Recumbent ellipticals are popular owing to their ability to let the users lose weight and tone muscles in a seated position. This makes them comfortable and easy to use for people with back problems, without straining any joints. Even people who have disabilities or mobility problems find recumbent ellipticals to be a convenient form of workout machine.
Selecting one recumbent elliptical out of so many available options is no simple task. To make your purchasing decision easier, we rounded up and conducted thorough research on hundreds of products, and came up with a list of the best recumbent ellipticals. This article discusses their features, pros and cons, and an overall review, for you to compare and choose.
Our Top 3 Picks:
|LifeSpan R5i Recumbent Stationary Bike||Sunny Health & Fitness Comfort Recumbent Exercise Bike||Marcy ME-708 Upright Exercise Bike|
|Pros|| Self-Generating Power System
Armrest with Heart Rate Monitoring
| Foldable and Easy to Move
10 Levels of Resistance
| Adjustable Foot Straps
Does not make Noise
|Price||CHECK PRICE||CHECK PRICE||CHECK PRICE|
5 Best Recumbent Ellipticals for your Home Gym Reviewed
The Lifespan Fitness recumbent bike is designed with all age groups and fitness levels in mind. With its easy to navigate features and customized programs, the R5i serves all of your workout needs—whether it’s simply living an active life or rigorous training to lose weight. It comes integrated with all the advanced features you could find in an elliptical.
- The R5i recumbent elliptical has an advanced mechanism that allows it to self-generate power that runs the electrical equipment. This means that the bike doesn’t require any power source or batteries to operate.
- Integrated Bluetooth connectivity allows you to share the workout data with apps such as Google Fit and Apple Health, using LifeSpan’s Active Trac app.
- To help you achieve any fitness goals, this exercise bike comes with 40 easy-to-navigate workout programs. These programs are available under umbrella terms like sports training, active living, or weight loss, and even include programs like Interval Heart Rate and Constant Heart Rate to tackle heart-rate training.
- The LCD screen on the R5i is multi-color and displays time, resistance level, RPM, running distance, heart rate and pulse, calories, Watts, and speed.
- With its 70″ L x 27.5″ w x 44.5″ H measurements, this elliptical is ideal for fitting into compact spaces. It can handle up to 400 lbs user weight.
- Oversized, Molded-Foam Seat Cushion
- Flexible, Breathable Backrest
- Molded Armrests with Integrated Heart Rate Sensors
- Colored LCD
- Self-generating power system
- Armrest with heart rate monitoring
- Supports 400 lb user weight
- 40 built-in programs
- Seats are well-ventilated and comfortable
- Adjustable backrest
- Bluetooth connectivity
- Bottle holder
- Setting up is difficult because of the poor instruction manual
The R5i bike has an excellent LCD with state-of-the-art features and multiple programs to suit any workout requirements. Although the price range is high, the supreme features make it worth it.
Why did we decide to put this recumbent elliptical in the #1 position?
Very few recumbent ellipticals come integrated with as many advanced features as the LifeSpan R5i has. These features and the bike’s suitability for people with all workout goals and age-groups make it the best recumbent elliptical in the market.
This recumbent elliptical by Sunny Health and Fitness aims to help you lose weight or maintain an active life while providing the utmost comfort. It has an extra-large seat that comes with a full-padding and a reliable backrest, ensuring maximum support during your exercise. With its admirable features and trustworthy brand name, this is one of the finest seated ellipticals.
- This product is popular for its comfortable extra-large padded seating with its steady backrest.
- It comes with ten levels of resistance to keep your workout sessions challenging.
- The elliptical has attached mobile and tablet holders, and a convenient water bottle holder.
- The display monitor shows all variables related to your exercise, i.e., speed, heart rate, time, distance, odometer, and calories.
- Although the bike is sized extra-large, the seats and handlebars can be adjusted to accommodate users of different heights and weights.
- The durable belt drive ensures that the machine doesn’t make noise while operating.
- The elliptical comes with extra safety features and is portable because of its wheels and foldability.
