The Ways to Work the Arms When on a Recumbent Bike

Let go of the handles and get those arms working while you ride.
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A recumbent bike supports your back while you work out, and the wider seat is often more comfortable than standard stationary bikes. The only problem is they work only your lower body and part of your core, leaving your arms hanging around with wasted time. Adding an arm workout to your stationary cycling can pack more of an exercise punch.


Forearms are often the forgotten element in your workout, but you can build strength in your forearms, wrists and grip while riding a recumbent bike. Cross your arms over your stomach with the hand of the outer arm pointed out slightly from the body. Hold a light weight -- such as 2 to 5 pounds -- in the hand that's on the outside. Lift and lower the weight for 12 repetitions, then turn your hand over and do 12 more repetitions before switching hands. You can also hold a firm stress ball in each hand and squeeze, holding the squeeze for three seconds. Do this for at least two minutes.


Tighten your stomach muscles to help keep your back straight during biceps curls. Hold a dumbbell in each hand, starting with 5 to 10 pounds each. Keep your arms down by your sides with your elbows slightly behind your rib cage and palms facing forward. Bend your elbows to raise the dumbbells toward your shoulder, then lower until your arms are straight. Shoot for two sets of 10 repetitions. You can also perform this exercise with resistance bands: Wrap a band around the center console or the bottom of the seat if the bike design allows.


Triceps are a little trickier on a recumbent bike because most of the moves require you to lean forward or be lying on a weight bench. One move, however, works well when you're seated: the overhead triceps press. Hold a light to medium weight, such as 5 to 10 pounds, with both hands over your head with your elbows straight. Bend them back to lower the weight toward the floor behind you, then straighten your arms to lift the weight. Do two sets of 10.


If you want to add an arm workout while you kick up your cardio a notch, try sitting up straight and punching forward, alternating arms. Punch out at chest level, moving quickly and in rhythm with your moving legs. Start off without weights and punch for one to two minutes, then add light dumbbells and increase the weight when you can. Work up to two sets of two minutes. This also works your shoulders and chest muscles while it helps raise your heart rate.

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