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What Muscles Does a Recumbent Bike Work?

by Richard Jones

A recumbent bike provides a cardiovascular workout that relaxes your muscles without stressing your joints. This type of bike is highly recommended to people with lower back pain and those having back problems. It supports your back by offering a comfortable back seat that accommodates the whole body.

But what muscles does a recumbent bike work? It works on abs power, hips, calves, quadriceps, legs, and gluteal muscles per every stroke of the pedals. The pedals of a recumbent bike are up and front to enable you to pedal in a horizontal form. By doing that, you end up activating your muscles keeping your body relaxed. 

What Muscles Does a Recumbent Bike Work?

A recumbent bike is a piece of aerobic equipment that has a bucket seat with a backrest to offer comfort. This bike is usually operated in a horizontal position because the pedals are placed out in front of you to take the pressure off your lower back. This goes a long way in preventing slouching. The question “what muscles does a recumbent bike work?” comes to mind when using this bike, and that is what we are going to discuss below.

What Muscles Does A Recumbent Bike Work

Lower Leg Muscles:

A recumbent bike works on the calves on the lower part of the legs, precisely below the knees. These muscles come inclusive of the gastrocnemius and the soleus that are underneath your legs. With a recumbent bike, you end up working on your calf muscles that get worked each time your toes get pulled back when pedaling. To increase the flexibility of these muscles, ensure that you make use of foot pedals with straps.


There are three muscles that make the hamstrings, and they include biceps femoris and semimembranosus. The hamstrings muscles are found below the upper part of the thighs, and their role is to keep your knees flexible. Anytime you are pedaling using a recumbent bike, you will feel your muscles get relaxed. In case you are on a straight position and happen to bent, you enable activation of these muscles making your feet reach the top once more. 

Gluteal Muscles:

Gluteal muscles are part of the butt composition, and they are usually revealed when your legs go to a straight position from a bent position when pedaling. When that happens, your legs take up the horizontal form. The gluteal muscles are tasked with assisting your legs when pushing the pedal for the correct extension. Note that the gluteal muscles come inclusive of three muscles, which are the gluteus medius, gluteus maximus, and gluteus minimus. However, among the three, the gluteus maximus seems to be more involved, for it supports the butt more when pedaling as compared to the other two muscles.


These are muscles found along the upper thigh and are usually a group of thick muscles. Their thickness comes in handy for thy aid in keeping the upper leg working as a lever when cycling a recumbent bike. Four muscles form the quadriceps and include vastus lateralis, vastus intermedius, vastus medialis, and rectus femoris.

Calf Muscle:

The primary calf muscle, when riding a recumbent bike is the gastrocnemius, usually found at the back of your knee. When you are pedaling, this muscle helps you lift your heel as you stretch your ankle such that your knee is straight. The soleus is a part of the calf muscles though it is relatively small, but it is as essential as the gastrocnemius muscles. When pedaling the recumbent bike and your knee is bent, it is the soleus that aids in lifting the heel to ensure you pedal in comfort.

What Are the Benefits of Riding a Recumbent Bike?

What makes a recumbent bike outstanding is its ability to properly exercise your muscles without causing strain. The seat installed in a recumbent bike ensures that you don’t stress your joints while guaranteeing balance as you keep on pedaling. Let us look at some of the reasons that would benefit you from riding a recumbent bike:

What are the benefits of riding a recumbent bike


When using a recumbent bike, you are assured of comfort mostly because the bike comes with a reclining position. This ensures that you remain comfortable throughout, meaning your body will not be uptight. The relaxed position is what offers comfort while working on significant muscles in your body.

Muscle strengthening:

The position that a recumbent bike puts you in enables you to use your all your leg muscles when pedaling. This brings in a strengthening effect making your muscles work tirelessly. Using a recumbent bike is a type of workout that targets the same muscle groups bringing in a strengthening effect.


Using a recumbent bike guarantees balance, especially on the lower position of the recumbent bike that provides stability. The balance enabled by this bike is different from any other bike, making it ideal. Through the balance provided by working out with a recumbent bike, you are able to achieve your target in no time.


A recumbent bike is meant to offer support benefits as well as comfort. That way, you can sustain your workout for a lengthy period of time. Remember, a recumbent bike is inviting hence makes you want to use it more. The more you work out, the better your overall results will be, making this exercise bike outstanding.

Suitable for everyone:

What makes a recumbent bike outstanding is everyone can use it despite the age. No matter the fitness levels you are in, this bike can offer you immense benefits. Many people tend to think that a recumbent bike is usually meant for the elderly or those recovering from injuries, which is not the case. This bike can be used by persons of all fitness levels and is perfect for people of all ages.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some of the questions that recumbent bike users ask most frequently; you might find them informative as well:

Is a recumbent bike a good workout?

Yes, it is mostly for people suffering from neurological conditions because of the low impact body workout this bike provides.

Can you lose belly fat on a recumbent bike?

A recumbent bike helps in burning calories and eliminating fat, meaning it helps in the loss of belly fat, making it the best form of cardiovascular exercise.

How long should I ride a recumbent bike?

It would be best to focus on riding a recumbent bike, probably for thirty minutes in a day for significant results.

Is a recumbent bike as good as walking?

Riding a recumbent bike and walking when done at the same pace, deliver similar results. However, riding a bike delivers efficient results compared to walking.

Final Thought

A recumbent bike is an essential piece of exercise equipment that enables you to exercise, hence helping to get rid of muscle soreness. When using this bike, you will no longer experience body fatigue, which usually wears many people down. A recumbent bike is renowned for its comfort nature because it is generally placed in a natural reclined position. 

What muscles does a recumbent bike work? It works on several muscles located around your legs to relieve muscle tension. These muscles ensure that your legs perform better when pedaling, that is why a recumbent bike is important. Invest in this bike today if you want to enjoy comfort and guaranteed results as you work out.

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