5 of the Best Treadmills for Your Home Gym

It is everyone’s dream to get healthy and fit without their busy work schedule being compromised. However, although you might be motivated to maintain your fitness, this is sometimes set aside when it becomes difficult for you to go to the gym due to a number of reasons (i.e traffic, bad weather, and hectic schedule). The good thing is, this could be changed if you have some fitness equipment at home.

When you own a gym equipment – a treadmill for instance, you will always be reminded to work out every time you see it. With a treadmill at home, you can now exercise whenever you want. You can even watch TV or talk on the phone while you’re on your treadmill. Multitasking will be easier, and getting fit is now made possible and fun.

On the other hand, the only worry that will come your way when choosing a treadmill is not your budget. It is the number of options available in the market. Choosing the best treadmill for your needs can be difficult because there are a lot of treadmills that will fit your criteria.

To help you, we’ve created this guide.

What’s the best treadmill for home use?

Home workouts play a vital role in keeping your body healthy. When work schedule or bad weather hinders you on your fitness plans, then it’s best to get a treadmill for your home gym.

The good thing about having a treadmill at home is convenience. You’ll never have to worry about the need to go to the gym after a long day or after sending off your kids to school. You will be at peace knowing that your treadmill will always be available whenever you want to use it.

In this article, we’ll guide you through the best treadmills for home use that are available in the market.

Our Top 3 Choices

To help you decide which product to buy, we have narrowed down the list based on their overall quality and features. Here are our top picks:

  1. The NordicTrack 2950 Treadmill

The NordiTrack 2950 is among the top-rated treadmill of the brand. It is a folding treadmill that is best for walkers and runners. It comes with a high definition 10” touchscreen for workout programs and virtual outdoor tours. Other than that, the iFit Coach video program along with Google map routes will motivate you to work out regularly.

This machine is also equipped with the Bluetooth technology to enable you to connect and play music via your MP3 player. It features a 4.25 CHP motor along with a comfortable and smooth running surface that can accommodate up to the biggest strides at 22 inches x 60 inches. The 2950 also has a “Whisperquiet” technology, durable belt, power incline and decline, Autobreeze fans, heart rate monitoring, and water bottle holders.

With its foldable frame and good sound absorption, the NordiTrack 2950 is just perfect for your home space.

  1. LifeSpan TR 1200i Treadmill

The LifeSpan TR 1200i treadmill is a well-rounded and affordable choice. Its great parts and features are worth every penny. Starting off with the equipment’s design, the 2.5 CHP motor is ideal for running and jogging as the speed can be adjusted up to 11 mph. Its front and rear rollers will ensure smooth performance, and the durable 2 ply-belt will maintain its good quality. It is also equipped with a 15% incline which you can adjust easily if you prefer a high-intensity work out.

The product is a folding treadmill that makes it ideal for home use. Its technology features such as the Intelli Step and Intelli Guard are helpful especially if you want to track down your improvements. The Intelli Step counts steps by sensing you every time your foot lands on the running surface. The Intelli Guard, on the other hand, automatically pauses your session once you step off the treadmill belt.

Other than its superior quality and amazing features, you can also enjoy a LifeSpan Club full membership once your purchase the product. This particular treadmill is undoubtedly a recommended buy.

  1. Weslo Cadence G 5.9 Treadmill

If you are looking for a simple and straightforward treadmill, this one is for you. This product is best for someone who is a beginner when it comes to walking, running, and jogging routines. It is affordable for most consumers as it only cost $300.

In spite of that, the product is equipped with great features and programs. It has a heart rate monitoring feature which is relevant once your workout routine improves along the way. Furthermore, it has 6 programs available for your workout needs.

To be honest, it is very rare to find such features on a budget-friendly option as they are mostly available only for high-end equipment. The programs you will see on the equipment’s console are useful if you are looking for the best workout routine for your needs.

This treadmill is designed for losing weight and high-intensity training. It is also a good buy for shoppers who are on a tight budget.

Features to Consider when Looking for the Best Treadmill

Finding the best treadmill is a daunting task. A lot of shoppers assume that it is not a challenge to buy a treadmill especially if they have enough budget. However, this is not the case. If you are not a smart buyer, you’ll most likely end up buying the product that does not even meet your criteria.

As such, the following factors are the ones you should consider before you even decide to make a purchase:

  • Running Surface Area

The most important feature that you should keep in mind is the treadmill’s running surface area. Usually, the largest treadmill surface size you can find in the market is about 20-22” in width and 60-63” in length. The larger the size of the equipment, the more weight it can accommodate. A large running surface size is also essential if you are a tall person so you can work out in full running strides.

This feature needs to be considered because your workout will be more effective when your strides are not limited. If you decided to buy a treadmill with a shorter surface size, you might fall down and be rendered unable to perform properly. It is true that a compact treadmill is a space saver; however, you should bear in mind that it might not be appropriate for you. Ideally, you want a treadmill with a surface that’s 20” wide and at least 50” long.

  • Computer Features

The computer features in a treadmill help promote long workouts. Most often, you would not find these features in cheap products because budget-friendly treadmills usually operate manually. As such, it’s only ideal to opt for the ones with a console as it displays programmed workouts specifically designed by professional trainers.

A console lets you see you your progress and monitor your metrics such as the total number of calories burnt, distance, current speed, remaining time, and elapsed time. The display on the console will help you reach your fitness goals faster.

  • Heart Rate Monitoring

It’s ideal to buy a treadmill that is equipped with a built-in heart rate monitor to support you while you are working out. This feature usually comes with handlebar sensors to ensure a good grip on your training, a fingertip monitor that is designed to clip onto your finger, and sometimes wireless chest traps.

However, the best and most convenient heart rate monitoring is the chest strap. The chest trap will not interrupt you during your workout session as it won’t require you to pause just to take heart rate reading. It will track your heart rate continuously and will provide you with more legitimate readings compared to other types of heart rate monitors.

  • Incline

Take into account that the best treadmills are the ones that provide incline features. Buy a model with an adjustable incline so you could increase your workout level as you go on a high-intensity training. The excellent degree of incline for your workout is 15%.  There are a lot of brands offering flexible inclines on their models, thus it would not be hard for you to find this on a treadmill.

Electronic adjustability is the best incline feature you should get. This is essential so you could adjust the intensity of your training without making you stop for manual adjustment. Negative incline and decline are some of the great incline features too. You will see this type of incline feature on the ProForm Pro 2000 treadmill.

  • Overall Features and Quality

Above all, of course, you need to choose an equipment that is durable and comes with superior quality – the one that can last before the normal wear and tear occur. A wise analysis on how the parts of the treadmill could stand after multiple times of use is necessary. Bear in mind that if you fail to find high quality products, frequent repairs or replacement will cost you more.

There are a lot of ways to know if the model is of top quality. Don’t only focus on the brand name. Consider other things like how the belt was made. A treadmill belt that is four-ply or double-ply is more durable compared to a single ply.

The metal rollers are also an important factor when looking for the product’s durability. Rollers with large diameters are good for the equipment’s motor and can also extend the belt’s life. For home use, the appropriate diameter is about 2.5”.

How Does a Treadmill Work? What are Its Benefits?

Running on a treadmill, or just running in general, is an excellent exercise no matter what shape or size you are in. If you are a beginner, intermediate, or even a professional, you can always gain benefits when using the treadmill. There are many ways how you can make use of a treadmill for working out. You can walk, run, jog, and even perform high intensity interval training.

There are a lot of workout programs offered on a treadmill that are specifically designed by fitness equipment makers with various goals in mind. Some are meant to increase your running speed while some are for burning calories. When you make your treadmill workout a routine, expect that you can enjoy the following benefits:

  • Great Cardiovascular Work Out

Walking, running, and jogging on the machine stimulates your heart. Increasing your heart rate while working out improves stamina, cardio capacity, and endurance. According to the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and American Heart Association (AHA), a 30-minute workout session each day a week will maintain a good heart health.

Each time you use the treadmill for your fitness routine, your heart strengthens and grows stronger. The act of walking or running lowers your blood pressure, helps you have a good blood flow, and reduces stress. With heart illness as one of the primary causes of death, it is important that you prioritize your cardiovascular health.

  • Burns Calories

Using a treadmill for at least 30 minutes a day will help you burn fats. If you combine it with a healthy diet, you will definitely achieve your fitness goals quickly. Additionally, if you use the equipment’s incline or include a high-intensity interval training (HIIT) in your workout, expect that more calories will be burnt. With a HITT, you can alternate rounds of walking or running from a moderate to faster pace.

Any interval training can increase your heartbeat, thus allowing you to consume more oxygen which burns your calories as a result. Treadmills are ideal for this, especially if weight loss is your goal.

  • Low Impact

If you can’t do high-intensity workouts such as running, jogging, or any other type of exercise that demands you to leave the surface with both feet, then the treadmill is the best option for you. Most people complain that high-intensity workout can result in extreme pain, or worse, injuries. However, when you perform a high-intensity workout (i.e running and jogging) on a treadmill, the pain will be significantly reduced.

Treadmill gives you less pain and impact compared to running on the ground with both feet. There are many technologies built on your treadmill which helps absorb the normal impact you get from intense training. A treadmill will certainly disprove the saying “no pain, no gain”.

  • Awesome Experience

Have you ever experienced the sense of euphoria? Or have you never felt pain when running at all? The feeling is called runner’s high.  It’s mostly felt by athletes, and the feeling is what makes them addicted to what they are doing. When we engage in activities such as running, our endorphin hormones are being released, thus causing our mood to change. It is a good thing though – as our endorphins are responsible for our well-being. Therefore, it is time to step on the treadmill to chase those positive feelings.

Other Essential Things to Consider

Along with finding the best treadmill, here are also some important things you should keep in mind before you even finalize your buying decision.

  • Workout Routine

Your workout routine is a lot easier now with the machine as most treadmills are integrated with various workout programs. However, treadmills of these type are a bit expensive, so you should take note of this if you are on a tight budget.

If you want to save money, there are many workout routines you can find on Youtube or Google. These routines vary based on what you are trying to achieve: whether you want to lose weight or just want to be healthy.

  • Running Shoes

Running shoes could either make or break your workout experience. Good running shoes will make a difference once you start running on the treadmill. Pick the wrong running shoes, and you can expect to end up on the couch with either aching heels or shin splints.

There are various stores that are perfect for your needs. However, it’s not really that necessary to buy a new pair. You just have to make sure that your shoes are lightweight and come with a proper fit. Most importantly, don’t forget to tie and double knot your laces before you step on your treadmill.

  • Care and Maintenance

Most people overlook the importance of keeping the machine in good condition. You should always consider that the treadmill should be maintained properly on a daily basis. Make sure that you clean your conveyor belt in a way that it is free of debris and dust. This way, injuries would be prevented and the machine will work smoothly at all times.

Additionally, the conveyor belt should be lubricated and adjusted for the machine to run properly. Sweats are inevitable when working out; therefore, you have to remove or clean them with a dry cloth after every workout session.

Other than that, it is also essential that your treadmill is placed in a climate-controlled environment. As mentioned by Nautilus, your treadmill electronic parts are prone to damage when it is exposed to excessive heat, cold, or humidity.

Conclusion

With a treadmill at home, there shouldn’t be any excuses as to why you skipped your fitness routine for the day. There’s no need to stress about the idea of getting out of the house to hit the gym. It is now possible to lose weight and maintain your body healthy as you can exercise at your own convenience, at your own pace.

There’s a large variety of treadmills sold in the market that is certainly suitable for your budget. Take a look at their features and consider all the guidelines we have provided for you. We hope our guide will help you look for the right product.

Best Pull Up Bars of 2018 – Top Chin Up Bars Compared

A pull up bar is the best ways to get an intense upper body workout in the comfort of your home. One of the things that make pull up bars so effective is that you will be using your own body weight to get a sculptured physique. With it being simple and inexpensive, it is a wonderful tool for those aiming to tone their muscles.

Basically, pull up bars are designed such that you can mount on a ceiling or secure to a doorframe. They also come with a rubber or foam grip to help raise you from the ground as you engage your back, chest, arms, and shoulder muscles.

With plenty of pull bars on the market, it can be daunting to find the right product to meet your needs. In this article, we will give you reviews of some of the best pull up bars of 2018 which you can use for your home workouts.

Our Top Pull-up Bar Pick

To begin, the Perfect Fitness Multi-Gym bar is our top choice for a doorway pull up bar. There are a few reasons why it’s our favorite so far.

This bar is incredibly designed for pull-up flexibility while ensuring doorframe protection. Apart from its clever design, it has a weight capacity of up to 300 pounds and can even secure heavier people.

Another useful feature is its innovative rectangular pads that are placed against the doorframe to prevent wear and tear. Besides, it has multiple grip options which are designed to extend outside the doorframe. Hence, you can be able to perform wide grip pull ups compared to other pull-up bars. It targets areas such as back, chest, arms, and the core.

