If you’re in the market for a cardio machine and want something that’s compact, easy to maintain, durable and relatively inexpensive – You should consider an exercise bike. There are Commercial & Residential models to choose from and if the users are 300+ lbs, plan on using it over 3 hours per day or just prefer health club type equipment you use in the gym then a Commercial grade exercise bike will be your best bet.
Most models are lightweight, have transport wheels and are self generating so you have the freedom to put them wherever you want. The more expensive models normally have more workout programs and a heavier weighted flywheel (this creates a smoother and more consistent resistance). They are a very low impact workout and highly effective for burning calories and toning the hamstrings, quads, glutes and calves.
There are 4 main types of Exercise Bikes to consider before buying:
1. Recumbent Bikes: These exercise bikes put the user in a seated back reclining position similar to a car seat. They are perfect for the lazy person who wants to do cardio workouts without any hassle. They can be used while watching TV or while talking over the phone. They are ideal for anyone with knee, hip or lower back sensitivities. The large cushioned back pads and seats make them comfortable and easy on the joints. LifeFitness 9500HR is a great example of a commercial grade recumbent bike that has all the essential features and functions such as multiple workout programs/seat adjustments, calorie counter and heart rate monitor. There are also newer touch screens that are wifi compatible and have more workout programs and resistance levels to choose from. You can use the hill training programs to get the most out of recumbent bike training and use the different interval programs for lowering or raising the resistance for periods of time.
2. Recumbent Crosstrainers: They have the same seat position as recumbent bikes but the lower body movement resembles an elliptical oval shaped motion rather than a circular bicycle motion. The upper arms move back and forth for a total body workout and some models allow them to be moved independently without the foot pedals. Because of their ease of use, safeness, comfortable design and smooth gliding motion – Recumbent Crosstrainers are made primarily for senior citizens or people with serious health conditions, injuries or loss of mobility. The NuStep TRS 4000 has a smooth linear stepping motion and is considered the best rehabilitation machine ever made. They are also ideal for Physical Therapists, Personal Trainers, Hotels and Apartment Complexes with an older demographic.
3. Upright Bikes: These have a smaller seat that resembles a bicycle and will force you to engage your core while in the upright position. It’s still a low impact workout however it’s best for people with stronger midsections and lower backs who want a tougher workout. The LifeFitness 95ci Upright Bike is one of the most popular commercial grade models. They are ideal for Personal Trainers and Gym Owners who have a younger more athletic demographic.
4. Spin Bikes: Also called spinners or indoor cycles, these exercise bikes provide the most challenging workouts because of their higher resistance settings and the forward leaning position causing you to engage your upper body and core throughout the workout. The higher resistance enables you to burn fat while really strengthening, tightening and toning your core and lower body. Some models will have an upgraded monitor option that tracks your rpms, watts, heart rate and other metrics. The most popular models are the StarTrac NXTs and Schwinn AC Performance spin bike.
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