Bikes With and Without Arms: Which is Better?

Is there a benefit to a cardio machine that works both arms and legs? The AirDyne bike is a piece of cardio equipment that involve moving both the arms and the legs. Is there a benefit of including arms? Let’s dive into this further.

Dual Action Versus Single Action

A recumbent bike is considered single action because it only involves movement of the legs. Another example of single action is a treadmill. Alternatively, the AirDyne bike is dual action. Dual action exercise machines have an added set of moving handlebars that allow the rider to do arm movements while the pedaling motion works the lower body.

The biggest difference is the addition of arms allows for a full body workout. The addition of the upper body works the core muscles and abs as well.

How Does An AirDyne Bike Work?

You may have seen our AirDyne bike in the Chester office. You may have even been lucky enough to ride it. Regardless, how does it work? In short, the AirDyne bike uses air as resistance. When the exerciser pedals with arms and legs, a fan inside the bike rotates. The rider is able to set their intensity instantly based on how hard they petal. This allows the exerciser to quickly alter their workout settings and makes the bike ideal for interval training.

Heart Rate Response

A dual action exercise bike is more demanding on the heart and creates a higher heart rate. There are more muscles involved when riding an AirDyne bike as opposed to a recumbent bike. Thus, the body has to work harder to pump blood to more muscles.

Power Capacity

The recruitment of increased muscle mass causes the body to have increase power output. We spoke about energy systems in our recent blog. To recap, some of our bodies energy is stored in the muscles. When more muscles are recruited it increases the instantaneously available energy. This makes the AirDyne bike great for short bouts of high intensity exercise.

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Check out our series on creating an exercise program if you aren’t getting sore from your old workouts anymore or check out some of our favorite exercises on Instagram!

New Jersey has direct access that can get you in for evaluation without you having to see a doctor. In short, calling us directly can end up saving you both time and money!

Please, call us to schedule your evaluation at one of BeneFIT’s locations, Bridgewater (908.203.5200) or Chester (908.879.5700)  with one of our highly trained Doctors of Physical Therapy!