Unlike most doorway bars, these types of bars only use leverage points to create a secure grip to your door frame. It is easy to assemble and disassemble the tool – this normally takes around 10 minutes to complete. In order to ensure a secure grip, make sure that your house has a strong and sturdy construction.

The following things are what you should consider when looking for a doorway pull up bar:

  • Multiple grips
  • Durable construction
  • Maximum weight
  • Doorframe support to prevent damage to the woodwork

Our Top Choice for a Doorway Pull Up Bar 

Iron Gym Total Upper Body Workout Bar – Extreme Edition

This pull up bar has a slip-in design that allows you to perform your upper body workout without damaging the door. It is our favorite leverage-based doorway pull up bar since it is portable and comes with multiple grips. Its 5-grip options include narrow, neutral, wide, as well as an additional side grip and alternate wide grip.

This makes the Iron Gym Total Body Workout Bar a great option since it is able to target different muscle groups including your back, arms, and shoulders. You can also flip this highly-functional tool on the floor to perform push ups, sit ups, leg raises, and dips. No doubt this is the pull up bar you need to take your home gym to the next level.

Features:

  • Heavy-duty steel construction
  • 12 comfortable foam grips
  • Comes with assembly tools like J brackets
  • Easy to install
  • A weight capacity of up to 300 pounds

Extending Door Frame Pull Up Bar

This is a type of pull up bar that extends to perfectly fit doorways up to 3 feet wide. We love this product because it is cheap and easy to install. It also comes with rubber pads on both ends that create tension to resist the weight of the user.

One of the advantages of this chrome tube is that it can easily be stored in your home. However, you will have limited hand positions to pull up, not to mention that you will need to use brackets. Brackets are highly recommended in order to prevent it from falling off. A good example of an extending door frame pull up bar is the Sunny Health & Fitness Chin Up Bar.

Features: 

  • Durable construction
  • Functional telescoping design
  • Comfortable hand grips
  • Screws and brackets included

Our Best Pick for a Telescoping Doorway Pull Up Bar 

Sunny Health & Fitness Chin Up Bar

This pull up bar from Sunny Health & Fitness is a budget-friendly product that is designed to get the work done in the comfort of your house. This heavy-duty chin up bar is strong enough to hold a maximum user weight of 220 pounds. We love the fact that it is super easy to set up and extends about 24.5-36 inches long to fit any door frame.

It also comes with a lot of stability and flexibility. You can easily move down the bar if you need to change your workout like sit ups and push ups. Besides, its comfortable and non-slip foam will give you a secure grip so your center of attention can be on the pull up.

Although not necessary, you can effortlessly remove the bar and store it somewhere else. This can be done by twisting the ends of the bar. Its sleek design makes it look great in any part of the house. Besides, choosing to leave the bar in the doorway will motivate you to get some work done.

It is highly recommended to always use support brackets so that the bar does not fall off the doorway. Although most telescoping bars including the Sunny Chin Up Bar can be used without the brackets, it’s important to still use them for safety. Apart from brackets, small screws are also included to assure you that they won’t damage your woodwork or leave marks when removed.

Features:

  • Extends 24.6 inches to 36 inches long
  • Can support a weight of up to 220 pounds
  • Allows you to perform other exercises such as chin up, ab work, push up, and pull up
  • Includes support brackets and screws

Factors to Consider when Looking for a Pull Up Bar 

  • Versatility

The best pull up bars comes with multiple grips to make it easy for you to handle the bar. An example is the Iron Gym Extreme Edition which comes with 5 grip positions. Additionally, multiple grip options help you perform a variety of exercises and engage different muscle groups.

Also, pull up bars come in different styles, price, and features. However, they give the same action and results, thus making it even difficult to say there is a preeminent pull up bar.

  • Sturdy and Compact Design

Not only are pull up bars a compact and stable piece of exercise equipment, they are also sturdy. Most pull up bars are able to handle a maximum weight of up to 300 pounds despite their lightweight design which often weighs under 10 pounds. This way, heavier people can feel secure using this equipment to get into shape.

  • Complete Strength Training

These gym equipment are perfect for strengthening your body including your chest, arms, back, shoulders, hands, and other muscles. When doing the pull-up exercise, your hand muscles become powerful and sturdy since they are engaged in order to lift your body weight.

Your abdominal muscle is also targeted when you incorporate leg exercises. The perfect pull up bar also helps in doing exercises like dip which engages the triceps. 

  • Bodyweight Exercise

One of the benefits of a door frame pull up bar is that it helps in doing a variety of bodyweight exercises. Research has shown that by doing bodyweight exercises, you will be able to avoid injury since it eliminates extra weight on the muscles and joints.

Pull up exercises help in building the upper body and improve overall muscle strength. This is because the muscle is designed to handle the entire load that the body provides. Performing pull ups correctly will engage the right upper body muscles, hence allowing you to see some noticeable improvements in no time.

For instance, if you weigh 200 pounds, you will be pulling 100 pounds on each arm. This will create tension in the body which will lead to stronger and toned muscles.

  • Portable

Most of the pull up bars on the market are portable and do not require permanent support. A good example of the portable pull up bar is the Iron Gym Upper Body Pull Up Bar. A huge benefit of getting such bars is that your walls and door frames are unlikely to be damaged.

Also, some doorway pull up bars like the Sunny Health & Fitness Pull Up Bar do not require support brackets. However, it is important to use the brackets for your own safety. This is because unlike other types of pull up bars, it does not use secure leverage. 

Various Pull Up Bar Types

Pull up bars come in various styles and features. These include the telescoping pull up bars, doorway pull up bars, stand alone pull up tower stations, and wall/ceiling pull up bars. Below are the different types of pull up bars.

  • Door frame pull up bar
  • Doorway pull up bar
  • Free standing pull up tower & station – pull up towers can be placed just about anywhere as long as you have a 5x5ft square space available and a good overhead clearance. Moreover, most pull up towers in the market allow you to perform powerful dips – something which isn’t entirely feasible on other pull up bar types.
  • Wall mounted and ceiling mounted pull up bar – a wall and ceiling mounted pull up bar use bolts or screws to firmly attach itself. The only difference with the typical pull up bar is that the attachment is permanent. Of course, you need to make sure that the surface you’re attaching the bar is capable of handling around 250 to 300 pounds of downward thrusting weight for a long period of time, or else, you might suffer from injuries due to structural failure, especially when your ceiling falls down on your head.

It is always important to ensure that your pull up bar is attached to door frames and walls that are solidly constructed. Sturdy materials such as concrete, brick, and wood studs should be used. With a solid material, the round brackets will be securely installed and will not damage the frame.

It is not advisable to attach your bar on a thin metal doorframe or plain drywall as this will make the bar to telescope out.

Benefits You Can Get from Using a Pull Up Bar

There is no other effective exercise to strengthen your body and build your arms, shoulders, back, and arms muscles than pull ups. You will be surprised to find out that the US Marine Corps use pull ups to measure the upper body strength.

You will know that you are in great condition if you can perform at least 20-25 pull ups. If you can only do three, you need to up your game in order to increase your upper body strength. This can be done by increasing your repetitions with the pull up bar which can be used at the comfort of your own home.

Some of the top benefits of using pull up bars include improving posture and overall look, increasing muscle mass, and increasing body strength. Also, since you will only be using your bodyweight, the pull up bar will be the cross between strength training and cardio. This is because your big muscle groups will be engaged, thereby resulting to a rise in the heart rate in no time. Additionally, it is a safe way of exercising since you will only be using your bodyweight.

  • Improves Overall Posture

Using a pull up bar will help improve your body posture, thus protecting your spine. Most of us spend hours at desks working on a computer, thus causing us to suffer from rounded shoulders and bad posture. Pull ups activate the shoulder and back muscles, and this enables them to get your torso to the right structural position.

  • Build Muscles

Another great benefit of pull up bars is that they help in building your muscles. It is the fastest, safest, and most effective way to build muscles since you can only pull up weight that is relative to your bodyweight. Think of it this way: pulling around 100-150 pounds of bodyweight is not easy. However, the effect is that you can really build muscles.

Pulls up will also help you have strong shoulders and core, thus allowing you to get a good body shape. Not only will you look good from the outside, you will also be strong and feel good from inside.

Other Things to Consider 

Getting Started

Anyone who has ever worked before has probably tried doing some workout on a pull up bar. If you have ever tried doing pull ups, you can attest that it is a very challenging exercise. Surprisingly, most people cannot lift their own weight by simply doing one chin up or pull up. This may be because our legs help us do all the movement with very little difficulty.

However, you will be surprised to learn that our bodies are specially designed to do pull ups. But since we are not forced to do it, it becomes a challenging move. As a result, we are giving up an amazingly toned body figure.

Kipping Pull Ups

By kipping, we mean doing an upward bucking thrust using your body. This will give you a boost so as to make the pull ups a lot easier. Kipping pull ups, which are also known as hip snap pull-ups, are mostly used by CrossFit enthusiasts to enable them to do many repetitions.

Most people are familiar with dead hang which is the opposite of kip. In this move, you will start with your arms in a full or near full extension. Then in a slow and more controlled manner, pull up your upper body. Basically, CrossFit practitioners can attest that there is no better or worse style of pull up; instead, they are just really different. They can also confirm that kipping is not cheating.

Modified Pull Ups

Since pulls ups are hard to do, especially if you are just starting out, a good option is to do modified pull ups. With a modified pull up, you won’t need to use all of your body weight. You can start by putting a chair, box, or anything secure beneath so that you can rest some of your weight. As time goes by, you can reduce the weight on your feet as you increase your full body weight on your upper body.

Things to Take Note Of

Before you start on a new exercise, it is always recommended to check with your physician for any health concerns. Your main aim should be to get healthier and better, not cause injuries to your body.  Also, it’s important to know your limits and not overdo the exercise.

The other important thing to take note of is to ensure that the bars are securely placed before embarking on the exercise. Your safety should come first. You just don’t want to build an amazing body while putting your safety at risk.

Final Thoughts

Having the best pull up bar will enable you to work on your upper body and improve your overall fitness. However, a chin up/ pull up bar requires you to put in some work as the results are not going to be immediate. Therefore, if you are looking to improve your upper body, get a pull up bar.

Be sure to install it where you will be motivated to use it for the best results. Having a doorway pull up bar in your home is the first step to achieving your fitness goals. The next step depends entirely on you.

The Best Upright Exercise Bikes Reviews and Comparison 2018

A stationary bike or exercise bike is an equipment with pedals, seat, saddle, and handlebars. It resembles an outdoor bicycle but is used as an exercise machine instead of a form of transportation. Most of the time, it is a special machine with the sole purpose of improving your health.

It improves not just the legs or lower part of your body, it is also capable of maintaining your overall fitness. It can actively create movement for the muscles and condition them for better health.

Exercise in the Comfort of your Own Homes

Upright exercise bikes are designed for cardiovascular exercises that you can enjoy in your home. It provides convenience and ease of use for every user. You can easily enjoy a workout session for your heart and lungs without putting too much fatigue on your joints. In addition, the saddle of the exercise bike can provide more comfort, especially during long sessions as compared to other types of equipment.

Choosing the Right Stationary Exercise Bike

If you want to get the most out of any exercise bike, the first thing to do is to choose the right design for your needs. It may take some serious decision-making, but as soon as you have acquired the right exercise bike from the variety of styles and designs on the market, workouts will be more convenient and enjoyable.

When selecting your preferred equipment, here are some factors you need to consider:

  • Current fitness level – if you have a condition that might limit physical workouts, then you should consider an exercise bike that will offer convenience for your physical limitations.
  • Fitness goals – everyone has different fitness objectives. Some might be competing in sports activities, while others might simply want to shed the few extra pounds. Some may be opting for a healthier path. No matter what your goal is, you need to pick the best style that will work best for you.

Upright Exercise Bikes according to Price

A wide range of stationary exercise bikes is available on the market today. From various brands, design, and quality, there are several choices that might pique your interest. Your fitness goals and your budget might help you determine the perfect bike to use. Here are some of the best exercise bikes, categorized according to their price:

  1. Under $200

  • Exerpeutic Folding Magnetic Upright Bike with Pulse – $129
  • Sunny Health and Fitness SF-B1203 Trainer – $134
  1. $200-$500 Price Range

  • Schwinn 130 Upright Bike – $255
  • Schwinn 170 Upright Bike – $299
  • Nautilus U616 Upright Bike – $419
  1. $500-$1000 Price Range

  • Schwinn AD6 Airdyne Upright Exercise Bike – $539
  • NordicTrack GX 4.4 Pro Upright Exercise Bike – $599
  • NordicTrack GX 4.6 Pro Upright Exercise Bike – $799
  1. $1000-$2000 Price Range

  • SOLE Fitness LCB Light Commercial Upright Bike – $1,999
  1. Over $2,000

  • Life Fitness C3 Go Upright Lifecyle – $2,300
  • Expresso Interactive Upright Exercise Bike – $2,800
  • Precor UBK 835 Commercial Series Upright Exercise Bike – $3,795

Comparison of the Different Styles of Stationary Exercise Bikes

Stationary bikes or indoor bikes are sorted into three primary categories: upright exercise bikes, recumbent bikes, and indoor spin or cycle bikes. Here’s an in-depth discussion of each of the categories:

  1. Indoor Cycle Bikes

Closely similar to that of the upright exercise bikes except that they lack the advanced features to maximize workout. They are created using traditional methods and aimed to cater to general fitness goals.