- Comfortable seat padding
- The seat can accommodate users of every size
- Doesn’t make noise
- Foldable and easy to move
- 10 levels of resistance
- Water bottle holder
- Tablet holder
- Easy to assemble
- Sturdy and durable
- Users faced problems with pedals
- Displays with only basic statistics
If you’re someone with a moderate exercise routine, this recumbent elliptical is well-suited for you. Easily assembled with convenient features, you can easily move this bike from one place to another. It can be used by multiple people of different weights and heights because of its adjustability.
Also Read: Best Under-Desk Ellipticals
The Marcy Upright Exercise is a smooth recumbent elliptical with an easily operable LCD, all in an extremely affordable package. Build muscles and lose weight easily with its multiple resistance levels and comfortable seating. Although it has a compact size and lightweight, the durability and strength of the exercise bike aren’t compromised.
- This recumbent elliptical from Marcy’s is built from PVC, elastic and premium 14-gauge steel which ensures the longevity of the machine even when used heavily. The powder coating resists scratches and damages from the environment, and the design is sturdy and stylish.
- Its resistance mechanism comes with 8 different difficulty levels that can be altered using a knob. This keeps the exercises challenging for fitness enthusiasts and is easy-to-use by beginners.
- The LCD screen on the ME-708 is large for increased visibility and displays data such as time, speed, distance, and calories. It also acts as an odometer.
- Adjustable seats that can be used by people of different body weights and heights.
- The product has counterbalanced pedals that give maximum support to the user’s foot, and the adjustable foot straps provide a customized fit for any foot.
- The bike comes equipped with wheels that make transportation easier and convenient.
- Extremely affordable price range
- Adjustable foot straps
- Adjustable seat
- Doesn’t make noise
- 8 levels of resistance
- Wear-resistant and sturdy
- The display screen is quite large
- Maintains user posture upright
- Suitable for various body sizes
- No bottle holder
- Handlebar not adjustable
The Marcy bike comes equipped with the basic features of a recumbent elliptical at an affordable price. The built and material of the bike make it appealing and sturdy. It’s comfortable and noiseless, perfectly suitable for an apartment building. If you’re looking for a durable elliptical that helps you lose weight and maintain shape, go for this product.
The features of this recumbent elliptical are at par with the higher-end models from Schwinn. Advanced connectivity options with multiple programs and resistance levels add up to an excellent piece of exercise equipment that easily helps your muscles get toned and lose weight, all at a mid-range price.
- This recumbent elliptical has 16 resistance levels of the eddy brake system that provides varied intensity for your workout.
- It features Bluetooth connectivity that can be used to set, track, and monitor the progress of your regime.
- The large LCD screen comes equipped with 13 workout programs. Also, its connectivity with the Zwift app provides 1000 Plus structured workouts and 80 Plus virtual routes.
- Grip style heart rate monitor for an easy ride during a heart rate program.
- The seats have ventilation properties and are lined with lumber for ultimate comfort during your workout sessions.
- Even though the recumbent bike weighs mere 82 pounds, its study design and center-supported frame allow it a 300-pound capacity.
- The two user profiles allow two people to save their workout data, custom programs, and personal information without interfering with one another’s profile.
- The 230 has incorporated a media shelf, media options like in-console MP3 speakers, and USB charging. It even comes with an adjustable 3-speed fan that maintains air circulation.
- Sturdy but compact build
- Noise free
- Comfortable ventilated seats
- Multiple media options
- Adjustable fan for extra cooling during exercise
- Variety of workout programs
- 16 different levels of resistance
- Bluetooth connectivity
- Two user profile
- Seating not as comfortable as claimed
- Not suitable for very tall people
Amongst all the options on this list, the Schwinn 230 elliptical provides the most varied range of workout programs and resistance levels. Although not suited for short people, the advanced connectivity and comfort features of these recumbent ellipticals make it a good choice.
Also Read: Best Hybrid Elliptical for your Home Gym
As the name suggests, this Recumbent bike from Exerpeutic is easily foldable and also includes wheels for transportation. It has been designed to support a maximum weight of 300 pounds and has a varied range of resistance levels. The cushioned large seat along with the backrest help you in a comfortable ride.
- The large seats on this recumbent elliptical are cushioned and adjustable to fit people of different heights. The adjoined backrest is reliable for support and comfort.
