What Muscles Does a Recumbent Bike Work?

Are you scared of learning how to bike or taking it up on the road itself? Then a recumbent bike might be the best fit for you. This indoor cardiovascular machine recreates the same kind of workout you would get through a regular biking experience. However, one question that often arises amongst people investing in this machine is, what muscles does a recumbent bike work? Well, that’s precisely what we will be talking about today.

From recumbent bike muscles to the entire workout process, we’ll be covering everything you need to know about this bike.

What is a Recumbent Bike?

So, before we get into what muscles do recumbent bikes work, let’s define what a recumbent bike is.

Essentially, this exercise bike is a great gym machine that allows you to cycle in a reclined position. Through this machine, you can easily read up something or catch up on your favorite show.

All that is possible due to the strategic position of the body when you’re using this bike. You can prolong your workout time through this machine, as it allows you to multi-task efficiently.

The reclined position makes it easier for beginners to try out, and it’s an excellent way to delve into the world of cardiovascular workouts.

From first-timers to experienced cyclists, this is a great way to get into your daily workout without much effort. You can easily customize your activities according to your needs and challenging levels.

The customization paired with the muscle workout is what makes it a must-have for your at-home gym!

What Muscles Does a Recumbent Bike Work?

While this bike’s workout process can be enjoyable, the question often arises about what muscles does a recumbent bike for short legs work?

Well, here’s a list of muscles that you will be activating through your recumbent bike journey and how you can tone them up.

Glutes, Quads, and Hamstrings

The primary muscles that make up your butt are known as the glutes. While they’re inactive regularly, you can activate and form them up when your thighs are pushed back to your body.

This extension motion is used extensively in the cycling process as your legs will be extending to move forward on the bike pedals.

The quadriceps, also known as the quads, are the major four muscles you will find on the front side of your thighs. These muscles play a crucial role in working out the knees and extending them as you push on the pedals.

The back-and-forth motion of extension and contraction facilitates the activation of the quads. In this process, the inner thighs also get activated and get to be worked out.

Coming on to the hamstrings, they are located on the back of your thighs. Since they are opposite to the quads, they act in the opposite motion to them as well.

The hamstrings are primarily used to flex the knee, and this comes into play when your leg alternates from straight to bent positions throughout the cycling process.

Lower Leg Muscles

The lower leg muscles consist of the calves mainly. The forces are situated below the knee, and you activate them every time your foot engages with the pedal to push downwards.

This movement is called plantar flexion, and it acts to stretch out the major muscles in your lower leg. This is one of the crucial ones when it comes to what muscles does a recumbent bike work.

The lower leg muscles extend to your shins, so once you engage with the pedal and stretch out your toes, your lower leg gets activated and worked out.

Arm Muscle Participation

Staying on the topic of what muscles does a recumbent bike handle, the arms may also be worked out through some models of recumbent bikes.

On some bikes, you’ll see that there are arm cranks attached that allow you to move forward your arms with every motion of your legs as well.

The pushing and pulling motion benefits the muscle buildup in your arms and allows you to firm them up simultaneously with your legs.

Benefits of Using a Recumbent Bike

Now that we know about what muscles a recumbent bike works out, we need to establish other benefits of getting this bike for yourself.

This machine will end being your favorite gym equipment that you can hope onto for any time of the day. From the cardiovascular fitness journey to the multitasking, you can take part in, the benefits of this machine are endless.

Here are a few more advantages you will have once you get a recumbent bike.

Extreme Comfort Levels

The best part about using a recumbent bike is the amount of support your back gets during the workout session.

The seats are made to be larger and plusher to reduce the impact of saddle soreness and overall support your back better. The best part is that you can work out on this bike any time of the day, no matter how the weather is.


You can easily change up the resistance and challenging levels for your bike, which allows you to set your own pace and create a targeted workout.

You can even switch up the incline settings to get the experience and training of riding up and down different inclinations.

Completely Safe

These bikes help to alleviate the amount of stress you may feel on your joints during regular biking.

The body’s reclined position eases up the amount of tension in your spine, and you get a safer and more relaxing experience for your body by using recumbent bikes.

This is also perfect for beginners that may have trouble balancing on a regular bike. Additionally, it’s perfectly safe to sit on with no risks of falling or anything else.


With that, we hope we’ve helped you get an understanding of what muscles does a recumbent bike work, and how you can incorporate this machine in your home gym.

This machine will end up being a vital part of your workout routine, and you can get the experience of biking right from the comfort of your own home!

Shailen Vandeyar

A proud Indian origin Kiwi who loves to plant trees and play with my pet bunny when not out doing about every kind of biking and experiencing the occasional tumble. Ready to share the ride with you.

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