  1. Upright Exercise Bikes

The design is similar to that of the traditional outdoor bike mainly because it allows you to do the same body position when riding a bike. This position allows your body to be engaged in the workout. The upper body, which includes the shoulder, triceps, and biceps are also being involved in the exercise.

  1. Recumbent Bikes

They are designed to have a larger footprint and focus on the cardiovascular benefit as well as workout of the lower part of the body.

Based on the comparison, upright exercise bikes boast the overall benefit for an indoor workout. They are designed with additional features of convenience and comfort to provide the optimum experience for any user. Expensive models tend to include more accessories and features. Anyone can look up to it as a workout buddy aiming for a higher level of physical fitness.

Indoor Spin and Cycles Exercise Bikes

Indoor cycles or spin exercise bikes can be the next level of upright bikes. Unlike the traditional bike, they are designed with a sleeker and slimmer style. However, these bikes are not equipped with lush features compared to the upright and recumbent bikes. They are deemed to be the more focused and serious styles as they provide you with the ability of an intense workout, thus there is no time to mess or play around.

Upright Exercise Bikes and Indoor Spins: A Comparison

Upright exercise bikes and indoor spins differ basically on the transmission system as well as the weighted flywheel which both makes the exercise bike move like a traditional outdoor bike. Both types will make your body lean forward in a nearly crouching position to maximize movements for the whole body.

Indoor cycles with the highest quality will allow more rooms for adjustments including the seats and bars to be moved in four directions. This will provide you with the most comfortable position that will resemble any traditional cycling ride. Furthermore, they also allow a standing position while cycling, which in turn provides another dimension of the workout process.

There are several more features that make the indoor cycles stand out from other types. The pedals promote ergonomics as well as the Q-factor that creates a realistic bike ride and relieves stress from the ankles and knees. Q-factor is basically the distance between the attachment points of the crank. A narrow Q-factor will provide more convenience as it allows a more neutral position to release fatigue and stress.

Indoor spins are recommended for health buffs and workout enthusiasts since they can provide a more intense cycling activity. Any fitness goal, whether it is to improve strength and endurance or lose weight, will certainly become more achievable with the help of indoor cycles.

Here are two of the best indoor spins available in the market today:

  1. Sunny Health and Fitness Pro Indoor Cycle Bike – The Perfect Bike for Beginners

This indoor cycle from Sunny Health and Fitness is designed for people who don’t want to spend a lot of time on the equipment. Priced under $300, this indoor cycle boasts of a durable steel frame as well as sturdy cranks to cater intense workouts.

Its flywheel weighs 40 pounds and is combined with a chain drive as well as an adjustable system to give you a consistent and smooth motion. This indoor bike can support a load of 275 pounds with adjustable handlebars and seat for every user.

  1. Keiser M3 Indoor Cycle – Top of the Line Indoor Spin

Keiser is one of the leading manufacturers of indoor cycles, and they are taking pride with the M3 Indoor Spin. This bike is the favorite among most users in the United States and other parts of the world. The popular Shimano pedals paired with the magnetic resistance mechanism equipped with 24 gears will make for a smooth and quiet cycling motion. Apart from its carefully-planned design, it also requires almost zero maintenance.

Durability meets innovation as it is also equipped with a computer console to track cycling activities as well as heart rate telemetry connected to a chest strap. It’s considered as every enthusiast’s dream as the quality surpasses the price.

These two indoor cycles as the best choices for their respective style and are surely worth your money as they both promote quality for every indoor cycling activity.

Recumbent Bikes

People who still want to enjoy the benefits of cycling workouts but can’t do a full or intense exercise can resort to recumbent bikes. If you have neurological conditions or are suffering from lower back injury or pain, you are encouraged to use recumbent bikes instead of an upright or indoor spin.

Recumbent bikes can still provide you with challenging exercises without suffering from more pain brought about by your condition. The seat of recumbent bikes allows you to ride comfortably as it is naturally inclined and is paired with a cradling mechanism on the lower back to promote spinal health. Also, the design helps in relieving your body of fatigue and allows you to avoid too much muscle inflammation.

If you are suffering from joint conditions such as arthritis, the indoor cycle will distribute your body weight equally to reduce the stress from the buttocks and consequently alleviate pain. The inclined position is easy on the hips, ankles, and knees. With the low impact produced by recumbent bikes, they reduce the risk of generating more pain while doing the exercise you want.

Recumbent bikes are also equipped with numerous features to make workouts more effective and fun. They include programmed exercises, MP3 connections, a built-in fan, and speakers. The variation in prices will determine additional features and specifications.

In general, recumbent bikes are great for people who are not into intense training; rather, a milder exercise towards a healthier lifestyle.

Here are two of the top recumbent bikes in the market nowadays:

  1. Exerpeutic 900XL Extended Capacity Recumbent Bike with Pulse – Affordable and Durable

With just $200, you can get a high quality recumbent bike in the form of Exerpeutic 900XL. It may not have a lot of exciting features, but it is well-equipped with heart rate trackers and sensors on the grips to monitor intensity while working out.

This recumbent bike has a sturdy and solid frame along with a durable footprint. Additionally, it can support a weight of up to 300 pounds. It provides convenience in stepping on and off the machine. Furthermore, its ability to be adjusted in four different ways makes it a popular choice for many. The various adjustment options can easily cater to users of any size.

  1. Nautilus R616 Recumbent Bike – Superior Attributes for your Needs

The name, features, and quality will make you spend over $1000 for this recumbent bike. The brake resistance has 25 levels to promote transfers of intensity. Furthermore, it is also equipped with rate sensors as well as a music connectivity, cooling fan, computer console, and a media shelf. The console includes 29 different workout programs to help you in every type of exercise you need.

This recumbent bike is carefully designed by professionals as it aims to improve your workout program and achieve fitness goals. The price speaks for itself as it boasts of high-quality materials and manufacturing methods while helping you with your cardiovascular exercises at home.

Upright Exercise Bikes

An upright exercise bike is a stationary cycling machine that allows users to sit directly on the frame just like the traditional outdoor bikes. The posture is sitting upright as opposed to the recumbent ones where the seats are inclined. Some styles will allow you to hunch over the handlebars.

Upright exercise bikes are not advisable for beginners since the upright position can induce muscle inflammation and stress to the body. However, novice riders may become accustomed to the position and may adapt to the situation. With the different models available in the market, you can choose from the distinctive features depending on your current fitness level and the goals you want to achieve.

Top Picks for Upright Exercise Bikes

Upright stationary bikes vary in designs and styles. To get to know more about these variations, here’s a rundown of the top products you could choose from:

  1. Exerpeutic Folding Magnetic Upright Bike with Pulse – Focused Monitoring of the Heart

This folding magnetic upright exercise bike is designed with a durable steel x-frame weighing about 39 pounds and can carry up to 300 pounds of load. Its foldable and lightweight design makes it portable and easy to be used in any part of the house, especially when there is limited space. It can also be stored without difficulty inside a closet or under any convenient furniture.

Furthermore, its design is one of the most affordable offers in the market. It can be a value for money since it has a built-in heart rate tracker. It has a tension control mechanism that runs on eight levels. It is also manufactured with a 3-piece crank system with high torque to enable smooth cycling for long periods.

The Exerpeutic Folding Magnetic Bike also features huge pedals and saddle for users with height ranging from 5’3” up to 6’1”. It basically provides comfort and ease of use at the lowest cost possible.

  1. Schwinn 130 Upright Exercise Bike – Promotes Quality and Ease in Tracking

Schwinn has been known to provide the latest innovations in cycling products for more than a decade now. This is evident in the creation of the 130 Upright Bike. The strong frame paired with the high-inertia flywheel serves as the stabilizer of the cycling platform. Its sturdy design provides safety and comfort to every user.

In addition, its price is value for the included DualTrack console to track your cycling activity. The console includes 22 programs for a well-rounded benefit of using the equipment. The programs include heart rate trackers, media shelf, built-in speakers and MP3 hub, 3-speed fan, and various apps to track the different workouts.

As a bonus, Schwinn has also equipped their bikes with a 20-level brake resistance to easily adjust the intensity of cycling. With a reasonable price, the 130 Upright Bike is considered as a smart buy for the quality and innovation it provides.

  1. SOLE Fitness LCB Light Commercial Upright Bike – High-End Features and Efficiency

SOLE Fitness has produced an amazing upright stationary bike that can be used commercially or privately. It boasts of a 40-level resistance with a flywheel weighing 30 pounds to ensure smooth cycling and transition to various levels of intensity.

The product includes a pulse heart rate monitor as well as an optional chest rate monitor. The seat and the bars of the bike are adjustable to provide ease of use for every user. Furthermore, it also includes several other features including an MP3 hub, a built-in fan, and an LCD console.

The weight capacity and warranties of the SOLE Fitness upright bike makes it one of the most sought-after bikes for every user. If you are looking for a tough one which is complete with the latest console and trackers, this upright bike is perfect for you.

These three upright bikes are considered as the best in the field. They can cater to your needs and preferences; you just have to pick the one that will work best for your activities and goals as well as your budget.

Benefits of Upright Exercise Bikes

Get to know more about upright exercise bikes with the known benefits they can provide:

  • Workouts can be toned down to lower impacts

Stationary bikes can provide low impact exercises as compared to other fitness equipment such as the treadmill. Some equipment may leave users with pain or muscle soreness after the exercise. Fortunately, exercise bikes tend to be easier on the joints and reduces the risk of pain and injury on the knees, ankles, and tendons.

Recumbent bikes, as a matter of fact, are recommended for mild workouts and for people who are suffering from physical pain as it promotes mild cycling.

  • Achieve optimum fitness from any level

Other workout equipment will determine results based on the current fitness level you have prior to starting. Some may require stronger endurance to be able to maximize usage and end up with the highest possible results.

On the other hand, you can simply use a stationary exercise bike for a full workout easily. If you are a beginner, you will have no difficulty in using the equipment as it does not require high intensity. However, if you are an advanced user, you can adjust the program to a more optimal cycling.

As a bonus, these exercise bikes can be used by the elderly or overweight users who want to remove stress from their body and improve health conditions.

  • Perfect for weight loss

One of the primary benefits you can get from exercise bikes is considerable weight loss. With regular use and constantly following the program, you will surely shred off the extra pounds from your body. As a comparison, running on a treadmill at 5-8mph will help you lose 700-1100 calories. However, a beginner may find it difficult to keep up with the pace. With stationary exercise bikes, you can burn up to 900 calories with just an hour of vigorous training.

  • Improvement of the cardiovascular condition of the body

The popularity of spinning classes online and on the television proves that stationary bikes are good for the improvement your cardiovascular health. Raising your heart rate for about 20 minutes can significantly improve overall health and wellness while reducing the risk of heart-related diseases.

A lot of experts suggest that you should train your heart at about 80% of its maximum capacity. By doing this, you are helping your heart and lungs to cope up with intense activities and maintain fitness.

The feeling of fulfillment after the cardiovascular training is one of the best results you can get. Cardiovascular exercises release endorphins or happy hormones which give you the feeling of accomplishment and positivity, thus reducing the risks of depression. 

  • Best for home use

Upright exercise bikes are best for indoors or home use. They are often more preferred than hitting the gym and paying the membership fee. Although you will pay for the equipment, it is just a one-time payment. You can get a stationary bike for about $100 which is equivalent to one or two months of gym membership.

Home use exercise can also provide more comfort and convenience as compared to the gym. After work or a busy day, you will simply enjoy your cozy home, exercise, and relax afterward.

With your own upright bike, you can enjoy a mild to vigorous exercise while watching your favorite television show or movie. Also, you can exercise at your own time, thus increasing opportunities to do workouts more.

  • Legs are pumped up

Stationary exercise bikes can provide an activity for your calves, hamstrings, quadriceps, and flexors. It may be a strenuous workout; however, it may provide the right amount of activity for your legs while gradually improving the condition of your upper body and core.

  • Conditioning of the upper body

With enough effort, you can also greatly improve the condition of your upper body. Some models are equipped with movable handlebars in a rowing motion that’s simultaneous with pedaling. In the case of recumbent bikes, your arms are free to move because of the reclined seat position.