- The resistance mechanism has 8 different levels to alter the intensity of your workout.
- It has a large LCD that displays all the basic exercise data like time, speed, distance, calories burned, and pulse rate. Sensors on the handle measure your heart rate.
- The pedal has a 3 piece crank system for smooth pedaling without making any noise.
- Easily foldable recumbent bike with wheels that makes its transportation from one place to another quite easy.
- Although the elliptical bike has a compact design with dimensions 33” L x 19” W x 46” H, it can easily support a user weight up to 300 pounds.
- The seating is comfortable
- Adjustable seat height makes it versatile
- Smooth resistance
- Works noiselessly
- Assembly is easy
- Secure features
- Affordable rate
- 8 levels of resistance
- Moderate LCD screen
- Handles are not movable
- Durability complaints
The construction and build of the product along with its different resistance levels makes it an excellent recumbent elliptical. It works quite smoothly and fulfills basic requirements of workout like weight loss and moderate exercise well. Overall, it’s a value-for-money product.
Recumbent Ellipticals: Buying Guide
When it comes to buying a recumbent elliptical, there are a vast number of options to choose from. This makes the search difficult and confusing.
To ensure that you’re buying the right recumbent elliptical, there are various factors you should consider. These factors include but are not limited to the seat, display mechanism, and resistance. Knowing them, you can compare the features of different options, and make the most suitable purchase.
This guide discusses in detail the features you might require among the different recumbent ellipticals you are considering.
The primary difference between a regular elliptical and a recumbent one is that recumbent exercise bikes have seats.
Seats in a recumbent elliptical can either be fixed or adjustable. If two or more people of different heights use the same exercise bike for working out, you should go for adjustable seating. It also facilitates mounting and dismounting and provides a comfortable workout posture. However, if only one person will use the recumbent elliptical, a fixed seat is the right option since it lasts longer than adjustable ones.
The texture of the seat in a recumbent bike can also vary between hard plastic and cushioned materials. Cushioned bike seats are the go-to options for users who have lower-back issues. Plastic seats, although seem uncomfortable, generally feature ergonomic designs that provide back support. They also come with vents that restrict overheating during the hot season or lengthy exercises.
Just like in regular exercise bikes, it is necessary to consider the resistance system before buying your recumbent elliptical. Resistance works against your muscles and determines the force you expend on your workout. It is responsible for burning calories and building muscles.
Here are the resistance mechanisms you can choose from:
Magnetic Brake System:
The brake pad in the magnetic system comes with a set of magnets that create tension by moving nearer or farther from the flywheel. With a simple turn of the knob attached to the magnets, you can alter the resistance of your elliptical. This system is easy to maintain and lasts long. It also comes with the added benefit of changing the resistance level without being connected to a power source.
Eddy Brake System:
Eddy current uses electric currents in place of magnets to increase resistance. However, the general working principle is the same as that of the magnetic brake. Here, the resistance is changed by the mere pushing of a button. The range of resistance levels in the eddy brake is higher than the magnet ones.
Eddy brakes can be found in the more advanced and sophisticated recumbent ellipticals. But it also requires constant plugging into an electrical source to operate the resistance changer.
Display and Connectivity:
As the recumbent ellipticals keep evolving, new features are being added to the list all the time. One feature that you generally find in advanced elliptical machines is the sophisticated display screens they come with. Along with basic information like time and distance, they also provide personal measurements including RPM, running distance, heart rate and pulse, calories, and energy consumption. An LCD also supplies clear evaluation during your workout to help keep you on track. Before buying your recumbent elliptical, be mindful to look for a clear display with lights so that you can easily view information about your workout.
Connectivity is yet another advanced feature of recumbent exercise bikes. With Bluetooth connectivity, you can sync your workout with different apps such as the Schwinn Trainer App or the MyFitnessPal. You can use these apps to set, track, and monitor the progress of your regime. It also provides added benefits like an environment to connect and compete with other people, social networking, and access to a library of exercise programs.
If you want multiple options to try while exercising or if you love technology, and have money to spare, go for a state-of-the-art recumbent elliptical.
