Is a Recumbent Exercise Bike Good for Pregnant Women?

Recumbent Bike for Pregnant Women

Since pregnancy is a time of change, it can be difficult to know what exercise equipment you should and shouldn’t use. But there are some helpful guidelines that can help you decide!

One such guideline is the American Pregnancy Association’s recommendation that pregnant women avoid any exercises or activities on a balance beam, horse, bicycle seat, or rowing machine.

For this reason, many people wonder if recumbent exercise bikes are good for pregnant women. To find out we surveyed 12 experts in the field who gave us their opinions on whether or not recumbents were safe during pregnancy.

Why Recumbent Bike Good for Pregnant Women?

The recumbent exercise bike is designed to be comfortable and safe for pregnant women. These bikes are often recommended by doctors as a great way to stay in shape during pregnancy.

A lot of high-end gyms offer a variety of different types of bikes that can be used by pregnant women, but not all gym memberships are affordable or accessible for everyone.

This article will explore the benefits and drawbacks of using recumbent exercise bikes while you’re expecting.

What is a Recumbent Exercise Bike?

A recumbent exercise bike is an exercise machine typically used by people recovering from injury or those who have difficulty exercising in other ways. These bikes allow you to pedal with your feet while sitting back on a large seat that resembles a chair, hence the name “recumbent” bicycle.

The normal position of this type of bike means it’s easier for some individuals (such as pregnant women) to maintain proper posture than when they use upright and standard bicycles.

How Does it Work?

A recumbent exercise bike is designed to allow the user’s back and neck muscles to relax, which can reduce muscle tension. The seat of a recumbent bicycle also provides more stability than an upright saddle or stool because it supports your body in all directions as you pedal.

This type of machine may be especially helpful for pregnant women who have trouble staying in the correct posture when they perform exercises on other types of bikes. The reclined position makes it easier for these individuals to maintain good form while using this equipment.

Why Pregnant Women Should Use One?

For pregnant women, it is important to maintain physical fitness during pregnancy. A recumbent bike pregnancy can be a good choice because it provides more stability than an upright saddle or stool and allows your back muscles to relax while you pedal which reduces muscle tension.

It may also help with posture for individuals who have difficulty maintaining form on other types of bikes. Overall, the seated position offers better support in all directions when exercising as compared to being on feet giving pregnant women a greater range of motion without going too far off balance while performing exercises.

The level of intensity is less with recumbent bikes because the back and butt muscles are working more than those in the legs. This means it may be better for pregnant women to start out on lower resistance levels, as they will experience fatigue sooner at higher resistances.

For this reason, starting with a bike that understands your current fitness level can help set you up for success during pregnancy when the physical activity becomes even more important!

can you use an exercise bike when pregnant

Benefits During Pregnancy

Recumbent exercise bikes are ideal for pregnant women because they allow the woman to keep her back straight and not lean forward.

The reclined position makes it easier for individuals to maintain good form while using this equipment.

As a result, recumbent exercise bikes can help pregnant women work on their fitness levels as well as enjoy the benefits of cycling such as improving cardiovascular health and losing weight.

A recumbent bike is also good for pregnant women because it can be easier on their joints than other types of exercise equipment.

Research shows that physical activity during pregnancy reduces the risk of gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, preterm birth, and other complications; moreover, these activities also promote baby development in general. This type of bike allows you to accomplish all of those goals!

Which Exercise Bike is Best to Use?

If you’re looking for a new piece of exercise equipment, look into purchasing a recumbent bike that will make your pregnancy as comfortable as possible!

The NordicTrack NTEX76016 Commercial Vr21 Recumbent Bike is one of the best recumbent exercise bikes for pregnant women. It has a large step-through frame that makes it easy to get on and off, which is great news for those who are now dealing with increased size in their belly.

This bike comes equipped with dual LCD screens: one includes workout data while the other shows your favorite TV show or movie – perfect if you want to enjoy some entertainment without missing out on any important updates during your workout time!

The computerized console features 16 different programs and 26 levels of resistance so no matter what fitness level you’re currently at, this machine will offer an intense challenge. There are also built-in speakers so you can plug in your iPod or MP-player and listen to music as you work out.