In comparison, the upright model will give your upper body more conditioning because it helps in powering the exercise machine. Some bikes will also allow you to stand while riding the exercise bike, thus allowing more effort from your legs but more conditioning on the upper body.

  • Concentrating on the core

An upright exercise bike will induce tightness in the abdominal muscles to maintain form and control. Recumbent bikes will also give the same conditioning for your glutes. In order to strengthen your core during the cycling exercise, you need to draw your stomach in towards the spinal column to flatten your back. You could also do arm exercises while pedaling to increase activity levels.

Final Take on the Best Upright Stationary Bikes

Upright exercise bikes have models that can cater to your needs and preferences and help you achieve your fitness goals. You just have to take a look at your objectives and consider outside factors to help you determine the best one for you. The following factors might be able to help you narrow down your choices for upright stationary bikes.

  1. Current fitness level and situation
  2. Level of difficulty: beginner, intermediate, or advanced user
  3. Frequency of exercise or workout activity
  4. Fitness expertise and knowledge
  5. Fitness objectives in using a stationary bike
  6. The level of health you want to achieve
  7. Cardiovascular fitness or weight loss
  8. Training for athletics or races
  9. Features of the stationary bike
  10. The use of workout programs and their effectiveness during the exercise
  11. Connectivity features of the stationary bike
  12. Modern innovations incorporated in the bike
  13. Quality of materials used in the manufacturing of the exercise bike

These are just some of the factors you could consider when choosing an upright exercise bike. This ultimate buyer’s guide will help you in your decision-making process and achieve your fitness objectives for a healthier and well-rounded body.

Prices are varied for every model and type of exercise bikes; however, you might want to get the real value for your dollars in order to achieve the goals you have in mind. Exercise bikes are a good investment especially if you are an enthusiast promoting health and wellness.

Best Home Gyms on the Market in 2018

A home gym can be a great investment. However, choosing the best home gym equipment that suits your personal preferences can be a challenge. There are a number of brands such as Bowflex, Total Gym, Marcy, and Body-Solid with various features to help you achieve your workout goals. Their products vary in price and features that target various workout goals ranging from weight loss to muscle building.

However, it can be utterly daunting to choose the right product from the myriad of choices. To help you with that, we have created this guide to help you decide which one suits your workout goals as well as budget best.

Our Top Choices for a Home Gym 

The following are our top four picks of the best home gyms.

  1. Bowflex Blaze Home Gym

The Bowflex Blaze Home Gym is relatively superior compared to other similarly priced options in the market. The machine comes with a unique Power Rod Technology that supports over 60 different exercises in addition to making it efficient and comfortable. It has a 210-pound which can be upgraded to 410 pounds with extra weight.

This makes it ideal not just for beginners but also who perform advanced fitness routines. The angled lat power bar is ergonomically engineered to allow you to perform back workouts naturally. It also comes with a sliding seat and multifunctional hand grips which provides extra exercise for different body parts

Features

  • It is equipped with efficient tools that allow you to perform over 60 different exercises to strengthen and tone your body.
  • Unlike other models, it comes with effective leg workouts, thanks to the lower pulley system and leg press belt.
  • It’s foldable to help you save space, making it ideal for those living in small spaces.
  • The Bowflex also offers better warranty compared to other home gyms.
  1. Total Gym Force Home Gym

This is your option if you are looking for a product with superior quality and features. Total Gym is a reputable manufacturer that boasts over 40 years of experience. The Total Gym FORCE home gym is made of quality materials which make it sturdy as a rock.

Like other Total Gym products, the FORCE’s performance is top-notch. You can perform numerous different exercises with this machine. It also comes with an exercise flip chart, a workout guide, and DVDs as well as a nutritional program and meal plan to help you achieve your fitness goals.

Features

  • It can be easily assembled and folded, saving you on storage space.
  • Its attachments are easy to switch or remove for an easy transition to different exercises.
  • It is both comfortable and ergonomic as it is padded and comes with flexible nylon strap handles.
  • It comes with a complete nutritional program to help you reach your fitness goals.
  1. Marcy Diamond Elite Smith Cage System

The Diamond Elite Smith Cage system from Marcy is an all-in-one home gym equipment that is ideal for strength training. Its frame features a seven-degree gradient which is engineered to accommodate the natural upper and lower body motion. It also comes with a variety of features which include a bi-functional leg developer, press bar, low pulley system, squat rack, and a separate weight bench.

The Diamond Elite offers a pulley function which is operated with a free motion system that brings out precision for each exercise performed.

Features 

  • A definitive complete home gym trainer system.
  • It comes with an elevated base frame that boosts its stability and firmness.
  • Features adjustable bar catches and safety stoppers
  1. Body Solid EXM3000LPS Double Stack Home Gym

The Body Solid EXM3000LPS features a commercial quality heavy-duty machine that is common in gym clubs. It is an extremely solid gym machine that allows up to three users to train simultaneously. The frame of this equipment is made of steel which supports up to 947 pounds.

Its steel frames are coated with an anti-corrosive white paint. Meanwhile, the bases feature rubberized stabilizers to protect your floor from damage. The back supports are made of durable synthetic leather. Lastly, the rollers on the leg accessory feature uniform rubber padding to ensure comfort during leg curls.

The Body Solid EXM300LPS features a number of major workout components. They include:

  • A bi-functional pec station that facilitates deltoids and pectoral muscle workouts
  • A multi-press station with fully adjustable pads that allows users of all sizes to work out the chest, back, and shoulders
  • A mid pulley system that offers superior comfort for abdominal muscle and triceps workouts.
  • A high pulley station for strength and endurance training of the triceps, shoulder, and back muscles. There is also a pulldown that provides stress-free access to hold down breakers for users of all sizes.
  • A low pulley station for leg workouts.

It is important to note that the EXM3000LPS occupies quite a huge footprint and may not be suitable for those who have a limited space.

Other Noteworthy Products 

Aside from our four top picks, we’ve also included some noteworthy products which you might want to consider. They are the following:

  1. Bowflex PR100 Home Gym

The Bowflex PR100 comes with the Power Rod resistance technology that allows you to exercise comfortably. It serves up to 30 different exercises for your upper and lower body workouts. You can exercise your shoulders and lats with the upper pulley system. The lower pulley and leg extension allows you to exercise your lower body.

  1. Bayou Fitness Total Trainer DLX-III Home Gym

The Bayou Fitness Total Trainer DLX-III is a superior quality home gym for its price range. This machine uses your body weight for resistance, thus alleviating the need for weight. You only have to move up or down the incline to change the proportion of your body weight lifted for effective workouts. This high quality home gym is superbly built with chrome coated rails and comes with an advanced pullup and pushup bar as well as twin handles for extra attachment.

The Bayou Fitness also comes with a number of accessories and extras to enable you to assemble a quality home gym and achieve the perfect workout. These include a biceps curl press bar, chrome coated pull-up and push-up bar, heavy duty squat board, and dual leg cuffs.

The Bayou Fitness may not be ideal for strength training as it is only designed to help you burn calories and lose fat. To build muscle, you will need to lift heavier weights.

  1. Marcy MWM-990 Home Gym

The Marcy MWM-990 home gym is a reasonably priced and compact home gym that gives you a full body workout at an affordable price. With up to 150 pounds of weight stack, it is unlikely that you will find a better alternative at this price range.

The versatile Marcy MWM-990 home gym provides over 30 different exercises for your lower and upper body workouts. It is made of heavy-duty steel and comes with a dual functioning press arm, flexible preacher curl bicep pad, and comfy roller pads.

The all-in-one training machine also offers an adjustable flower attachment to enable you to transition easily between exercises.

  1. Body-Solid Strength Tech EXM2500S Home Gym

The Body-Solid Strength Tech EXM2500S Home Gym comes in a simple design and maximum performance for its price range. It is constructed from high tensile strength steel and loaded with 210 pounds of weight stack to make it able to perform some of the most demanding strength training exercises. It features a pec station, chest press, leg extension/leg curl, lat pulldown, and  a seated row among other options.

  1. Body-Solid Freeweight Leverage Commercial Gym Package

The Body-Solid Freeweight Leverage Commercial Gym Package is designed to be sturdy and durable. It is made of high tensile strength steel and fitted with commercial-grade pillow block bearings to ensure smooth movement. The Freeweight allows a variety of different exercise for full body workout.

  1. BodyCraft Galena Pro Home Gym

The Galena Pro is a strong and compact home gym that takes up minimal space. It comes with a chest press, bi-functional pec dec, leg extension, low pulley system, abdominal crunch, and a leg press that are all designed to enable you to achieve a full body workout. It is made of a heavy gauge steel which is coated with anti-rust powder coat paint to give it an edgy finish.

  1. BodyCraft XPress Pro Home Gym Review

BodyCraft’s Xpress Pro is a heavy and built-to-last home gym constructed from a steel tubing frame. It uses adjustable cable arms that allow you to perform hundreds of different exercises. The Xpress Pro uses a 200lb weight stack that provides you with considerable resistance to burn calories and tone your body.

Choosing the Right Home Gym

There is a variety of exercise equipment to choose from. In order to find the ultimate gym, you will need to take the time to make sure that you select only the right equipment depending on your ultimate goal.

Whether you’re a beginner or advanced fitness enthusiast, take the time to determine what you want out of your home fitness equipment. Different fitness goals require different types of equipment. The most important question is what you want to achieve within your stipulated timelines. Generally, people often choose from one of these two main directions:

  1. Muscle Building

If you are into muscle building, then you might consider a weight stack or weight plate styled equipment. This will allow you to load as many weights as you require in order to build muscles. When exercising with heavy weights, you actually tear your muscles. Your muscles will then grow bigger as they repair themselves. This is how you gain muscle mass.

You can find a number of resistance-based home gyms that can help you build muscle. However, there are of course tons of high-end choices out there that offers even more resistance. You just have to make sure you have the right budget.

  1. Fat Burning

If your aim is to lose fat, burn calories, or tone your body, a weight-based home gym is your best bet. However, you cannot go wrong with any other home gym including the resistance-based gyms. Doing high repetitions will result in burning of more calories which will enable you to get rid of fats and tone your body.

Most people initially set out to lose fats and then tone before ultimately adding muscle. As such, you are better suited going to a weight-based gym from the start. However, if you have no intention of adding mass, then the resistance-based home gym is your best fit.

Other considerations that you need to decide on when choosing home gyms include:

  • Your Workout Space

If you are considering investing in a home gym, then it is likely that you have a workout space reserved. Measure this space to determine if the equipment you are considering can be safely used in the space.

The clutter associated with dumbbells and plates is adequate to cover an entire room.  Resistance-based machines, on the other hand, take up less space. You might be able to save up on space if the pieces can be folded or stored away when not in use.

  • Safety

Most home exercise equipment come with special features that can help you ensure safety and boost your overall workout experience. A treadmill may come with features like a heart rate monitor, speed trackers, and programmability. Most resistance-based machines have safety features that prevent weights from falling on you. However, you may need to exercise caution with equipment lacking the right features with regards to safety and stability.

  • Cost and Maintenance

The cost of the equipment and expenses involved in running it will require that you set a budget. When you discern the amount of money you have to spend, you can set expectations that are a tad more realistic. You should be ready to invest a tidy sum of money if you are looking for a quality home gym equipment that will perform well and last a long time. Also, you can figure out the equipment that is a priority and build your home gym one purchase at a time.

Different Home Gym Styles

Home gyms can be broadly categorized into two different styles: resistance-based and weight-based home gyms. Let us take a look at some of the benefits and drawbacks of each style.

  1. Resistance-Based Home Gyms

Resistance-based gym machines are the most ideal for those who are starting out and individuals with physical limitations. This is because of their smooth movement which makes them easy on the joints. As a result, your body will not be subjected to the usual wear and tear that is characteristic of the weight-based gym machines.

Overall, resistance-based gym equipment are ideal for maintaining an elevated heart rate, burning fats, and body toning. However, you will need to lift weights in order to gain muscle. This can be difficult to achieve with just a resistance-based home gym alone.

Pros 

  • Resistance-based home gyms are suitable for beginners and persons with physical limitations as they are easy on the joints.
  • It is easier to shift from one exercise to the next. A resistance-based machine only requires you to move a safety pin and switch to another exercise.
  • Resistance-based home gyms provide the reliability of a safe and expected array of movement that allows you to work out both fast and gentle convulsion muscle fibers.
  • You won’t even require a spotter to train safely. There are attachments to hold the stacks in case your hands slip or your muscles cannot move.

