Stationary exercise bikes have gotten a bad rap in past decades. While they offer aerobic benefits, they have been widely bashed for various reasons such as being too big, noisy, and not enough workout options.
However, the exercise bikes are making a big resurgence and are definitely not your grandmother’s exercise bike you used to know. There are two types of exercise bikes on the market today – the upright and recumbent bike.
In this article, you will discover the best recumbent exercise bike with moving arms.
Let’s dive into it!
What Is A Dual Action Exercise Bike?
Before we can get into details about what is a dual-action exercise bike, we should learn about stationary bikes. After all, dual-action exercise bikes are just one type of stationary exercise bike.
As you can guess from the name, stationary bikes perform a similar function to a real bike. Of course, they won’t move no matter how hard you pedal, as they have no wheels.
A side note, you can turn your regular bike into a stationary one by fixing it on some bicycle rollers.
The majority of stationary exercises have the same mechanism regardless of their diverse forms. They apply as much resistance as possible to the pedals to increase the exercise’s intensity.
There are many methods to amplify the resistance, from magnets to friction.
Now, let us move onto the dual action exercise bikes. Out of all the types of stationary exercise bikes, this model differs from traditional road bikes the most.
Aside from providing a typical stationary bike, dual-action exercise bikes also provide a twist. They have an addition of two moving handlebars, providing some arm exercises while you are pedaling.
These handlebars are in sync with the pedals so that you can train your arm muscles the same way your legs.
Type Of Exercise Bikes Designs With Moving Arms
There are two types of exercise bikes with moving arms, upright dual action bikes and recumbent ones. Even though they are both dual-action bikes, they are very different both in looks and in functionality.
Upright Bike vs Recumbent Bike
Recumbent exercise bikes with moving arms bikes tend to have bucket seats accompanied by a backrest. As a result, they can ensure as much comfort as possible.
The upright bikes, on the contrary, only have seats that are no different from those of normal bicycles. As such, these seats can be much more beneficial for your training, but they are surely not comfortable.
The seats of recumbent exercise bikes are adjustable, but only either backward or forward. On the other hand, upright dual action exercise bikes’ seats can only go either upward or downward.
Typically, the pedals of recumbent bikes with moving arms are usually placed right in front of the body.
With this setup, you can freely relax your tendons while pedaling, consequently, an easier workout. The effect of gravity on your legs is also not as strong.
In comparison, the upright bikes’ pedals are almost always right beneath the seat. This placement of the pedals means that you will need to fight the force of gravity at all times.
Best Recumbent Exercise Bikes With Moving Arms – Our Picks
This bike has a sturdy steel frame, 8 levels of resistance, and heart rate sensors on the handlebars that sync with the LCD monitor. This is a great bike to have if you plan to use it for the long haul.
It is great for those who are just starting out or recovering from injury or surgery since it offers a full body exercise without heavy impact. Its console displays many different stats, including heart rate and calories.
To check your heart rate, press your hands to the sensors on the handlebars which gives you a readout of your pulse while exercising.
- Sturdy frame
- Quiet operation
- Easy assembly – usually takes around 2 hours total.
- Fairly compact
- The monitor displays speed, distance, heart rate, time elapsed, and calories burned.
- Upper and lower body workout
- No pre-set programs
- The resistance can only be adjusted for either upper or lower body, not both at once. You can only set resistance for one or the other.
- While the seat adjusts from front to back, you cannot adjust the angle of the seat.
- Small LCD display
The bike is somewhat pricey but it is durable and built for longevity as evident by its weight of 121 lbs. Despite some negative aspects, it gives a great workout for your entire body.
Despite its smaller size of 60 x 25.5 x 52 inches, this bike has a very solid frame. It has its strong points regarding safety. There is a lever just under and to the side of the seat so you do not have to get off the bike in order to make seat adjustments.
The frame is a step-through frame – you can easily step on and off the bike without any safety concerns.
This bike is one of the newer models and features magnetic resistance. For the short amount of time it has been on the market, it has already garnered a lot of praise and has a lot of bells and whistles considering its affordable price.
- 350 lb capacity
- You can step in and step out of the bike safely
- Easy transport – comes with built-in wheels.
- Pedals have straps to accommodate large foot sizes.
- LCD console is user-friendly.
- The built-in tablet holder is included.
- It takes up quite a bit of space despite its light weight.
- People shorter in height have had problems reaching the handlebars while pedaling. This results in having to lean forward.
- Monitor screen does not light up which makes it difficult to read in dark areas.
