It is an unfortunate reality that many people who would like to work out on an exercise bike avoid doing so because they suffer from chronic knee pain and lower back problems, as well. Arthritic knees or injuries that affect tendons and joints frequently lead to excruciating pain that turns workouts on an exercise bike into pure misery.
And that’s generally reason enough to stop even the most committed fitness buff from spending twenty or thirty minutes a day on a stationary exercise bike. And yet, experts agree that exercise is beneficial in so many ways. Consider …
Benefits Of Riding An Exercise Bike
People who exercise daily, especially those that use exercise bikes, are better able to tone their bodies, accelerate fat-burning to stay trim and fit, strengthen their hearts and lungs, enhance their cardiovascular health, sleep more soundly and look and feel better.
Clearly, there are many benefits associated with pedaling a stationary bike. But, in the past, there were few, if any, bikes designed for use by people with bad knees. That is no longer true.
The health and fitness industry has finally developed low-impact exercise equipment for in-home use. In fact, there are currently two types of stationary bike that people with knee problems can use safely and comfortably.
Here is what you need to know
Two Best Types Of Exercise Bike For Bad Knees
Experts agree that upright bikes and recumbent bikes can be used by those who are afflicted with knee pains. The reason for this is simple. Both types of stationary bike provide low impact workout opportunities that are easy on arthritic or achy knees.
Perhaps equally important, bikes in the above-mentioned styles are compact, affordable and ideal for in-home use.
Here is how they differ …
Upright Exercise Bikes are similar to regular bikes because, when assembled, they are upright with their pedals positioned below the hips just like any bike used for exercise outdoors. Additionally, this style of bike features a small and somewhat uncomfortable seat.
Recumbent Exercise Bikes are very different. These stationary bikes have a wider, plusher seat that rests in a semi-reclined position. The bike is designed to provide back support when in use, as well. And, unlike the upright bike, its pedals are located in front of the seat, not below it.
While it is true that both types of exercise bike are viable options for people with aching knees because they provide low impact workouts, the recumbent exercise bike is the best choice.
That’s because its ergonomic design allows you, the user, to exercise in a comfortable, laid-back position which enables your weight to be distributed evenly, experience optimum back support and pedal vigorously with little strain on your knees.
It is for all those reasons noted above that many physicians endorse recumbent bikes for their patients with knee problems. It is the one bike designed specifically for people, like you, who suffer from chronic knee pain or who undergo a knee replacement.
Best Recumbent Exercise Bike For Bad Knees
It should come as no surprise, of course, that there are many recumbent bikes available at sporting goods stores all across the United States and from online e-commerce websites, as well.
The question is: which recumbent exercise bike is best for you and your bad knees? Actually, we're going to tell you about two very good bikes, one of which may become your top choice.
Here are two recumbent exercise bikes that will enable you to enjoy low-stress workouts:
#1 - Exerpeutic 400XL Folding Recumbent Bike
This rugged and compact bike features a broad range of professional-style features that makes it stand out from its competitors. It is designed for in-home use, constructed to last and folds down for easy storage after you’ve completed your workout.
You get all these benefits:
- 8-level adjustable magnetic tension system lets you manage and control the difficulty of your workout
- 3-piece high torque crank system provides smooth and consistent rotation while you pedal
- Balanced flywheel and V-belt drive transmission assure quiet operation
- Built-in hand pulse monitor lets you keep track of your heart rate while you exercise
- Oversized pedals with safety straps keep your feet in place during your workout
- Extra large seat cushion and backrest are perfect for people whose height ranges from 5’2” to 6’ 2”
- Semi-recumbent ergonomic design enables you to mount and dismount your bike easily
- Easy-to-read LCD display tracks your distance, calories burned, speed, time and heart rate
- Rugged and durable … supports up to 300 pounds easily
- Lightweight and compact – measures 19” Wide x 45” High x 33” Deep. Weighs just 43 lbs
That’s it. As you can readily see, there are many good reasons for purchasing this exercise bike, including its price. The Exerpeutic 400XL Folding Recumbent Bike is budget-friendly. But is it the best bike for you?
You may want to consider this other recumbent bike …
#2 - Schwinn 230 Recumbent Exercise Bike
Here is a bike from an iconic company that has been producing quality bicycles and other exercise equipment for many, many years. This bike is designed to give you a challenging workout while you’re in a relaxed position that aids in back support.
Its large, vented seat can be adjusted to move forward or backward to assure that you enjoy maximum comfort while you exercise. And when you work the pedals, you can use the bike with minimal stress or strain. That makes this bike very valuable to you.
The Schwinn 230 Recumbent Exercise Bike also includes all these features for your benefit
- Dual Track LCD Two Window System lets you monitor up to 13 different display feedbacks
- 22 Workout Programs with two user settings
- Twenty resistance levels let you select your level of difficulty
- Padded Seat and lower back support assure comfort while you pedal
- Magazine Rack and water bottle holder included
Clearly, this Schwinn 230 Recumbent Exercise Bike is packed with features and lots of “bells and whistles.” But, it’s also perfectly designed for your needs. And while it provides the low impact workout you want, it is more costly than the Exerpeutic 400XL Folding Recumbent Bike.
Now, it’s time to decide …
Which Bike is “The Better Buy” For You?
When it comes to quality, both bikes offer good value. They are well-made, durable and designed to fit your specific needs. Both bikes are budget-friendly, as well.
But one bike seems to offer “more bang for your buck” because it’s loaded with useful features. That bike is the Exerpeutic 400XL Folding Recumbent Bike.
For all the reasons noted above, it may be your best bet.
Things To Consider When Riding With Bad Knees
The bikes described in this article both feature the kind of low-impact workouts that doctors suggest should be a part of knee rehabilitation therapy. But, it needs to be said that, while pedaling on a stationary recumbent bike offers great benefits, it is still possible to cause further injury to an already bad knee if you’re not careful.
Here’s what you need to do when riding an exercise bike with a bad knee:
- Always maintain proper form when riding … it will enable you to avoid straining a muscle or causing further damage to your already-injured knee
- Be sure to condition your muscles before and after your workout. It’s known as “warming up” and, when done, it helps you to avoid pulled muscles in your legs or additional damage to your knees
Overuse injuries also pose a threat and can occur if you “work too long and too hard”. Here’s how to avoid that mistake:
- You can reduce the risk of “overuse” injuries to your knees by creating a workout schedule that begins with reasonable goals
- Increase your goals – speed and distance – only when your endurance improves
Here is one more thing you can – and should – do. If you already suffer from bad knees, consult with your physician before you schedule your first workout. You can count on him for sound advice that will help you to avoid further injury.