Cons 

  • Resistance machines are made of moving parts including bearings, cables, and pulleys that can fail regularly. They require frequent servicing, so it is important that you adhere to the manufacturer’s servicing schedule to eliminate this problem.
  • Except for the Bowflex models, you will need to dedicate enough space for most resistance-based machines. Unlike free weights that can be moved around and stored in a closet when not in use, most resistance-based machines are fixed.
  • The rods and bands that make up the resistance style home gyms lose their elasticity over time which can result in a loss of resistance. This can make it challenging to determine if you are improving or not.
  • It is also difficult to build muscles with the resistance style home gyms.

Types of Resistance Based Home Gyms

There are a variety of resistance-based home gyms in the market. They can be broadly classified into Bowflex and the rest. Bowflex machines are differentiated as high quality and innovative resistance systems. They are designed like weight stack gyms and come with a horizontal bench that enables you to perform different variations of exercises.

Bowflex machines principally use rods in the resistance machines. Higher end models in the “Total Gym” brand use resistance plates. Total Gym is yet another manufacturer of high quality machines which uses bodyweight, inclined bench, and bands as the resistance system. Other less popular resistance-based equipment have similar designs, although the quality might not be on par with the same standard.

The bottom line is, you can find a lot of styles and options in the resistance-based group. If you plan to go for a resistance-based home gym, make sure you do appropriate research first.

  1. Weight-Based Home Gyms

Weight-based home gyms are commonly used for total body strengthening and toning. They have also begun to make inroads as vital in weight loss.

A weight-based home gym incorporates gravity as the main source of resistance and a combination of simple machines to convey that resistance to you. This is a simple yet proven means for weight training. It uses stacks and plates to increase the resistance. You can even stack the amount of weight you are comfortable with and exercise accordingly.

The main advantage of weight-based home gyms is that they can withstand all the wear and tear. In contrast to resistance-based machines where you have to replace the rods as their elasticity wears out, you do not need to replace the stacks and plates. Also, a weight stack home gym has a virtually limitless amount of exercises available on a single machine.

A major disadvantage of a weight-based home gym is that you may grow too big for your weight stacks or plates as you gain mass and get stronger. As a result, you may require to buy additional weights.

Keep in mind that some weight stacks don’t come with a weight upgrade, while weight plate gyms don’t come with any weights at all. As such, you will need to buy the other components you need. However, the good thing about this is that you can freely add as much weight as you want based on your needs.

Basically, a weight-based home gym often requires a fairly larger initial investment. In spite of that, it’s a really solid choice and will surely last you a lifetime.

Advantages of Using a Home Gym

  • Lose Body Fat and Gain Muscle

The main reason why you should invest in a home gym is that it is the most ideal way to achieve a full body workout. While treadmills and exercise bikes are good at burning calories, you can only achieve a full body workout if you invest in a home gym. An entry-level, reasonably priced home gym offers more than 30 different exercises for both your upper and lower body as well as the abdominal area. On top of that, you can still burn calories and lose body fats with high repetition exercises.

A major feature of the home gym equipment is that it will help you gain muscle. While most other fitness machines aim to improve cardiovascular fitness and burn calories, a home gym will enable you to build strength and muscle.

  • Cost-Effective

A home gym will only require a large initial investment but will ultimately be cost-effective when compared to a local gym membership. Gym membership and signup fees can dig a bit into your income. The local gyms may charge you anything from $60 to $150 or higher depending on your locale.

In case you move to another area or even change your club membership, you will be required to pay for a signup fee again. A quality home gym will cost you around $600 which is on worth around 6 months of gym membership fee.

  • Convenient

Think about your current living scenario. You probably wake up in the wee hours of the morning to hit the gym. Or, you have to drive to the gym straight from work and end up getting home late.  You then may have to wait for machines to become available and have many distractions during your workout.

A home gym will save you all this hassle. You will only need to get changed and pop into the gym room. You also don’t have to wait for the machine to become available as it’s always available for you. This makes a home gym ideal in today’s fast-paced society. With a home gym, you will have control over your own environment. If you fancy training while playing music, you can have that. Having control over your own environment will make the workout even more fulfilling to help you achieve better results.

  • Freedom and Variety

With your own home gym, you can exercise however you want. You do not have to follow club gym rules that are aimed at giving everyone a fair chance to exercise. Also, if you are the kind of person that prefers to exercise in peace, a home gym can be ideal than the crowded club gyms. There are no distractions whatsoever, and there are even a variety of exercises that you can perform. Even the most basic home gym equipment offers more than 30 different exercises. With your own home, you can organize your workouts as you please and with better focus.

  • Hygiene

Crowded gyms can act as an incubator for germs. Nasty viruses that can cause diseases such as diarrhea and stomach aches can survive on the surface of gym equipment. By working out at your own gym, you can maintain high sanitation standards. This is because you will able to control your workout space.

Final Thoughts

Home gyms are incredibly cost-effective when compared to a gym membership. For the cost of just a few months’ fees, you can be the proud owner of your own home gym. Provided you can spare the additional space for it and allocate around 20 to 30 minutes a day, a home gym can help you reach your fitness goals without the additional stress associated with a gym membership. You will not have to deal with the hassle associated with crowded gyms and will not have to worry about other people.

With a home gym, you can achieve a diversity of training goals including burning calories, toning your body, and building muscle. However, you will need to select the home gym that best fits your goals. Whatever your decision, owning a home gym is a lifetime investment that will go a long way in keeping you physically fit and well.

5 Best Leg Press Machines for an Effective Leg Workout Session

Leg press machines are the most effective way to develop strength and real muscles in your legs. This type of equipment is not only useful in building well-defined legs but also in relieving back pressure due to squats. With a lot of leg press machines sold in the market, it may be confusing to choose which is the right one for you.

There are many fitness machines claiming that their product is the best. Therefore, it is most likely that you will end up purchasing an equipment that is not worthy of your money. Having tested and compared some of these brands with the help of reviews from fitness experts, below are our top 5 picks of the best leg press machines in the market.

Our Recommended Picks for a Leg Press Machine

  1. Body-Solid Leg Press/Squat Machine

Body-Solid is one of the best sellers of home fitness equipment. Their leg press/squat machine is safe to use and famous for the comfort it gives. The hack squats use the support of the machine to help you enjoy an effective exercise. Unlike other leg machines on the market, this particular product perfectly works on the calves, gluteus muscles, and quads while easing the pain you experience on your bones and joints. You would certainly not feel overfatigued after using this machine.

The machine comes with a number of amazing features which include the following:

  • Back and Shoulder Support – the unique design of the machine includes a thick padding which is meant to support the back and shoulder of its users. The padding used is made of high quality DuraFirm. You will surely not feel any discomfort; instead, you will feel the firmness of the padding while working out.
  • Gauge Diamond Plate Foot Platforms – the Body-Solid machine has a heavy diamond plate that is designed to prevent the risk of slipping. The platform will allow you to have an excellent foot grip and allow you to work out with full force.
  • Lockout – the makers of this product put comfort and safety in mind while designing the machine. It comes with 3 lockouts position which job is to prevent its users from getting stuck while working out.
  • Quad track roller based system – the machine has a built-in quad track roller which slides easily while you’re working on your calf and quad muscles. It operates perfectly and allows your body weight to distribute evenly when performing an exercise.

The machine measures 56” high, 34” wide, and 83” long. Users over 6 feet will fit comfortably and can use the equipment with ease. Meanwhile, while it’s a bit pricey at $1320, the quality you can get from the product is certainly worth every penny.

  1. Powerline PVLP156X Vertical Leg Press

Another product that made it on our list is the very affordable leg press machine by Powerline. If the space of your house is what stops you from buying a leg press machine, then this equipment is the solution to your problem. The best part about the Powerline leg press is that it has important features that will help you do proper exercises such as the following:

  • Back and Neck Support – since back and neck pain is very common after an extreme work out, Powerline has improved their features to prevent such consequences. A thick padding is added to the backrest and to the equipment’s benches so that users will stay comfortable even when performing intense workouts.
  • Dual Adjustable Steel Locking Pins – the equipment has steel lock pins which are adjustable to suit your comfort preference. You can adjust the pins in accordance to your height and leg length. You can also adjust the machine through the pins as your workout become intense.
  • Nylon Bushing – the equipment’s nylon bushing is included to offer you a smooth motion. This feature guides each user to perform safe and proper exercises.
  • Solid Desk – the solid desk is made of diamond plate steel which offers slip resistance and ensures a perfect grip on your foot. This allows for more safety when using the equipment.

The Powerline leg press is a definite space saver. It has a width of 48”, length of 46”, and measures around 54-61” high. It’s also relatively affordable at only $329.

  1. Weider Ultimate Body Works

If you can’t afford those expensive leg press machine, this equipment works essentially the same and is certainly a good alternative. This budget-friendly equipment surely won’t disappoint you. It comes with a low price but has a number of useful features that is not only for leg workouts but also for the other parts of your body including your arms, hips, back, waist, calves, and thighs.

Some of the features include:

  • Adjustable Incline Bench – the machine features an adjustable bench which you can adjust based on what you prefer.
  • Pulley System – you can gain access to a lot of workout motions through the equipment’s pulley system. With this, you can target specific muscles in your body that you want to improve.
  • Space-Saving Design – those who do not have a huge space at home will love this equipment as it won’t occupy a lot of space. In fact, you can just keep them below your bed due to its space-saving, foldable design.
  • Resistance Bands – the Weider machine features 4 bands to increase the weight resistance. It can support up to a maximum of 50 pounds.

If you are on a tight budget but still want to benefit from a leg press machine, the Weider is for you. It’s available at only $147.

  1. Yukon Fitness Vertical Leg Press

This one is included in the list because it’s a best seller and capable of giving its users an intense leg workout. Most people love the equipment because it provides a lot of important functions and features despite its really affordable price tag. It has a narrow design that will fit on homes with limited space.

Features include:

  • Back Support – the equipment offers excellent back support so you can move properly and in a good position without straining your back.
  • Dimensions – this equipment is a definite space saver. It measures 38” wide, 28” long, and 50” high. The equipment can accommodate up to 600lbs.
  • Three Position Lock – the equipment has three position lock so you can work out safely during intense workout sessions.
  • Non-Slip Foot Plates – same with other fitness machines, it also offers a non-slipping platform. It offers large foot plates to provide you with comfort and support.

It only costs $329.99 and offers a lifetime warranty.

  1. XMark Leg Press Hack Squat XM-7616

The XMark leg press is another amazingly designed fitness machine. It works perfectly for your legs without giving you a lot of knee pressure. Although it is among the most expensive fitness equipment sold in the market, its quality and features will never let you down.

Some of its features are as follows:

  • Hack Squats and Calf Presses – the machine will help you support on your half squat and calf presses routines. You also don’t need a spotter when you work out using this equipment.
  • Footboards – the footboards on this machine feature various settings. The solid footplates allow you to adjust up to 4 diverse positions to cater to different types of workout.
  • Padded Shoulder, Back and Head Rest – the Xmark gives extreme support on your shoulder, back, and head. It has a very snug padding made of Duraguard vinyl, not to mention it’s resistant to liquid and sweat.
  • Solid Construction – the Xmark has a solid construction with a steel gauge measuring 2” x 3” and 2” x 2”.

The machine is quite large. It measures 35.5” wide and 87” long. Additionally, it can carry up to 1000lbs. and is quite expensive at $1,849. While certainly not a budget-friendly option, its long lasting quality and the lifetime warranty it offers is very worthy.

Why is a Leg Press Machine Ideal for Use at Home?

There are several varieties of leg press machines that you can use in a lot of gyms and commercial fitness centers. However, with the improvement and advancement of the fitness industry, leg press machines become handy and can even be used at home. Due to their affordability, many fitness lovers become hooked and make the equipment their go-to leg press workout equipment. In case you want to know why you should use a leg press machine at home, here are reasons why:

They allow you to save a lot of time

Aside from saving money with leg press machines, you can also save time by doing your leg workout at home. You don’t need to spend money and time on the gym as you can always work out anytime you want with your own fitness equipment.

They’re quite affordable

For most people, the cost is among the many factors that affect their decision-making with regards to buying a leg press machine. However, you should not worry about the price of the equipment as you can always find affordable ones. The cheapest leg press machines available in the market costs $200. Compared to the money you will spend on the gym, the price of these machines is very worthy and reasonable.

Support advanced functionality

Most leg press machines in the market have advanced features like advanced footboards, solid construction, back and neck support, etc. This is because fitness makers want to offer a comfortable and more convenient workout session. You can definitely enjoy many features and advance your workout as you go along.

Perfectly designed to fit your size

The machines that you usually see in the gyms are heavy and of standard size. If you are a beginner, the machine may not be applicable for you, and you may feel awkward using it. If this is the case, the compact leg press machine is perfect for you. They often come with a cheaper price and are adjustable so you could easily use it safely and comfortably.

