Back pain from strain, injury and overuse can often take a toll on your exercising routine. However, during early recovery of a back injury it is very important to continue exercising 10 to 30 minutes a few times a day in order to maintain your health and ensure proper recovery, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. A safe exercise could include riding a recumbent bike, as this bike provides adequate support of the back with no additional strain that could cause further injury.
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Recumbent vs. Upright
Traditional upright bikes should not be used by those with back injuries. They offer no support for the back and the shifting motion that is needed to ride these bikes will cause further pain and injury. A recumbent bike allows you to sit in a semi-reclined position in a bucket seat while pedaling. According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, during aerobic exercise you must keep your spine in a neutral position while engaging the abdominal muscles in order to protect the lower back; the position the rider is on a recumbent bike ensures this protection.
Other benefits of the recumbent bike is that it allows increased blood flow and improved respiration. Because you are sitting in a semi-reclined position, as opposed to the crouched over position you would be in on an upright bike, your lungs and abdomen have less pressure on them. According to SteadyHealth.com, very little to no stress is placed upon the back, wrists and neck, which is very beneficial for those with repetitive stress injuries in these areas.
Star Trac Pro Recumbent Bike
According to Galt Home, an independent online guide since 1995, the Star Trac Pro Recumbent bike is known as the "king of exercise bikes." Retailed new at $2800 as of 2010, this bike offers an adjustable bucket seat, 11 different workout programs, 20 levels of magnetic resistance, and has a weight capacity of 350 lbs. One special feature of this bike is the arm rest that is attached to the seat; this helps keep the rider's shoulders from getting tense.
Schwinn 213 Recumbent Bike
According to Galt Home, the Schwinn 213 recumbent bike is an affordable bike retailed at $400 as of 2010. One of the huge selling points is the padded bucket seat which can be adjusted to move back or forward easily. The bike features 16 levels of magnetic resistance, and the workout programs include a BMI measurement and a calorie goal counter.