment in terms of how is will fit into your fitness goals and your regular workout routine. Only you know where you want to go. Once you've made that determination, then the professionals at RX Fitness Equipment can help you navigate the choices and come up with exactly the right one for your needs.
RX Fitness Equipment Is Here to Help You Make the Best Choices
If you're considering adding an exercise bike to your workout routine, and you'd like to discuss your goals with a professional, the team at RX Fitness Equipment is happy to help you sort through the noise and hype to find the one that suits your needs and budget. If you're looking for a great selection of fitness equipment and accessories, we carry the top brands to fit every goal and budget. And, for some great advice about equipment and accessories, don't forget to check out Tim's best-selling book, Fitness Equipment – A Shopper's Guide, available at Amazon and other online book sellers as well as in our store.
Contact Tim Adams for a free consultation or stop by the store and take something for a test drive. We’re here to help.