This short video below demonstrates how you can properly perform leg exercises using a leg press machine:

Advantages of Using a Leg Press Machine

All fitness exercises including leg workout are good for one’s health. The use of leg press machine offers a lot of benefits when it comes to muscle strength and overall performance of your body. Here are some of the important benefits you can get when using leg press machines.

Easy Changing of Your Foot Positions

The machine allows you to switch your foot comfortably to focus on the multiple parts of your legs. The foot platform also offers safety and comfort as it comes with anti-slipping features. You can surely achieve the better shape you desire with the leg press machine.

Strengthen quadriceps

The equipment is perfect to improve your quadriceps. Most of the forces you use while you exercise come from your quadriceps. Therefore, leg presses are highly beneficial for your health. The up and down movement helps give you have strong and toned legs.

Good alternative for squat

Squats are the most effective exercise for the legs; however, not all people can perform it due to physical limitations. A leg press machine is the best alternative for that. If you can’t perform squats, you can easily increase your ability and strength through the use of the equipment.

Build muscular legs

A leg workout is great in developing muscles on both legs. The leg press machine enables you to target the muscles you want to improve on your legs. Most importantly, you don’t need to use your stabilizer muscles while you work out as you can exercise easily through the equipment.

Prevent putting too much pressure on your back

Putting pressure extensively on your back is a bad thing. However, this equipment prevents pressure on the back as it’s designed to push weights from your legs.

How a Leg Press Machine Allows You to Work Out Effectively

The most common mistake people do with the machine is that they focus too much on their weight and not on the correct range of motion. They don’t know that by overlooking the use of proper motion, they prevent themselves from gaining all the benefits the machine provides. Here’s how you could work on your leg press machines effectively.

Its proper arrangement removes weight off your back

Many studies say that squatting can bring damage to your spinal column. When you squat, a lot of pressure is put on your back. Fortunately, the machine can remedy this problem. A leg press machine will offer you with the right arrangement support in your back. The proper positioning it provides will help you exercise effectively.

It allows you to perform more squats

A leg press machine will help improve the number of squats you can perform. Additionally, your legs are said to have a lot more strength compared to any other parts on your body. With the use of a leg press machine, it’s possible to enhance and improve leg strength efficiently.

It keeps injuries away

The use of the equipment while working out prevents the risks of injury. The good thing about this machine is that you can always adjust it so you could use it at your own convenience. It only places weights that your body permits, thus allowing you to possibly avoid all sorts of injury.

Things you should look for when buying a leg press machine

Though it’s quite exciting to purchase a leg press machine, it is always better to be informed so you can find the best deals in the market. Here are some important things to bear in mind before you purchase a leg press machine for your home:

Space

Space is one important factor to consider when buying a fitness equipment for your home. It does not look good to purchase a leg press machine that occupies the space meant for other equipment. Before you make a leg press machine purchase, think first if the equipment will fit in the space where you want to place it. Measure the available area and carefully check the dimensions of the equipment before you make a purchase.

Budget

Of course, your budget is a primary concern when buying a fitness machine. You should first know your budget and research a number of leg press machines that you can afford. There are many expensive fitness machines out there as well as inexpensive ones.

In spite of a very limited budget, you can certainly find a product that can give you the features you’ll need in a leg press machine. Just make sure to look for something that will fit in your budget before you make a choice.

Construction

Customers tend to overlook the construction of the fitness machine when they buy one. If you are not a smart buyer, you may end up with a poorly constructed leg press machine. Look for equipment that is made of 11-gauge steel and at least 2” by 3” wide.

Pads and Bearings

Search for a machine that has polyurethane pads. You tend to release sweat in your body while you work out, and this type of pad will help prevent stinky smell. Brass bearings that can be impregnated by oil are also a must as they will maintain the equipment and protect against damages.

Smoothness

Before you buy one, you have to try the comfort level an equipment will provide. A good quality equipment is the one that won’t give you shoulder pain, back pain, and neck pain, etc. after an intense workout. Take time to read customer reviews and focus on the negative comments. This way, you will be able to determine which brand you should avoid once you are about to buy the equipment in the market.

Muscle Strength

If you’re not mindful of choosing a fitness machine, you may end up buying something that is not appropriate for your specific needs. Make sure you decide which muscle you want to develop. Make a thorough research so you will be able to buy a leg press machine that is right for you.

Risks and Injuries

You must know that risk and injuries are commonly associated with leg press machines. If your posture is not positioned properly, it is very likely that you will suffer from injury. The equipment comes with great features specially designed to give you comfort and allow you to work out with ease. As much as possible, you need to make sure that you won’t suffer from injuries. There are a lot of leg press machines that will help users work out properly, and you have to make sure that you get to buy one.

Conclusion

Leg presses are the most effective workout which helps improve and strengthen your lower half. Whether you are doing them for your warm up sessions or as an exercise, it is very ideal that you make use of a leg press machine. Although it is always good to stay fit, your pocket has to be the first priority when deciding to buy a leg press machine.

When looking for the perfect equipment, there are many things to consider. With so many opinions and tips provided in this article, the truth is it’s only you who knows which one is the best choice.

Hopefully, we’re able to provide you the information you need regarding the best machines in the market and to guide you through the buying process. As always, go for the leg press machine that can meet your workout needs and fit your budget.

5 Best Mountain Bikes Under $1,000 for the Budget-Conscious Cyclist

Mountain bikes are one of the best options for appreciating nature and the outdoors while being able to maintain one’s physique. Riding mountain bikes gives you the opportunity to go anywhere you would want to go.

According to statistics, more than 10 bikes are released monthly, and each of them has its own unique and highly advanced features.

However, you just can’t test all these bikes on release. As such, we have thoroughly researched and tested various bikes for you. Most of them were disappointing, but there are some that have met our expectations and worthy of being included in our list of best mountain bikes under 1000.

Let’s start!

Best Mountain Bikes Under 1000 – The Top 2 Choices

Top-End: The Schwinn High Timber

The Higher Timber is a good bike for those who are starting out in mountain and trail biking.

Low Budget: Diamondback Overdrive

The Diamondback Overdrive is an accessible bike with its affordable price. The bike’s core is a hand-built 6061-T6 frame made of aluminum alloy.

Recommended Models of Mountain Bikes that Fall Below the $1,000 Category

This list contains the best mountain bikes that are below $1,000 which have been reviewed by our team. We’ve also considered feedback from previous customers who were able to try the bikes. They are as follows:

  1. The Schwinn High Timber – Ideal for starters

The High Timber is a good bike for those starting out in mountain and trail biking. It’s a simple bike with no unnecessary add-ons. The steel frame provides good support and absorbs shocks and vibrations when biking over rough terrain, making it somewhat a comfortable hardtail. Meanwhile, its front suspension helps reduce the effect of bumps to a minimum.

The bike’s rear derailleur and grip shifters are made by Shimano. Despite being priced at just under $200, it’s surely a sweet deal. This bike is also offered in a version that’s designed for women. It comes with a 26-inch sized wheel which can be upgraded to a 29-inch version by adding a few dollars.

As far as performance and budget are concerned, the Schwinn High Timber is no doubt a perfect bike to get you started. It even comes with a lifetime warranty.

  1. The Diamondback Overdrive – Performance and budget squeezed into a single bike

The Diamondback Overdrive is a product that will surely meet or even exceed your expectation of a mountain bike. It’s among the best budget-friendly hardtail bikes offered in the market.

The core of the bike is a hand-built 6061-T6 frame made of aluminum alloy and is offset by a 4-inch SR Suntour XCT fork. The frame’s natural stiffness lets you ride through any hard terrain such as stones, gravel, and mud.

The 24-speed gears can tackle any sort of grades easily, and its huge tires will provide grip support even if you’re riding on a loose surface. It is also equipped with mechanical disc brakes courtesy of Tektro.

Overall, the Diamondback is a really affordable option that’s packed with high-end parts, making it worth every penny. It’s also offered in a 29-inch version.

  1. The BEIOU CB005/CB020 Carbon Fiber – A racing machine that’s ultra lightweight

This East-Asian brand is a product that’s worth considering. The carbon in the handlebars, seatpost, and the bike overall is made with the same grade as the one you can find in Trek/Giant carbon bikes which are known for their expensive price tag.

The bike is equipped with the 30-speed Deore system and M355 Hydraulic disk brakes. The Shimano gears and brakes will provide you with superb quality which allows you to maneuver the bike easily.

The bike also comes in a 27.5-inch version that features an internal cabling. All of the components of this bike is covered in carbon. Even the wheels have carbon fiber hubs and a lock-out setting for its suspension fork.

  1. The Diamondback Mission 2 – Excellent performance that won’t compromise

Diamondback bikes are known for their quality performance that other brands can’t keep up with. The Diamond Mission 2 is designed for extensive use because of its dual suspension system. No compromises were made with its improved design.

Its frame is made of hydroformed aluminum which is considered a weapons-grade material. The bike is equipped with some of the best suspension components you can find in the market and gives you that hardtail feeling until you need its rear shock.

It also features a standard KS Lev Integra dropper seatpost allowing you to adjust the saddle by pushing a button. This is necessary if you want to switch between riding while standing or seated.

The Diamond Missionback 2’s other components include the SRAM’s 1×11 drivetrain, DB5 hydraulic brakes, and Easton ARC27 wheels that comes in full compatibility with tubeless tires. The quality of the bike can also be seen in its chromoly steel material used in the saddle rails and magnesium lowers in the forks.

The Basics of Choosing the Right Mountain Bike 

Before purchasing a mountain bike, you should consider several factors first. The last thing you want is to get a bike that can’t provide you with what you need in terms of size, comfort, features, and durability. As such, we have made a list of the factors you should take note of when buying your bike. They are as follows:

  1. Size of the Frame 

Sizing is not a very crucial factor in mountain bikes compared to road bikes. However, it is still important to get the ideal size suited for you to achieve that maximum experience. The ideal size varies between men and women, with men’s generally having larger frame size and height.

There’s not that much difference with women-specific frames except that they are a lot easier to step through. Given the right size, gender shouldn’t matter that much. In general, sizes will slightly differ from one manufacturer to another.

If you’re torn between choosing the right size, it’d be ideal to choose one with a slightly smaller frame.

  1. Types

There are a lot of specific bikes made for various mountain biking disciplines like Enduro, Freeride, Downhill, and others. In this article, however, we are going to focus on two of the most common types: dual suspension and hardtail.

  • Dual Suspension

Dual suspension, also known as full suspension, has both its front and back wheel suspended. It is known to have many performance benefits despite being more expensive and heavier. It would be good to consider a full suspension when you plan to engage in racing or can afford to buy a high-end bike.

  • Hardtail

They refer to bikes that only have one suspended front wheel with the help of shock absorbers in the fork while having a hardtail or rear. Hardtails are considerably faster when faced with moderately uneven surfaces compared to off-roading. Additionally, they may be a lot lighter compared to their than dual suspension counterpart.

As hardtail mountain bikes are designed to easily take on rough terrains, they are considered to be a lot more durable. Additionally, they have a more upright frame compared to other bikes.

The term has been derived from the bike’s design in which the tail has no suspension compared to the front which is capable of softening any strong vibrations that come from rough or bumpy surfaces. This absence of a rear suspension allows a hardtail bike to get over obstacles easily, while the front can absorb more impact to offer an overall comfortable ride.

  1. Size of the Wheel 

Mountain bike wheels come in different sizes depending on the features they offer. Here are the three most common wheel size options:

  • 26 inch – this is the standard and traditional size of mountain bike wheels. Despite its small size, a 260-inch wheel is a lot stronger than larger sized wheels because of its shorter spoke length, not to mention that it’s also lighter. These wheels are ideal for agility or off-road trails that require a lot of turning.
  • 5 inch – it’s latest wheel size and is also known as the 650b. As a mid-range wheel size, it can offer you both the benefits of the 26-inch and 29-inch variants.
  • 29 inch – despite being new to the mountain bike market, 29-inch wheels have become already popular. Bigger wheels have a lot of momentum in them, thereby making them a lot more efficient. They’re also a good choice if you like trailing over larger obstacles as you go off-roading. If you prefer converting your bike into one suited for more on-road use, these wheels are what you need. Additionally, they’re compatible with a lot of hybrid tires to offer you more options. If you are looking for speed or maximum bike performance, these wheels are for you.
  1. Materials Used 

Two of the most popular materials used for both parts and frames are carbon fiber and aluminum. Parts made of carbon fiber tend to be a lot lighter and stronger, most especially for parts that bear load or impact. However, they are a lot more expensive. On the other hand, aluminum materials offer a good balance between durability, lightness, and stiffness.

It is recommended to purchase easily replaceable parts, most especially in a sport with frequent falls and impact. Your safety as the rider should always be the top priority. Either way, both carbon and aluminum will provide you with good performance.

