recumbent bike workout for seniors

Best Recumbent Bike Workout Plan for Seniors

We may earn a commission from the companies mentioned in this post.

Seniors that want to use a recumbent bike to get fitter and healthier will need to understand what this type of machine is all about.

Using it the right way can lead to tremendous results, but the wrong strategy can lead to injury.

It’s important to take your time and make sure to use the best recumbent bike workout plan for seniors. Here is a look at what works and what doesn’t as you ramp things up.

1. Calculating Your Max Intensity

It’s important to start with knowing your max intensity and going from there.

You will want to look at your maximum heart rate for your age. This formula is 220 – your age [1]. The goal of this is to make sure you are maintaining a heart rate that is healthy for your body without compromising on the results.

Once you do this, you are going to have a much easier time finding out your maximum intensity.

The goal of maximum intensity as a senior is to know what you can do all-out for 30-45 seconds. This is going to be your 100% intensity.

Keep this in mind while going through the workout plan listed below.

RELATED READING: Schwinn IC4 vs Bowflex C6

Our Favorite Recumbent Bike Workout Plan for Seniors

a side profile of our favorite recumbent bike

1. Warm Up – 3 Minutes

It’s recommended to warm up the right way because it keeps your heart in good shape over the long-term. This is highly beneficial for preventing injury, avoiding sudden spikes in your heart rate, and making sure your body is fully protected before a workout [2].

It is these details that are going to matter a lot while you are figuring things out.

Don’t make the mistake of rushing into a recumbent bike workout because it won’t work out in your favor at all. You have to stay patient and make sure to take the right approach in a situation such as this.

The goal is to warm up patiently and take the three minutes to just get the pedals moving. This is going to allow you to get a feel for how the bike works even if you are riding it for the hundredth time.

There is a small adjustment phase and you need to be ready for it.

2. 25% Intensity – 2 Minutes

Now it is time to ramp things up a bit.

This is when you are going to look to targe 25% intensity on the bike. This is going to be enough for you to sustain across two minutes without missing a beat.

It isn’t going to be a huge jump up from your warmup speed but enough for you to start feeling it slightly. This is good as it will allow your limbs to warm up just a little bit more before you crank things up a few notches.

Key factors include:

  • Focusing on the Rhythm
  • Maintaining a Straight Posture
  • Focusing on Your Breathing

Take the time to think about these details to the best of your ability.

You will want to start getting the hang of how the bike works and what you are going to want out of the rest of the session.

This will require concentration and you will want to slowly start working your heart rate up. This is the only way to feel in control of what you are doing and how you are feeling.

RELATED READING: Schwinn IC3 vs Schwinn IC4

3. 50% Intensity – 5 Minutes

At this stage, your body is going to be ready to go.

This means it is time to get into the heart of your workout. You will want to start going at 50% intensity, which is going to vary from person to person. This is a speed you should be able to maintain for at least five minutes without feeling as if you can’t breathe.

You need to take the time to just work up towards a greater intensity. Make sure to maintain the recommended 50% intensity as it will allow you to push things to the next level in the coming parts of the workout.

At this intensity, you are going to be looking to iron out any issues in your technique while still sweating things out a bit.

4. 75% Intensity – 15 Minutes

This is the heart of the workout.

Now you are going to start taking things all the way up to 75% intensity. This is going to get you sweating and it is going to feel amazing.

You will know this is the time to focus on your heart rate. You want to maintain it at the listed heart rate (220 – age) and not waver past this point.

Key factors include:

  • Maintaining a Steady Pace
  • Tracking Your Heart Rate
  • Setting a Rhythm

If you feel you are crossing the heart rate number that you are targeting, it’s okay to pull things back a bit.

Adjustments are a part of riding the recumbent bike whether you are young or old.

5. 50% Intensity – 5 Minutes

At this point, you are getting to the end part of your workout.

You will want to simplify things at this stage and bring it back to 50% intensity. If you are quite winded at this stage, it’s okay to drop the pace even further.

There is no wrong answer to this because you are starting to slowly wind down. The goal is to avoid coming to a sudden stop as that is how injuries happen and that is the last thing you are going to want as a senior!

6. 25% Intensity – 2 Minutes

Just like before, you are now going to push things down a bit and go to 25% intensity.

This is nothing more than just moving the pedals and maintaining a nice, smooth pace that is easy for you to handle after a grueling workout.

Key factors include:

  • Timing
  • Emphasizing Your Breathing
  • Staying Hydrated

Do this for two minutes, so you are heading in the right direction.

Please remember, this is not the point to come to a sudden stop. There is a reason for slowly winding down rather than quickly becoming slower. It will become much harder for you to avoid injury by doing that.

7. Wind Down – 2 Minutes

At this point, you are now on the last part of the workout session.

The goal here is to wind down. You are going to be slowly pedaling as a way to just keep the legs moving. You will start to catch your breath here and you will feel loose at the same time.

RELATED READING: Is the Schwinn IC4 Worth it?

As soon as you are done, it is also highly recommended to stretch again to make sure your limbs are loose. Lactic acid can become a problem after a workout session on the bike, so keep this in mind as you are winding down and looking to complete the workout.

Final Thoughts

The goal while working out on a recumbent bike is to pay attention to your body.

As a senior, you will have to be mindful of your health and how you are going about pushing hard. This includes monitoring your heart rate at all times to stay fit and healthy.

This can take a bit of practice but following the plan cited above is going to be a wonderful starting point. It will allow you to structure a workout and prepare your body as it warms up. This is even more important for seniors than it is anyone else.

Warm-ups and wind downs will keep you healthy whether you are running, swimming, or riding a recumbent bike.

References

  1. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/in-depth/exercise-intensity/art-20046887
  2. https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/fitness/fitness-basics/warm-up-cool-down