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


by | May 4, 2023 | blog

Recumbent Bike vs. Recumbent Stepper

If you’re searching for exercise equipment for your home gym, you may be considering a recumbent stepper or recumbent bike. Both machines are solid options for people who cannot or do not want to use a traditional bike. But like any major purchase, it’s a good idea to know what to look for before you make your decision.


What Does Recumbent Mean?

Recumbent means you are exercising in a semi-reclined seated position. Both recumbent steppers and recumbent bikes provide benefits for users of all fitness levels, but they are particularly beneficial for users who have strength or stability issues. For example, recumbent bikes and steppers have lower and wider seats, and some, like NuStep’s steppers and bikes, have swivel seats that provide easy on-and-off access. Further, exercising in a seated position minimizes strain on the back, legs and knees while still providing an effective cardiovascular workout.


Recumbent Bikes

A recumbent bike provides similar benefits to an upright bike but it has a supportive backrest and the pedals are located in front of you. This allows the user to exercise in a comfortable, reclined position versus an upright position. The motion required to move the pedals is circular and requires a full range of motion. Recumbent bikes deliver lower body exercise that works your glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves with little-to-no upper body movement.


Recumbent Steppers

A recumbent stepper also keeps you in a reclined position to enhance your comfort while you exercise. However, the motion differs from the bike as you push the pedals to step 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 total-body cardiovascular workout. Plus, you can isolate your upper and lower body workout. 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 that swivels, 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 fitness 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.