Steel is the heaviest material, but in spite of that, it’s a good absorbent for shocks and impacts. It is also cost-efficient and offers a good level of comfort. This material is worth considering if you are looking for an entry-level or recreational bike and not too concerned about weight.

  1. Groupset

The groupset, also known as the drivetrain, is the collective term for the bike’s mechanical parts which include the brakes, gear shifters, crankset, chain, and more. Like any other machine, these parts have to be maintained and replaced when needed in order to keep your bike in tip-top shape. These parts can be upgraded individually or as a set.

So far, the most widely used parts are the ones manufactured by popular manufacturers Shimano and SRAM.

Good road groupsets help in improving the bike’s performance. However, they become less of a propriety once you go beyond the mid-range cycling tier. Instead, weight becomes an important factor especially when you plan on competing.

1x or “one-by” groupsets has one chainring which eliminates chain slack, reduces the overall weight, and improves shifting performance. As mountain bikes are more exposed to harsher conditions than other types of bikes, it’s important to maintain and keep the parts clean.

Good performance will reflect from a well-maintained bike. Maintaining your bike is an investment itself, thereby allowing it last longer.

  1. Forks 

The fork is the component that holds your bike’s front wheel and houses the front shocks which are the most important component for your bike’s overall suspension. Forks have different levels of “travel” which refers to the up or down movement of the wheel to absorb shock and help in stabilizing the bike.

A fork that comes with a lot of travel has a better ability to absorb shocks and impact; however, it makes the bike more difficult to handle because of its less direct steering. Meanwhile, a longer fork would mean more material which therefore adds more weight to your bike.

Deciding what is the ideal travel in your bike’s fork will depend on the type of riding you do or would wish to do. A fork with a “lock-out” is ideal when you plan to ride on paved roads, most especially on smooth roads.

For more information about forks, you should check out this article:

http://www.bikeradar.com/gear/article/mountain-bike-suspension-forks-a-buyers-guide-55/

  1. Tires

Mountain bikes take on different types of surfaces, whether they be rough, uneven, or smooth surfaces. As such, you should place an emphasis on the tires as they play a vital role as well.

Tires that are designed for mountain bikes tend to be wider and feature a lot more resistance to puncture. You can also consider getting tubeless tires which can significantly reduce punctures.

Hardtail Vs. Full Suspension

Earlier, we’ve talked about the two different types of bikes which are hardtail and full suspension. There’s been an ongoing debate regarding which of the two is the best option. While each of them has its own pros and cons, ultimately it will all boil down to personal preferences.

Regardless, let us take a look at the differences between the two of them:

The key difference between a full suspension and hardtail bike is that the latter only features a suspension at the front compared to a full suspension which has both front and rear.

Due to the hardtail’s simple design, it is a lot lighter and easier to maintain. Depending on your current budget, a hardtail can have frames made of carbon fiber to allow more comfort and flexibility. However, it can’t offer the same comfort that a full suspension bike can give.

That said, you can find a number of decent hardtail bikes in the market which goes under $1,000 compared to full suspension bikes which can cost a lot more.

Here’s a short comparison video regarding which of the two is the faster option:

Downhill Performance

While hardtail bikes are capable of handling a downhill terrain, full suspension bikes have a huge edge. Due to the presence of two suspensions, they can offer a lot more comfort as they can absorb more shock and vibrations. This is actually an important concern as the more energy you can conserve, the better your endurance will be.

Meanwhile, riding on technical downhills on a hardtail will allow you to make better riding choices, which in turn allows you to improve your biking skills.

Climbing Ability

When it comes to climbing, hardtails have better power transfer towards the rear wheel. In even surfaces, this results in a better acceleration. You can even maintain a consistent speed easily with a hardtail bike. As the terrain becomes rougher, the absence of a rear suspension would mean more rear wheel power output. As such, you can easily control and handle your bike over obstacles.

Ease of Maintenance

Since hardtails have less moving parts compared to full suspension bikes, it simply means there is less maintenance. Thus, if you’re in need of a low maintenance bike, hardtails are no doubt a better choice. On the other hand, full suspension bikes will require periodic maintenance on their pivots and rear shocks.

Level of Comfort

For younger riders, comfort level might not be that much of an issue on their bike. However, for those who can’t handle a bumpy road, an extra level of comfort becomes a necessity. This is especially true with full suspension bikes.

Overall Weight

With technological advancements, most mountain bikes available in the market are a lot lighter compared to their predecessors. For example, hardtails now only weigh roughly around 20-40 pounds. Additionally, they’re around 1 kg lighter compared to full suspension bikes, although you can find a lot of lightweight full suspension bikes as well.

Keep in mind, however, that it can also affect its price. Lighter bikes tend to cost more than heavier ones due to the type of material used in their construction.

Closing Thoughts

Mountain biking is a sport that takes time to learn the skills and techniques involved. Keep on practicing and always keep in mind that your safety as a rider should be your number one priority.

5 Best Weight Benches for a Home Gym Setup

A weight bench is an essential fitness training equipment. However, in order to maximize your training results, you must have the best weight bench at your disposal. With a slew of options to choose from, how can you pick the one that will work best for you?

To help you with that, we have put up a list of 5 highly recommended weight benches that are available in the market. These favored picks went under heavy testing and thorough analysis. The reviews and ratings they received were based primarily on firsthand experience and feedback from customers.

We also considered other features such as versatility, convenience, and your budget.

Our Top 5 Picks!

XMark 11-Gauge FID – The Best Choice 

Our top pick is the XMark 11-Gauge FID. It has an unrivaled quality that matches its very hefty price tag. With this fitness training equipment, you are sure to get a bang for your buck.

Bowflex SelectTech 3.1 – The Most Budget-Friendly Option 

Any budget-conscious fitness buff will love the Bowflex SelectTech 3.1. It is an affordable equipment with remarkable features that allow you to perform different exercises regularly. The Bowflex will give you no more excuses to miss another workout session ever again!

Top 5 Best Weight Bench Reviews

We at ECA World Fitness help you make the best choice. Read on for the full reviews of our top 5 picks of the best weight benches in the market today:

  1. XMark 11-Gauge FID Weight Bench

If you are looking for superior quality, the XMark 11-Gauge FID is the best choice for you. It is made with a heavy-duty 11-gauge steel mainframe that grants it its most notable feature – a really huge weight capacity of up to 1500 lbs. Given that, you are sure to get a sturdy support regardless of your weight category. It also offers the highest level of comfort during workouts due to its roller pads covered with Duraguard vinyl and a super thick 3” Duracraft back pad.

Since it is highly durable, the XMark 11-Gauge FID can support you under even the most rigorous workout routines. You have 7 back pad angle adjustments to choose from based on your goals and needs. You can also do various press positions from flat to full military.

What’s more, you can enjoy its supplementary feature when you get additional training accessories such as a preacher curl and leg extensions. With its built-in components and add-ons, the XMark 11-Gauge FID proves to be one of the finest choices there is.

Budget-wise, the Xmark weight bench can certainly live up to your expectations. We tested the product’s durability by slightly damaging it. We were amazed at its superb durability and ability to handle a significant amount of pressure.

Due to the Xmark weight bench’s overall durability and quality, it’s certainly a product that’s worth your money. Thus, if you’re aiming for an excellent combination of durability, design, and quality, this would never disappoint you.

  1. Bowflex SelectTech 3.1 Adjustable Bench

The Bowflex SelectTech 3.1 is a must-have if you want a weight bench with exceptional quality at a modest price. Not only is it cheap; its design, having a 56” X 26” X20” dimension, makes it a space-saving option. Additionally, assembly takes only just a few minutes compared to the others on this list.

Apart from its price, what we loved the most about it is its versatility. Since it can be adjusted up to 4 different positions, you can use it to perform over 30 different exercises. As a bonus, it comes with a removable leg hold-down brace that allows you to do additional decline positions.

While its padding provides a limited level of comfort, we are still confident to say that the Bowflex SelectTech 3.1 bench can give a decent amount of satisfaction to its users. In a way, for its modest price, Bowflex SelectTech 3.1 can exceed your expectations.

In spite of its really affordable price, the Bowflex is packed with features you’d normally look for in a weight bench. As far as our experience is concerned, along with a number of feedback from its buyers, we’d definitely recommend this product if you’re on a budget.

  1. Bowflex SelectTech 5.1 Adjustable Bench

The third on our list is another modestly-priced model from Bowflex. The Bowflex SelectTech 5.1 retains the same user-friendly design with its 56” X 26” X20” dimensions. You can also opt to attach the leg-hold down brace for support when you want to perform exercises in additional decline positions.

However, what really distinguishes the Bowflex SelectTech 5.1 from the previous model is its wider range of angle adjustments ranging from 17° decline to 19° incline. This enables you to do more exercises in 6 different positions. Therefore, if you are looking for more versatility, this model just might be for you.

In terms of design and aesthetics, the SelectTech 5.1 offers a certain degree of comfort and looks which will surely motivate you to start working out. While it does not come with a wide range of features, the ones that come in the package are certainly worth the price.

To make things even better, the manufacturer offers a 3-year warranty on the frame and a 1-year warranty on the upholstery. This makes the SelectTech 5.1 a really cost-effective solution for your fitness training.

  1. Body Solid GFID225 Folding Adjustable Weight Bench

If you’re willing to spend a bit more on gym equipment, then you will love the Body Solid GFID225 weight bench. It’s worth every penny because of its high-quality features that are tantamount to other superior brands. Not to mention, it is fully-assembled, making it the most user-friendly weight bench on the list.

Although it’s mostly rated to work best for commercial settings, it has features that make it perfect for home use too. It is the perfect fit if you are planning to set up a mini-gym in your home. It is functional, durable, and space-saving. It comes with a foldable design for easier storage.

The Body Solid GFID225 also supports 7 adjustment positions so you can do a variety of workout routines. It has 2” X 3” oval tubing that makes it reliable and stable during heavy workouts. However, that doesn’t make it useless for light exercises. In fact, it is designed to have you covered for all forms of major and minor exercises.

  1. Marcy Adjustable Utility Bench – SB670

Still, if you’re on a tight budget and affordability is your top priority, the Marcy SB670 is the right choice for you. It may be the cheapest, but its features can rival its high-end counterparts. It comes with its own transportation wheels and a hand grip that make it highly movable and convenient. The upholstery also has an impressively first-class quality that can withstand the most intensive physical fitness routines.

On top of that, the Marcy SB670 can support a full-body workout. As such, you can build up several areas in your body such as your chest, shoulders, back, and abs. It can be adjusted to 6 positions and has an incredible angle adjustment range of 15° decline to 75° incline. Due to this, you can also perform various chest exercises like incline, decline, military, and flat presses.

With the Marcy SB670 bench, it is possible to get the maximum result out of your workout sessions even on a tight budget.

What are their Advantages of Using Weight Benches?

Weight benches have proven themselves to be quite an effective workout equipment. They come with different functionalities and features that correspond to the different workout goals and needs of their users. However, to make the most out of your weight bench purchase, you must first understand its purpose and advantages.

  • They’re beginner-friendly 

Weight benches are designed not just for bodybuilding and fitness enthusiasts but for beginners as well. Due to their versatility, you can perform even the easiest and the most basic exercises on them. This includes push-ups, bench press with dumbbells, and the likes. As you get into heavier and more intense workout routines, you can move on to more intense routines.

  • They’re adjustable to suit your workout routine 

Most weight benches come with an adjustable functionality, and they are made that way for a reason! Different angles allow you to focus on certain areas or muscles in your body. So before you start working out on a weight bench, be sure to select the right angle according to your desired results.

Of course, you have to make sure that your weight bench is strong enough to support your body weight. Or else, you might end up having difficulties or even injuring yourself.

  • They’re quite versatile 

Weight benches can be thought of as a one-size-fits-all training equipment. That is because you can do a wide variety of exercises on it. Whatever area in your body you choose to focus on, you will always find weight benches to be useful and efficient.

Basically, you can perform basic routines like push-ups, step-ups, and more. Or, you can even do more intense workouts.

  • They’re designed for everyone 

Having a huge weight capacity is a very important feature that most weight benches have. They are built with heavy-duty steel in order to withstand up to 1500 lbs. Due to this, you can be certain that a premium-quality weight bench can support you regardless of your weight category.

Why Invest in Weight Benches?

Before we even talk about how you can buy the right weight bench deal, let us first find out why it’s an ideal investment. Basically, a weight bench:

  • Is a good addition to your home gym setup.
  • Allows you to perform natural movements which involve all the muscles throughout the body.
  • Is sturdy, ideal for all body types, stable, and comes with a wide range of configurations.
  • Helps you increase your overall muscle strength and mass.
  • Can be placed easily in your gym space. This would depend on whether you prefer a foldable or compact model.
  • Is a simple workout equipment that comes with a very quick and hassle-free assembly.

