Will Recumbent Bike Exercise Flatten the Stomach?

Senior women enjoying themselves at the gym
People on exercise bikes. (Image: DGLimages/iStock/Getty Images)

Using a recumbent bike burns calories, allowing you to lose weight all over your body, including your stomach. While spot reduction is a myth, using a combination of cardiovascular exercise, such as a recumbent bike, and abdominal strengthening exercises will help firm and flatten your stomach muscles.

Burn the Calories

Riding a recumbent bike is an effective, calorie-burning aerobic exercise. Set a course on your recumbent bike that includes several hills to burn more calories while working out. Pedaling faster or increasing resistance also burns more calories. Your calorie burn will also depend on your weight. If a 120-pound person cycles for 30 minutes, she will burn 190 calories, while a 180-pound person will burn 286 calories. Aim for 30 to 60 minutes, five days a week of aerobic activity. Up to 60 minutes of daily aerobics may be required for weight loss.

Engage the Lower Abdominal Muscles

If you move the seat closer the pedals, it decreases the amount of energy your legs can contribute to pedaling, forcing you to engage your lower abdominal muscles. You will also work your thighs, glutes and calf muscles. You can perform other abdominal strengthening exercises, such as crunches on a stability ball, to further tone your stomach muscles.

Recumbent Bike vs. Other Cardio Equipment

Choose the recumbent bike over other types of cardio equipment if it's more comfortable for your body. Using the recumbent bike at a moderate pace burns more calories than walking at a 3 mph pace, but fewer calories than using the elliptical machine. Both the elliptical trainer and recumbent bike predominantly work the lower body, with less impact than a treadmill. However, some elliptical trainers have handles that also work the upper body.

Recommendations for Use

Spend five minutes stretching your lower body before using the recumbent bike. Before beginning, slide the seat to the point where you have a slight bend in your knee when your leg is on the back side of the crank. Perform a light warm-up to prepare your muscles and increase your core body temperature. Maintain a straight posture; do not lean forward. Consult a physician before beginning any new exercise program.

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