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Last update on 2018-02-18 at 05:21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Generally, people think of exercise bikes as those things that only fitness trainers can use, but it's more viable for home fitness than people believe. Exercise bikes, also known as stationary bikes, are devices that are shaped and perform the same motions as a normal bicycle, but are not used for transportation. They might have a saddle or handlebars and look similar to a transportation bicycle, but stay stationary. Most often they are bought for weight loss but have also been used for physical therapy given the low-impact nature of the exercise. This article is intended to not only show you more of what exercise bikes can do, but to also give some insight into types of exercise bikes, what to look for when buying, and what benefits they'll provide when you get them. Read ahead to get an idea of what's in store when you pick up one of these simple, but useful machines.
 
There are two primary types of exercise bikes being used today; the stand-up and the recumbent. The stand-up, or the upright bike, is engaging and the most similar to traditional outdoor bicycling. It has the same position and body movements, and requires you to activate muscles in your arms and shoulders much like you would when cycling outdoors. Given the upright position you have to maintain during the exercise, your abdominal muscles get worked as well, which is a muscle group often neglected in bikes like the recumbent. The last advantage is the size of the machine itself, known in the exercise world as the machine's footprint. Since it's footprint is relatively small, it allows more space in the room to put other exercise equipment. That being said, no bike is perfect, not even the stationary ones. The disadvantages that come with an upright bike are more quality of life, but have an effect when paired with a dedicated fitness routine. If your form is correct then your back will be hunched which can create muscle soreness and fatigue, and the bike seat is smaller like traditional bikes, causing your rear to hurt enduring what bikers call "saddle soreness". Another disadvantage is that it's better fitted to people who are already athletic. Given the demanding nature of the exercise, it's paired best with someone who works out regularly but wants to use the bike for home fitness.
 
The recumbent bike is the second type of exercise bike. With a simple change in seating, most of the disadvantages of the upright bike are alleviated, while trading out a more intense workout. In a recumbent bike the rider's body sits easily into the frame, with most sporting larger seats and armrests. The reclined body position and pedal placement allow for a less engaging but comfortable workout. The seating and size stop any saddle problems and the reclined position makes for an easier exercise on the neck and back. The last advantage is that a recumbent bike can be used by people in all walks of life. From physical therapy and recovery, to an enjoyable experience in home fitness, the recumbent fits the needs of just about anyone. Again, no bike is perfect and the recumbent mirrors a lot of the advantages of the upright with it's downfalls. The comfort of the recumbent make for a less intense workout, and put the workload onto your lower body. You can do an entire exercise without ever engaging the upper body which makes for less fitness for your time. The question of which is the best home bike will continue to be decided by the buyer. Now that you know the difference, we'll discuss what you should look for in bikes when breaking out your wallet.
 
When deciding on an exercise bike, the most important thing to consider is your fitness goals. The top exercise bikes will always be what fits your goals, effort, and wallet the best. With that in mind, there are a few basic components that are needed in any bike. You want it to always include things like resistance variation, so your bike can progressively get harder as you get stronger. You want a computer on it that tells you general stats such as distance, speed and calories burned. Comfort has to be at the top of the priority list, especially if you'll be biking regularly. A thousand dollar bike is useless when it's not being used because your aches are too much to bear, and something as small as seat size can alleviate that. If you're either a bit taller or shorter than the average, try to look for bikes with seats that adjust accordingly. Your pedals should always have straps for safety, and the handlebars should be screwed tight to the machine. Since stability is such an important part of all exercise, always check the weight and size limit to make sure you're not going to injure yourself. Optional accessories include things like a heart rate monitor, folding for more room management, and built-in fans for cooling and air resistance. Keep these in mind and you should be able to pick yourself up a nice bike fitted to your goals, without breaking the bank!
 
There are benefits to using any type of exercise bike, which is probably the reason it's become such a popular tool. The low-impact nature is easy to take on, whether you're a professional biker in training or just trying to keep yourself fit. The bikes are all indoors meaning you can exercise whether it's rain or shine, and the wide range of uses make the bike a very flexible fitness option for anybody wanting to live a healthier lifestyle.
 
In conclusion, there is a bike out there for everyone. Whether you prefer the engaged upright, or the comfortable recumbent, stationary bikes are useful for anyone and are a great addition to any exercise plan.

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