How to Burn More Calories on a Recumbent Exercise Bike

Let’s get straight to the point without any delay – according to the majority of sources and our personal experience, recumbent exercise bikes are the most comfortable type of stationary exercise bikes and they are able to burn about 400 to 450 calories per hour.

This statistic is a little less compared to other stationary bikes but still decent and can deliver results. For example, spin bikes get you to about 700 calories per hour whereas an upright exercise bike burns about 500 calories per hour.

So, they are not as effective for burning calories and getting rid of body fat as other stationary exercise bikes, especially in comparison with air resistance bikes.

However, recumbent bikes rank higher than leisure swimming, moderate walking, Pilates, and other exercises for the back. On top of that, if you compare recumbent exercise bikes with spin bikes, you will see that recumbent bikes have much less impact on the body and are way easier to use.

But, that’s not all. Let’s explore the influential factors for calorie burn and what can you do to achieve a quicker weight loss schedule using a stationary recumbent bike.

Without further ado, here are a couple of practical things to do in order to burn more calories while using a recumbent exercise bike and get in shape quicker.

Tips For Burning More Calories While Using a Recumbent Bike

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If you want to burn more calories to lose weight faster utilizing your recumbent bike, the following ways can be beneficial to accelerate the process:

Do High-Intensity Interval Training

Research says interval training hastens the process of calorie burning as it activates your aerobic and anaerobic systems. It means you’ll use oxygen to convert the carbs into energy and burn carbs directly.

HIIT refers to pedaling at 80-100% intensity, depending on how much you can handle. It should be combined with 40-50% intensity periods.

That means you can rigorously pedal for 20-30 seconds followed by 10-15 seconds of lower intensity and repeat the entire process for about 20-30 minutes.

Indulge Your Upper Body In the Process

Using the whole body requires more energy than just using the lower part of your body. So, start indulging your arms in the process with Resistance Bands and/or Hand weights.

Bodyweight movements involve similar exercises (i.e. overhead presses, bicep curls) as mentioned above. But in this case, try to contract your muscles and push against the strength.

Or instead of using dumbbells, you can buy a recumbent exercise bike like Teeter Free step that has pedals for legs and moving handlebars for arm and upper body exercise.

Shorten the Workout Period

Listen to your body and understand what it needs. Contrary to popular belief, it is important to shorten the workout duration instead of increasing it.

You should not make your body feel completely drained after the workout. Rather, strive for that bearable soreness combined with a dose of energy. At the same time, you don’t want to go for a complete rest post-workout.

Avoid Extensive workouts

Doing steady-state cardio can reduce your metabolic rate or injure and harm your muscle mass, particularly if you don’t take enough rest throughout the day.

Therefore, a useful thumb rule would be a session of 30-60 minutes on your recumbent bike at the maximum intensity, every alternate day.

Make the Right Choices

To burn more calories, it’s important to buy the right exercise bike and to buy the right equipment, you need to know what to look for in a stationary recumbent exercise bike. There are many features that can actually help you stay longer and more comfortable on your recumbent exercise bikes.

For instance, an adjustable seat or a recumbent exercise bike seat cushion can contribute on how comfortable you are while cycling and ultimately affect how long your ride bike and how many calories you burn every day.

Utilize a Heart-Rate Monitor

Consider using a heart monitor such as a chest strap or fitness watch, if your recumbent bike doesn’t have the pulse sensor feature.

These devices have a feature with a numeric display to show the heart-beat rate per minute. Additionally, some devices also show the heart-rate range into which the numerical value falls.

For example, A 34-year-old woman weighing 132 pounds can observe the intervals and numbers on her fitness watch:

  • 120 bpm: high-intensity
  • 140 bpm: cardio
  • 160 bpm: anaerobic
  • 180 bpm: VO2 max

These outputs imply that the high-intensity and cardio fall into such a range that helps you in burning a notable amount of calories.

The moment you will be in the anaerobic/VO2 max range, your metabolic system will also involve in the fat-burning process.

Other Factors for Burning Calories on a Recumbent Exercise Bike

recumbent seat cushions

There are a few factors that have an impact on your calorie burn while using a recumbent bike. These important factors include:

Exercise Speed

It is quite obvious that the faster you go on your recumbent bike, the more calories you can burn. The reason is that your body will put more effort to sustain the speed. Here is an example:

  • 15 mph burns 600 calories/ hour
  • 12 mph burns 500 calories/ hour

Body Composition

The composition of your body influences your metabolic rate. So, even when you’re resting, your body will burn more calories if you’re obese/overweight compared to the ideal weight, or if you are more fit and have lean muscles than a common person., For example, you’ll burn:

  • 440 calories/ hour if you’re 240 pounds
  • 350 calories/ hour if you’re 200 pounds at 10 mph.


Metabolisms vary upon one’s age, biological sex, and pre-existing conditions. These factors have an impact on muscle mass, fat ratio, and heart rate, determining the speed of resting metabolic rate.

Mainly, faster resting metabolism requires more energy to operate compared to a slower BMR. That, in turn, implies;

  • Younger people burn more calories than older people in similar weight groups.
  • Men burn calories faster compared to women of similar weight and age groups.
  • People who have slower heart rates due to some metabolic conditions such as underactive thyroid, burn fewer calories compared to people who have higher resting heart rates in the same sex, age, and weight group.

Closing Thought

In comparison with the other less-impacted elementary exercises, a recumbent bike can burn a huge amount of calories and leads to quick weight loss. However, your expectation should range between 400-500 calories/hour, depending on the type of workout you choose and the metabolic system of your body. Always keep in mind to properly and effectively use an exercise bike and to listen to your body and stride yourself to choose smart ways of exercise instead of hard for remarkable progress.


Hi there, I'm Sayed Hamed Hosseiny, the founder and one of the authors at (YEB). I am a former indoor cycling instructor and personal trainer with nearly 20 years of experience. With a passion for indoor cycling, I have spent years designing cycling parts, repairing, and importing exercise bikes. All the articles, tips, guides, reviews, and comparisons on (YEB) reflect my personal opinion and expertise in the field. I'm excited to share my knowledge with fellow exercise bike enthusiasts and help people find reliable indoor cycling information and the best exercise bike for their needs. If you have any questions or suggestion, you can contact me at

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