Whether in a gym or online, you might have seen a recumbent stationary bike with movable handles, or maybe an upright bike with a large fan instead of a flywheel. Well, you might be wondering what benefits you can get from those moving arms. The moving arms allow you to work the arms, chest, and back at the same time that your leg muscles are being worked. So, they offer full-body training and consequently, a more effective cardio workout. In this article, we have provided an overview of the different types of stationary bikes with moving arms, as well as discussed the advantages of using such machines.
Types of stationary bikes with moving arms
1. Dual-action upright bike
This is almost identical to a regular upright stationary bike, with the addition of a pair of moving handles. The handles and pedals are connected in a way similar to that of an elliptical machine. This type of machine is also called a seated elliptical.
2. Dual-action recumbent bike
This type of machine brings all the upsides of a recumbent stationary bike. Of course, you get the added benefit of the moving handles to work your upper body as well. A dual-action recumbent bike is an ideal choice for those who suffer from back pain but still want a total body cardio workout.
➥ Have a look at the comparison, we’ve prepared if you’re at crossroads when it comes to choosing between an upright bike and a recumbent bike.
3. Air bike
This is the most popular out of the three machines. An air bike has a large fan instead of a flywheel. As you pedal, the fan rotates and generates wind resistance. Therefore, the faster you pedal the higher the resistance will be. Air bikes are a high-intensity full-body workout machine that is excellent for burning calories.
Having moving arms on a stationary bike is simply better. Not only do you get the advantages of using a normal stationary bike, but you also get some additional benefits. The main benefit is obviously the option to work out both the lower and upper body muscles. This engagement of multiple muscle groups has several advantages. Here are all the merits of exercising on a stationary bike with moving arms:
- Low-impact exercise: All exercise bikes, even ones with moving arms, are low-impact machines. This means that a minimal amount of stress is exerted on the knee, ankle, and hip joints. Hence, you can use this machine for years without worrying about joint pain.
- High-calorie burning: Since both the upper and lower body muscles are engaged, a larger amount of calories are burned within the same amount of time. Therefore, the workout is a lot more effective.
- Weight loss: Continuing from the previous point, higher calorie consumption leads to more fat loss. Ultimately, you can lose weight faster. However, you must complement it with a healthy diet.
- Muscle toning and strengthening: This type of machine is ideal for toning the major muscles of the body. With enough resistance, you can also build up some strength.
- Improved coordination: Having to use your arms and legs in tandem in an effective way boosts your body’s overall coordination. This translates to other activities as well.
- Versatility: Due to the ease of use, low-impact, and wide range of resistance levels, anyone can use such a machine. It does not matter what your fitness level is or how old you are. You can simply modify the workout routine according to what’s best for you.
How to make the best use of a dual-action stationary bike
If you are looking to lose weight and improve your cardiovascular health, then an air bike or a dual-action stationary bike is one of the best machines for this. The way of using these machines is with high-intensity interval training or HIIT. This form of exercise involves a period of very high intensity followed by a cool-down period. This is repeated for multiple rounds. A 15 minute HIIT workout can burn just as many calories as 1 hour of steady-state cardio. The following is a workout for all levels that can be done on an air bike. You can adapt it for a dual-action recumbent/upright bike. Instead of varying the RPM, you’ll have to change the resistance levels.
|Level||Each Round||No. of Rounds|
|Beginner||Pedal and push/pull at 80-100 RPM for 30 seconds||3|
|Cooldown at 30-40 RPM for 2-3 minutes|
|Intermediate||Pedal and push/pull at 80-100 RPM for 30 seconds||5-7|
|Cooldown at 30-40 RPM for 60-90 seconds|
|Advanced||Pedal and push/pull at 80-100 RPM for 30 seconds||10|
|Cooldown at 30-40 RPM for 30 seconds|
What to look for in a dual-action exercise bike
Before you buy any exercise machine, there are some things that you should consider to help you make a decision. First of all, you must enjoy working out on a stationary bike. Otherwise, you’ll use it only for a few weeks and eventually turn it into a clothes hanger. In this case, you would be better off spending your money (and time) on a different machine or activity that you actually like. Secondly, the seat should be comfortable enough and should be set up properly for you. This ensures that you spend a good amount of time on the machine.
The exercise bike should also be durable and smooth-running. A good quality machine should last you for years or even decades. Look for some convenience features as well. Two very important features to look for are a digital console and a water bottle holder. With these, you can keep track of your progress and stay hydrated. At the very least, the console should be able to display time, distance, calories, and speed/power.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1. Which type of exercise bike with moving arms should I use?
Ans.: Out of the three types, we believe that an air bike delivers the most value for money. Air bikes are comparatively cheap and enable you to burn the most calories. A recumbent stationary bike with moving arms is a great option for those who suffer from joint and back issues. They are also a good starting point for overweight users. Upright bikes with moving arms are not too widely available. Besides, this machine will deliver pretty much the same level of workout as with an air bike.
➥ Read More: Calories burnt with stationary bikes with moveable arms.
Q2. Is a rowing machine better for full-body cardio workouts?
Ans.: A rowing machine is another excellent piece of equipment to get an intense cardio workout while engaging the upper and lower body at the same time. It would be really difficult to pick between a rowing machine and an exercise bike with moving arms. For home use, the exercise bike might be better due to the lower floor space required. Each machine targets specific muscles more than others. However, the cardiovascular and weight loss benefits are nearly identical. Ultimately, it depends on which one you like using better.
Q3. How many calories can you burn with an air bike?
Ans.: With proper use of an air bike, you can burn as much as 400-500 calories in just 30 minutes. In comparison, on a regular upright stationary bike, you can burn around 300 calories in 30 minutes. This truly makes the air bike one of the greatest calorie-burning machines out there.
Hopefully, now you can see that a stationary bike with moving arms is an excellent piece of equipment to exercise with. They are low-impact machines that allow you to burn plenty of calories in a shorter amount of time. All the while engaging both the upper and lower body muscles. If possible, you should definitely get one for your home.