This is a very reasonably-priced recumbent bike for all of the options it offers. Like most bikes, it also has 8 levels of resistance and if you are looking for an affordable bike with a multitude of workout preferences, this would be a great fit.
This bike is my personal favorite since the resistance can be adjusted separately for legs and arms. I love to get the most out of my workouts in the least amount of time possible and this allows me to do just that.
A 5kg flywheel and belt drive gives you a quiet, smooth workout and a lot less maintenance. It also boasts of a 5-year warranty, 90 days for the monitor, and 30 days for all other parts. Compared to other bike warranties, this is an outstanding deal.
- Easy assembly.
- You can adjust the seat upward and downward as well as back and forth.
- Fits heights from 5’2″ to 6’2″.
- Can set different resistance levels for arms and legs.
- The arm and leg pedals move independently of each other.
- There are no pre-set workout programs
- You cannot adjust the height of the hand crank.
- Your arm movements are not monitored by the computer.
This is a more affordable version of the above-mentioned Velocity Exercise Dual Motion Recumbent Bike with almost all of same benefits and features.
The seat has thick padding and upholstery which prevents your posterior from getting sore during those long workouts. Moreover, this particular bike is easier to store than most other bikes.
This is a close second for me because it is also reasonably priced and does have separate resistance adjustments for your arms and legs. Plus it occupies less space.
- Foldable frame and wheels for easy storage.
- Separate resistance settings for the upper and lower body.
- Can adjust the height of the arm handles.
- Have multiple grip positions for the upper body
- While there are 8 resistance levels for the lower body, the upper body has a tension dial which appears to be of poor quality.
- Arm workouts are not monitored by the console.
- Heart rate is not measured.
Benefits Of A Recumbent Exercise Bike With Moving Arms
There are multitude of benefits in getting recumbent exercise bikes with moving arms.
Relax While Biking
If you ride a real bike outdoors, you must always focus, or else an unwanted accident may occur. Yes, the scenery may be a good morale booster, but the risk is too high.
With recumbent exercise bikes, you can relax, turn on some music, and go on auto mode.
Don’t fall for the common misconception and underestimate the auto mode, as it usually can help you train better. After all, you will be able to repeat your movements subconsciously with more accuracy.
Your Body Don’t Get Stressed Out
There is almost no stress being placed on your joints and backs, as you are doing the exercise while sitting.
Also, you are the one deciding how hard the exercise would be. This kind of freedom is not available with a real bike, as the road and terrain will not affect you.
You should not underestimate the damage overexerting can cause to your body. If you are not careful, there is actually a high chance that you will tear apart a string or two. This type of damage takes a while to heal and leaves long-lasting after-effects.
Work More Muscles
As we have mentioned above, moving arms can provide your upper body a good enough workout.
For this reason, you can now strengthen the muscles across your body, not just the lower parts.
Aside from the usual benefits of stationary bikes in general such as heart reinforcement, lung improvement, you get increased mobility.
After all, you are not only focusing on calves or hamstrings, but also the core muscles.
We believe that in most cases, using only recumbent exercise bikes with moving handles is enough. All you need to do is spending some time each day on this kind of bike and you will get a healthy body.
Due to these bikes being a type of cardiovascular exercise. n fact, you can expect them to offer hard practices.
After a short while, you will clearly see significant improvements in your weight-losing process.
Most people believe that because of your body relaxing, you will not be able to train properly. This belief is wrong, as all the core muscles are being used intensely while you are riding these bikes.
Can Use Interval Training
The majority of these bikes have quick-change functions, allowing immediate gear changing.
As a result, you can alternate between short, intense bursts of exercises and long, more relaxing exercises.
Scientists have proven that this method is the best at burning calories and building strength. With these bikes, you can now easily utilize this training method with a simple gesture.
Why Should You Get A Recumbent Exercise Bike With Moving Arms?
The answer to this question lies within your own goal for exercising. Are you someone who only wants to train your lower body, or do you want to train the whole body?
If you want to train the whole body, exercise bikes with moving arms will be beneficial.
After all, while stationary bikes can work the calves, hamstrings, quadriceps, and glutes, dual-action ones can do much more.
With the handlebars, you will activate the biceps, triceps, deltoids, latissimus dorsi, and pectorals. In other words, almost all of the important muscles throughout your body will receive a good workout.
Whether or not you should go for recumbent bikes, we believe that it depends on your health. At the end of the day, the goal of recumbent and upright bikes is the same.
However, the design of recumbent bikes makes them a little bit more forgiving and comforting.