Other Factors to Consider:
Ellipticals are dangerous machines to keep around children. While messing around with the bikes, they can get trapped in the moving parts or fall while trying to climb. If you have children at your home, or regular visitors, choose elliptical machines with lock features to ensure their safety.
The program options on a recumbent elliptical decide the variety of your workout. These generally include Manual programs, Hill Climb, Interval Program, Long Slow Distance, Target Heart Rate, and Random. Some advanced bikes also give you the option to create a customized program according to your needs.
However, multiple elliptical brands include a plethora of useless program options which you never require. These machines cost you a fortune. Therefore, you must consider the type of exercise you want to engage in, and go for an elliptical that includes them and also fits your budget.
The handles of your bike can be fixed or adjustable. Changing the position of handles gives you the liberty to target different muscle groups of your body. If you want to exercise the muscles of your whole upper body, go for a recumbent elliptical with adjustable handles. However, if you only plan on working out your leg muscles, recumbent bikes with fixed handles can do the job quite easily. They are also less expensive.
If you plan on moving your recumbent elliptical machine from one place to another regularly, purchase an elliptical with wheels. They decrease the chance of you getting injured while trying to lift the heavy machine.
What is Better: Recumbent Bike or Elliptical?
According to experts, the calories burnt while working out on an elliptical is 30% more than that on a recumbent exercise bike. However, a recumbent bike puts less strain on your joints than a standing elliptical. Thus, going for an elliptical is a better choice if you’re primarily focused on losing weight. But if you have joint ache issues, the recumbent bike is more suitable for your needs.
Can a Recumbent Bike tone your Legs?
Yes, recumbent or stationary bikes are efficient at toning your legs. To achieve the best results, set a brisk pace and a workout program that meets your needs.
Is the Seated Elliptical a Good Workout?
Although the calories burnt are lesser for a seated elliptical than a regular one, it is a good workout option for anyone with joint ache issues.
What is a Recumbent Elliptical?
A recumbent elliptical is a type of elliptical bike that has inbuilt seats. It provides a total body workout by mimicking the motions of a run.
Are Recumbent Bikes Hard on knees?
Recumbent bikes give you an opportunity to work out from a seated position. As a result, they put minimum strain on your knees, and are the best exercise option for people with arthritis or other joint problems.
What is a Sit-Down Elliptical Called?
An elliptical that allows workout from a seated position is called a recumbent elliptical.
Is a Recumbent Bike Good for Cardio?
Riding a recumbent bike is an efficient and effective method of burning calories and targeting particular muscle groups like quadriceps, legs, hamstrings, and glutes. While putting less strain than other forms of cardio on your joints, they still provide an excellent way of cardio workout.
Is a Recumbent Bike as Good as Walking?
While both walking and exercising on a recumbent bike are effective methods of workout, the amount of calories burnt on a stationary bike in an hour is more than that during a brisk walk. Hence, a recumbent bike can be considered better than walking.
How Long Should you Exercise On a Recumbent Bike?
To get the utmost benefit from your exercise on a recumbent bike, we recommend warming up at a stray rate for five minutes and then setting a brisk pace for 30 more minutes.
Is a Recumbent Bike Good for Hips?
Since exercising on a recumbent bike includes sitting down, these bikes are easier on your hips and lower back. In short, they require more effort in losing hip fat than a regular bike or treadmills.
Are Recumbent Bikes Hard to Ride?
Recumbent bikes are quite easy to ride. You just need to sit down, select a program and resistance level and start pedaling.
What part of the Body Does a Recumbent Bike Target?
By altering the setting of your recumbent bike to add upper bodyweight workout, you can target most major muscles of your body. These might include Quadriceps, Hamstrings, Shins, ankles, hips, calves, and more.
What is the Best Exercise Equipment for Seniors?
Elliptical bikes, especially seated or recumbent ellipticals are the best exercise equipment for seniors, as they allow them to work out without straining the joints.
What’s the Average Cost of a Recumbent Bicycle?
The average cost of a decent recumbent elliptical is around $1000.
Do Recumbent Ellipticals Help Lose Belly Fat?
The primary task of a recumbent elliptical is to help burn calories, which is achieved by losing fat. So they help lose belly fat.