What Muscles Does a Recumbent Bike Work?

Written by yvonne van damme
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What Muscles Does a Recumbent Bike Work?
The recumbent bike works your abdominal muscles. (sexy athletic man image by MAXFX from Fotolia.com)

The recumbent bike is a type of stationary bicycle. In contrast to the upright bike, a recumbent bike has a large comfortable seat that provides back support while using it. The seat on a recumbent bike is high and you sit much like you would on an outdoor bike. Another difference is that recumbent bikes make it so that you use your muscles and not your weight to move the bike pedals.

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Leg muscles are the ones that are primarily worked when exercising using a recumbent bike. Compared to the standard bicycle, the hamstrings are worked more on a recumbent bike. These muscles are on the back of your thigh. The hamstring muscles are what moves your thighs to bend while you are pedalling.


The angle of the legs while pedalling a recumbent bike works the lower abdominal muscles. Also, the angle of the legs encourages this. If you sit farther back, with your legs stretched out, the abdominal muscles are not as engaged. However, scooting closer to the pedals, which place your knees at a bent angle, help work the lower abdominal muscles well.


The recumbent bike also builds the quadriceps. These are the muscles that are along your upper thighs. The quadriceps are large muscles and this benefits your body and the aesthetics of your legs. While pedalling the recumbent bike, your upper leg is engaged and moves up and down, which effectively works these muscles.

Gluteus Maximus

The buttocks are another part of your body that benefit from working out on a recumbent bike. The gluteus maximus is the largest of the three muscles in your buttocks that is worked the most while exercising on the recumbent bike. The muscles are engaged while pedalling as they allow your hips to move and to push down against the pedals.

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