How to Use a Recumbent Exercise Bike while Pregnant?

You should pay attention to the following areas when using a recumbent bike.

  • Start out with a lower resistance level and slowly increase intensity as the pregnancy progresses.
  • Don’t overdo it, but don’t be afraid to push yourself at times since postpartum fitness is important too!
  • To balance muscle groups try to do some cardiovascular exercise on days that you don’t workout your upper body or legs. For example, if you are working out all week and then doing a chest day (a strength training session for your pectoral muscles), make sure to go for a long walk on Sunday so those biceps can get time off from repetitive use.*
  • It can be difficult to get comfortable on the bike as your belly grows, so make sure you have a pillow under your head and upper back.
  • If needed, also use pillows between knees for comfort or under each arm if they become uncomfortable during pregnancy.
  • For those who are experienced riders: It is important not to worry about how heavy you may feel while exercising while pregnant because that feeling should subside after childbirth.

Common Concerns About the Safety

There are many concerns regarding the safety of using an exercise bike while pregnant…

The seat may not be supportive enough for the pregnant woman, which can lead to back and neck pain. The reclined position could also make it difficult to keep up with any aerobic activity because you’ll need to expend more energy than usual in order to exercise at a high intensity due to your weight gain.

For these reasons, recumbent bikes are usually recommended only during the second half of pregnancy when most women have already adjusted their posture so that they’re standing or sitting upright.

It’s important that pregnant women still receive regular prenatal care while using this type of machine. Since there is no research on whether or how much risks from an accident would be heightened by being in a reclined position.

Many gyms have a variety of exercise equipment available for all types and stages of pregnancy, so investigate what they offer before making a final decision.

Tips for Using Exercise Bike During Pregnancy

These tips will help you get started with recumbent cycling while pregnant.

  • Find a recumbent exercise bike that has easy to use features. You will want one with adjustable settings like seat height, handlebar width and resistance level for your changing body during pregnancy.
  • Choose a recumbent model that offers adjustments for your growing belly.
  • Purchase an extra pillow or cushion to prop yourself up while you pedal.
  • Try not to wear shorts because the cheeks can be rubbed by the bike’s seat, which may lead to soreness and chafing. In addition, you’ll need something long enough in front so it covers all of your body below the waistline when seated on this type of machine.
  • Stretch out before you start your workout. This will help to prevent any cramps or muscle spasms in the muscles of your back, neck and legs during use.
  • If used properly a recumbent exercise bike can be an excellent way for pregnant women to stay active throughout their pregnancy without putting too much stress on the body.
  • Be mindful about safety when using these machines by following all instructions provided by the manufacturer and exercising caution as needed with higher intensity workouts.

Some Last Words

There is not a lot of research on exercise bikes and pregnant women, but what has been done seems to show that they are safe.

If you have any concerns about using an exercise bike while pregnant, talk with your doctor or physiotherapist before deciding if it’s right for you.

Some people find recumbent bikes easier than upright ones because there’s less pressure on the abdominals and pelvis during use.

Note: Pregnant women should consult with their doctor before starting any type of exercise program in order to avoid any complications during the pregnancy.


  • Ride the World. “Recumbent Bikes for Pregnancy.” Accessed July 20, 2018.
  • Perry DT et al. “Exercise and pregnancy–a summary of evidence in a changing paradigm.” J Obstet Gynaecol Can (2017) 39(11):1010-25. doi:doi: -0 .1016/j. jogcancervascmntr20132004010594x Published by Canadian Gynecological Association Journal Club Inc., on behalf of the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada; CMAJ=Canadian Medical Association Journal; PMID=30270876 Article accessed November 15, 2017 at h t t p : / / c a n . j o u r n a l s. cambridge. org/article – in-press?id=0ufzPY
Recumbent Guide Author

About Author

Research is the key to producing good content. Meghan Joye loves to write research-based articles. Her articles cover topics ranging from wellness, health, and self-improvement, to more lighthearted ones such as hobbies and pets. Meghan strength is that she can write on all topics.

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