Recumbent - Core and Upper Body
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05-29-09, 08:43 PM
I've been riding a 'bent for about 5 years - after ~20 years of road-bike riding. I still ride a DF for my short commute, errands, etc, but rarely over 3-4 miles.
Yesterday we had a corporate volunteer day at a rural youth camp, and I rode my DF commuter to the camp. It was about 15 miles with a couple decent hills. All I can say is, WOW my upper body is absolutely gone. If bikers have weenie arms then recumbent bikers have - what - marshmallow arms? Fifty feet of out-of-saddle climbing and I had to sit down and spin. Ugh.
I switched to a bent because of lower back pain. Now I'm wondering if I'm doing myself more harm than good by letting my upper body go to pot.
What do you guys do? Lift weights? Bricklaying on the side?
05-30-09, 01:41 PM
More harm than good? Not so. Recumbent riding does contribute towards cardiovascular fitness, so my recumbent riding cardiologist friend says. You are right that it does little toward upper body strength however. Personally, I would probably ride 1/20 or less of what I now do if I had to ride an upright exclusively.
Bicycling (upright or recumbent) is no way to build upper body strength.
+1 VegasTriker! I am riding much more now having switched to recumbents 7 years ago, (tandem bent and a Catrike) than I ever did when I rode DF. I may have marshmellow arms, but my cardio workout is solid and my gut ain't bad for someone my age. When I rode the DF, I was always in a hurry. Why, I don't know? Maybe I wanted to get the ride over with? I always hurt after a long ride. (Back, neck, arms, shoulders, carpel tunnel, you name it.) Now, it's all about the journey. It's now much more enjoyable, comfortable, better look at what's around me, and spinning puts less stress on my knees. Now when I ride, unless it's really cold and raining, I don't want the ride to end. Mike
05-30-09, 05:29 PM
+1 JanMM, upright riding might require a certain amount of upper body, but it doesn't really do much to build the strength. Recumbents, even less. I swim in the winter. I've got a kayak, but when good kayaking weather hits, I'm always on my bike!
My stoker/wife and I rode 30 upright miles today and I am reminded that I need to be doing more pushups, etc.
05-30-09, 08:52 PM
When my recumbent bike is is disrepair for whatever reason, I run an hour or so. Generally, I run the same time I would spend biking whatever distance is on my biking schedule.
I do 50 pushups and 100 situps three days a week.
Jerry in So IL
05-30-09, 09:14 PM
I guess I was "worried" about the same thing a few weeks ago when I asked about upper body strength loss and riding a bent. After riding a bent for about three weeks, and still doing my normal weight lifting and swimming, I haven't notice no loss in strength. In fact, I went UP in my bench by 15 pounds! Maybe I was over doing the weights.
Add some core exercises. I like this site (http://www.beginnertriathlete.com/cms/article-detail.asp?articleid=486) and do this three times a week. OK, I've only done it three times a weel once! I normally do it twice a week because I do a back to back set and cry when I breath too hard!
Then add some body weight upper body exercises like push ups, dips, and pull ups. If you have some dumb bells (even just one) add pull overs, bent over rows, curls, and extensions.
I did these exercises when I was riding my DF bike as well.
First, for the lower back, you need to be doing sit ups, not upper body work. And your work out should be guided by a PT.
If you are wealthy and like the goofyness of a full body workout on a bike, get one of these: http://rowingbike.com/site/EN/
If you have less $$, get a row bike on eBay (a slower US version).
06-03-09, 09:19 AM
It is my opinion that one should not confine ones riding totally to recumbents, if they can help it.. The problem is that riding a bent only works the leg muscles. Riding a DF will also provide some excersize to the upper body and back. However,I will also agree that riding a DF should not be used as the only way to to build upper body strength.
06-03-09, 05:41 PM
You could try this: http://hundredpushups.com/
Plus, you can apply the same training schedule to sit-ups as well. Cheap, effective and great for working what the bike doesn't.
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