The fitness craze has taken over the country, but some of us are not able to do the things we once did. While bike riding has proven to be a very effective cardio workout, the required positioning is not kind to someone who has a bad back. For this reason, recumbent bikes are recommended when a person has any kind of back problems. See the comparison of best recumbent bikes on Best Fitness Advisor for additional information.
The natural position for bike riding has the rider slightly bent over their handlebars. The back should remain straight, using the core to maintain proper riding posture. Even though the core takes the brunt of the stress, the back still needs to be strong in order to maintain proper form. If a person has a bad disk or has had some type of surgery, maintaining this position can cause significant pain.
However, not all is lost. By using a recumbent exercise bike, the same great workout can be had without the back experiencing any pain or stress. The legs will still receive an incredible workout and most importantly, the heart gets its cardio workout for the day. There is little doubt that recumbent exercise bikes have made it possible for tens of thousands of people suffering from back injuries to be able to enjoy their favorite hobby.
An important thing to be aware of when using this type of bike for exercise is the pedal and seat positioning. The rider needs to transition their upright position to the recumbent position. While seated, adjust the seat so the knee is only slightly bent, just like a normal riding position, when the pedal is at its furthest point. This will create the same motion the rider experiences when riding a standard bicycle.
If you want to get your bike-riding workout but have been experiencing some pain, try a recumbent bike. In case you have not noticed, most gyms have actually foregone using standard exercise bikes and are now filling their gyms with recumbent bikes. As long as you adjust your seat position to replicate the same knee bend you would have while seated on a standard bike, you will receive all the benefits of the ride without experiencing pain and discomfort in your back.