For this reason, if you are someone with back problems or a senior, we believe the recumbent bicycle will do wonders for your health.
Beware to go as low-impact as you can and take advantage of the comfy bike seat.
Things To Consider When Buying Recumbent Bikes With Moving Arms
A recumbent bike is a great investment for individuals who are just starting out on their fitness journey. This is also an ideal option for people who are elderly, recovering from injuries or surgery, or dealing with chronic conditions such as fibromyalgia.
Furthermore, if you think a recumbent bike is too easy of a workout, you are in for a big surprise. Because you are lying back while pedaling, you operate off a different center of gravity.
This works different muscles than with the upright bike and turning the crank, or wheel requires more exertion. The great part? The supportive seat and moving handlebars give you a full-body workout without further injury.
If you are reading this, you are likely considering using a exercises bike but may not be sure what exactly to look for in one. Before you make your purchase, make sure that you have defined your own specific needs. It is imperative to consider the following:
First off, make sure you have an idea of how much you’ll be using the bike. If it is just a back-up option for inclement weather, don’t overspend on a bike you don’t plan to use very often.
Recumbent bikes range from hundreds to thousands of dollars. A sturdy, long-lasting bike will high cost . If you know you’ll get good use out of the bike, this will be the best value for money.
If you are obese, look for a bike with a capacity in your weight range.
Your bike should have a minimum of 8 levels of resistance.
How much available storage space do you have for a recumbent exercise bike? While they offer more versatility, electronic bikes with more workout options tend to take up more space than a manual bike.
Make sure the bike has adjusted pedal straps and clips on their outer edges to keep your feet safely and firmly in place.
The best recumbent bike is one that personalizes your workout. Make sure it offers workouts tailored to your height, weight, age, and measures heart rate. The monitor should also be easy to read.
The bike manufacturer should offer a warranty that covers a minimum of two (2) years. Ideally, the best warranty should cover five (5) years.
Try it out
Most importantly, make sure you try out the bike. Check for comfort and adjustability in the seat. You should also be able to safely get on and off the bike without falling.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some of the most asked questions that we have seen during our research. We hope that you can find some use out of them.
How Long Should You Use A Recumbent Bike?
Depending on the style, the time to spend working out on recumbent bicycles can vary.
If it’s steady-state cardio, the best is to spend about five minutes warming up. Then, pedal steadily for a maximum of 30 minutes. You can increase the time after a while.
Who Need Recumbent Bikes?
There is no specific group of people that recumbent exercise bikes aim at; these bikes are for everyone who wishes to have an active lifestyle.
However, if you are someone with joint or back issues, you will benefit greatly from them.
Can Recumbent Bikes Help With Weight Loss?
The short answer is yes, but not as much as real bikes or upright bikes. Nevertheless, you can still get rid of about 260 calories with 30 minutes of steady pedaling.
What Heart Rate Is Acceptable For Recumbent Bikes?
A consensus is that the heart rate should be around 50% and 80% of the maximum rate. You can take 220 and minus your age.
Is It Necessary To Stretch Before Using Recumbent Bikes?
Despite it being a relaxing exercise, pedaling on a recumbent bike is still an aerobic exercise. Thus, it is crucial to warm-up with some stretches before pedaling.
Recumbent Exercise Bike With Moving Arms Will Tone Your Legs?
As exercise bikes are no different from normal bikes at the end of the day, they can tone your leg.
You see, the basis of muscle-building and hypertrophy declares that stimulating muscles with increased resistance allows them to grow.
If you can make use of the resistance settings of your bikes appropriately, your legs will be toned in no time.
Both the Velocity Exercise Dual Motion and the Stamina Recumbent Exercise Bike With Upper Body Exercise are very close in the benefits they offer, especially for someone looking for a full body workout in a short time span.
If I have to choose between the two though, I would go with the Velocity. I love the option of separate resistance settings for the upper and lower body and the low-maintenance flywheel. Although there are no pre-set workouts for this model, I don’t consider this a deal-breaker. I use pre-set programs occasionally, however, I am also quite adept at creating my own intensity and interval levels.
The fact that the Stamina Recumbent Exercise Bike With Upper Body Exercise does not measure heart rate does raise a concern with me. It is very important to keep tabs on your heart rate to ensure that you are not under- or over-exercising.
All four bikes do a great job in improving and maintaining your health and you should choose the best bike that fits your needs. Before considering using a recumbent bike or any other exercise equipment, discuss with your doctor any precautions and concerns.
Make sure that you invest wisely for the long run to optimize your finances as well as your health!