Is a Recumbent Bike or a Recumbent Stepper Better for Exercise?


by | Aug 7, 2020 | blog

Recumbent Bike vs. Recumbent Stepper

If you’re searching for exercise equipment for your home gym, you may end up comparing a recumbent stepper to a recumbent bike. Both machines are solid options for people who cannot or do not want to use a traditional bike. But like any large purchase, you need to know what to look for before deciding.

Recumbent means you are exercising in a seated position. Both recumbent steppers and recumbent bikes provide benefits for users who may have strength or stability issues. They can be beneficial for users who have physical limitations or ailments preventing them from performing high-impact exercise. Exercising in a seated position provides low-impact cardiovascular exercise and minimizes strain on the back, legs, and knees.


What Is A Recumbent Bike?

A recumbent bike provides similar benefits to an upright bike but it has a backrest and pedals located in front of you. This allows the user to exercise in a horizontal position versus a vertical position. The motion required to move the pedals is circular and requires a full range of motion. Recumbent bikes mainly focus on your leg muscles including the glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves with little-to-no upper body movement.


What Is A Recumbent Stepper?

A recumbent stepper also keeps you in a horizontal position. However, the motion differs from the bike as you take steps to push the pedals forward and back in a linear motion. Most recumbent steppers include arm handles to incorporate upper body exercise in addition to lower body exercise. The combination of upper and lower body movements provides a full-body cardiovascular workout. By adding arm handles, you can isolate your upper and lower body. Remove your legs from the pedals to focus on your upper body, core and arm strength. You can also lower your arms to focus on your legs only.


How Do I Decide Which Is Right For Me?

Do not forget to compare features of the fitness equipment you are considering. Features such as a large comfortable seat, adjustable arms, adjustable resistance levels, weight capacity, heart rate monitor compatibility and warranty are all important factors for ensuring the best fit for you and your exercise needs.

Whether you choose a recumbent bike or a recumbent stepper depends on your individual needs and wellness goals. Simply remember the importance of movement and exercise and take that step towards a healthier life.


About Michelle Geer

Michelle is the Marketing Manager at NuStep, LLC. She earned a BBA in Marketing from Western Michigan University and her MBA from Eastern Michigan University. After over a decade in product management roles in the medical device field, Michelle joined NuStep in early 2019, focusing on their digital marketing efforts.