This relatively short video explains how you can benefit from exercising in a weight bench:

How to Choose the Best Weight Bench

Weight benches are not created equal. Different brands and models possess different components, quality, and features that cater to different user needs. However, with a wide variety of weight benches available, choosing the ones that will work best for you can be quite overwhelming. So how exactly did we come up with our list of the top 5 best weight benches?

We take into account several important factors. They are as follows:

  • Total Weight Capacity 

When buying a weight bench, you must choose that one that is strong enough to support your body weight. Make sure you know your weight so you can compare it to the capacity of the weight bench you are planning to purchase. The ideal practice is to opt for weight benches with a high weight capacity. This way, you won’t have to purchase a new one if you move into higher weight categories.

Of course, this might mean having to pay extra. However, you’ll be glad to do so, as no one likes a weight bench that suddenly collapses simply because it can’t support the weight of its user.

  • Additional Attachments 

When it comes to design, choosing the ones that come with a range of attachments can go a long way. Consider the availability of transportation wheels for movability. Check the material used for upholstery to ensure that your weight bench will last long.

You have to think about whether the design of your weight bench is space-efficient. It must be able to fit well in your home as well as its intended storage area. If you are in doubt, it’s best to go for the foldable ones.

Also, you have to make sure that the additional attachments are easily removable. There are certain weight benches that come with non-removable components, and they tend to get in the way of your workout routine.

In such a case, your range of motion will be limited, and your weight bench will become unusable for a number of different exercises.

  • Safety Features 

Safety is a major concern when it comes to dealing with exercise equipment, especially those that involve heavy weightlifting and intense workouts. You want to make sure that the product you want to purchase is made of high quality materials to ensure its durability.

  • Angles and Adjustments 

As mentioned earlier, different angles on weight benches bring out different results to your body. When buying a new weight bench, you must pick the most versatile one that can support all of your workout goals. You have to also take note that the most versatile ones are those that have a wide range of angle selections and adjustment positions.

  • Upholstery 

Believe or not: a weight bench’s upholstery can make or break a workout routine. That is because the padding will determine its lifespan and your comfort-level during workout sessions. If the upholstery is of poor quality, it won’t be able to withstand rigorous exercises. Furthermore, if you are not comfortable on your weight bench, you won’t get the best result out of your training. You’re also putting yourself at the risk of getting an injury.

These are just some important factors you need to consider when purchasing a new weight bench. Other factors which include the overall weight of the equipment and movability should also be taken into account. If you are still unsure which ones to buy, do not hesitate to ask for help from professional fitness trainers.

Which Bench to Purchase?

Now that you know how to choose the right weight bench, you should also consider which bench you plan to get. Your choice of a weight bench will also depend on how you plan on using it. To put it simply, you need to determine how you plan to use your bench.

  • Occasionally – if you plan to use your weight bench just around a few times a week or month, or if you are just getting started on using one, performance isn’t really a huge factor. This is ideal for those who plan to perform light exercises for around 30 minutes with a frequency of around 1-3 times per week.
  • Regularly – if you perform workouts on a regular basis, such as working out 3 to 5 times a week with around 45 minutes each, then you need to look for weight benches that are designed to handle occasional-to-regular sessions. Performance and comfort will both play an important role in this.
  • Intensive – users who perform advanced or intense workout sessions on a daily basis for at least an hour a day will require weight benches that are designed for heavy-duty use. They should be made of an extremely durable material, should have a high weight limit capacity, and come with a wide range of adjustments and other feature.

Final Thoughts

That is our list of the best weight benches available on the market today. Our experts themselves have put these items under rigorous and heavy testing to give you the most accurate reviews. We have also outlined the advantages of investing in a weight bench. Lastly, we have created a set of guidelines that can guide you in your purchase. Remembering these pointers can help you a lot in finding the weight bench that perfectly matches your training needs!

Summary

We at Eca World Fitness have conducted an extensive research on the best weight benches available out there. Read on to see which ones passed the testing process and are highly recommended by our experts. Find out how experts are able to find these best selections too.

5 Best Recumbent Bikes for Hassle-Free Exercises

Recumbent bikes are designed to allow you to lay back on a highly comfortable seat while you work out. Rather than just sitting up like you would in regular exercise bikes, you will be in reclined body position while using a recumbent bike.

There’s no wonder why it’s quickly becoming a market sensation. Its bucket seat feature gives it a unique appearance – it looks like a hybrid between a tricycle and a lounge chair. Although different in appearance from the regular exercise bike, the recumbent bike offers a workout that is similar in nature.

Without a doubt, recumbent bikes are the most accessible type of exercise equipment. They are very easy to use and highly comfortable. However, not all recumbent bikes are of good quality. Some may cause injuries at the lower back or cause discomforts like knee pain or genital syndrome due to poor build quality and/or construction.

We have decided to review the best recumbent bikes in the market so we can give you a definitive guide in choosing the very best product there is. We can guarantee that the models recommended below will make you fit within a very short period without causing any injury or discomfort whatsoever.

Reviews of the Best Recumbent Bikes in the Market 

  1. Schwinn 270 and Schwinn 230

Both the Schwinn 270 and 230 are highly exceptional models. They are one of the very best fitness equipment we have been privileged to test. These two models come with display units that have a very striking appearance. You can easily view various workout data on the display unit.

As a matter of fact, you can choose from one of the 4 pre-set profiles on the Schwinn 270 and 2 on the Schwinn 230. These pre-set profiles allow you to configure the bike for a number of users. That’s quite impressive because you can easily change the settings for other users without necessarily losing your own configuration.

Another great feature that these models have is their collection of programs. The Schwinn 270 has 29 programs while Schwinn 230 has 22. These programs make it possible to log in personal details such as your own weight so that you can track your workout stats accurately. You can also set goals for yourself with its the goal-tracking function which alerts you each time you set a new record for yourself.

The entertainment capabilities of these two models are simply superb! They feature a headphone jack, high quality speakers, an even a USB charging port. There’s also a tablet stand at the center of the main display unit. Even if you place a tablet there, you can still view your workout information on its second display. With the awesome combination of all these features, your workout will never be boring again.

With it comes to the inbuilt fan, you can adjust the airflow based on the height of the rider. In addition, you can toggle between 3-speed modes.

Structure-wise, these models are remarkably solid and stable. They feature a single-piece frame that has a step-through design and sliding aluminum rail system. The advantage of this design is that getting on and off the bike is entirely stress-free, not to mention it is very easy to adjust the seat.

Furthermore, the high levels of the magnetic resonance of their weighted flywheel (25 for the 270 and 22 for the 230) ensure that the workout is noiseless, exciting, and challenging. The addons featured in the package include grip heart rate sensors and a side-mounted bottle cage among many others.

These two models share a lot of similarities, but they also have a few differences. For instance, smaller increments of the resistance are possible in 270 than in the 230. On the other hand, a 1-piece crank is used on the 230 while the 270 uses a 3-piece crank. Also, the seat in 270 is well padded while that of 230 is more or less plastic. But then, the seat in 230 has better ventilation compared to 270.

Overall, the 270 is a slightly better version as it’s a newer model than the 230; additionally, it has more innovative features. However, the 230 model could offer a more affordable price tag than the 270.

  1. Exerpeutic 900XL

You will get a good value for your money with the Exerpeutic 900XL. The price is quite modest, yet the features are really fantastic. It has 8 magnetic resistance levels, hand-based heart rate sensors, and a huge and crystal clear display.

Of all the bikes we have tested, we can assure you that the 900XL is by far the most comfortable. It’s so comfortable that you could literally fall asleep as the resistance is on a low level. The XL part of its name is no joke at all! The extra-large seat cushion, oversized backrest, and large pedals can all attest to this. The bike makes use of a ‘smooth torque’ cranking system. This system makes for reliability and precision when pushing on the pedals.

The portability of this bike is yet another feature that makes it rank high among other recumbent bikes. It needs no external power to run; and because it has wheels, it can be moved around easily. Being able to move the bike around with ease would solve the problem that most of us face when it comes to deciding where to place it.

Another bonus with this model is that the display unit is placed in such a way that it doesn’t block your view. In essence, you can have a full, unobstructed view of your favorite TV show while working out all at once.

All in all, the bike is affordably priced, comfortable, and full-sized – a combination that is rare to come by. The measure of competence is worth more than the cost. You should be excited about this!

  1. Exerpeutic WorkFit

The name WorkFit is an exact description of what you can do with this semi-recumbent bike. You can both work and work out simultaneously. While you work your way to fitness, you can use it as a workstation where you can place your laptop or as a platform where you can mount your tablet or book. If you like, you can use it as a chair and desk combo or turn it into a standing desk.

The flexibility of this equipment is nothing short of amazing! You can even fold it for easy storage. It shares essentially the same parts as the 900XL, and such has all the capabilities of 900XL when it comes to exercise and fitness.

What’s more? We know that exercise has a lot of cognitive benefits. The cognitive benefits are not just an aftermath of exercise; you can also experience cognitive effects while exercising. During exercise, there’s increased blood flow to every part of the body including the brain. This increase in blood flow to the brain leads to improved cognition and heightened creativity.

When I think of one word to describe this equipment, it would surely be “fabulous”! It’s no doubt a cool equipment which easily earned a spot in our list.

  1. IRONMAN H-Class 410

If you are the serious kind of athlete looking for a serious bike, then you should take a look at the Ironman H 410. Seriously speaking, you should only use this equipment for the most serious workout sessions.

The Ironman H 410 has a very solid and stable structure, not to mention it is very easy to operate. Anyone (even those who are not serious athletes) can profit from using it. But then, its performance potential is so high that it has what it takes for training and/or rehabilitating a proper athlete. No jokes about this.

It has the common features of a bike in its class – it’s quiet, durable, and generally flawless. But it stands out from other bikes in its detailed attention to provide comfort to the rider. Unlike most bikes in its class, it does not overlook the contact points of the rider. The backrest comes with a memory foam, and you’ll find individual arm chambers on the seat.

Come to think of it: when the ride is more comfortable, the rider enjoys the ride; and as a result, tends to ride longer. Longer rides, in turn, lead to increased fitness.

Another great feature of this equipment is its Bluetooth-enabled computer and display. This feature enables you to easily track your workout information. To top it all up, the frame comes with a lifetime warranty. No doubt, the Ironman H 410 is seriously a great product.

  1. Precor RBK 615

When you talk about quality, this bike is first-rate. The quality is so good that you cannot compare it with bikes that are intended for personal use at home. It is more apt for those who own a gym or those who ride a whole lot. Aside from that, you could probably consider buying this if you want to keep it as a family treasure or pass it down as a legacy to your kids.

The bike is comfortable and well-ventilated. It is hard-wearing and can withstand rigorous workouts for many years without showing a sign of wearing or breaking down. It’s almost impossible to find someone who would not be satisfied with the quality of the Precor RBK 615.

The quality of this bike is indeed a justification for its price. It belongs in a separate class from all other bikes. The dual-sided pedals, a variety of monitoring tools, a wide range of processing power, and many workout presets are just a few out of the many notable features of this model. Moreover, it is compatible with 5 kHz wireless Polar heart rate monitors.

Why You Should Consider Purchasing Recumbent Bikes 

We have reviewed the best recumbent bikes there are in the market; but then, why should you even consider getting a recumbent bike in the first place. Does it have any advantages over the regular exercise bikes? Well, here are a few reasons why recumbent bikes are a better choice.

  1. They are very comfortable

Think about how it feels to sit on a lounge chair, or more aptly, on a recliner. That’s exactly how comfortable it feels like when you sit on a recumbent bike. It has a bucket seat and a backrest. Moreover, a recumbent bike makes you sit in a more or less reclined body position. In this position, the pressure is completely taken off your lower back and you won’t have to slouch.

The recumbent bike is definitely the most comfortable type of bike you can ever come across. It delivers a very quick and highly effective cardio workout. Your leg does the whole workout while your body is fully relaxed. This way, you can’t feel the slightest pain or numbness anywhere else on your body.

Your posture on a recumbent bike is quite different from that of an upright back where you would have to pull your head back. On a recumbent bike, your head drops. This is a natural body posture, and as such, almost totally eradicates any chances of back and neck pain.

  1. They help you focus

As you spin your way to fitness on a recumbent bike, your body is well-relaxed and your spine is in a neutral position. The only part of your body that is actively doing any form of work is your legs. This way, your attention is fully diverted to the actual cycling movements, thereby allowing you to focus on your workout.

  1. They are good for rehabilitation

Recumbent bikes are one type of fitness equipment that doctors recommend regularly. This is because people who are injured or otherwise unfit to ride an upright bike can use the recumbent bike to gain and maintain fitness as long as their legs can move. Most of the other types of fitness equipment are usually recommended by a number of gym instructors or fitness experts.

Recumbent bikes open up the possibility of cardiovascular exercise to a wide range of people. Injured individuals, those who are at risk of injury, those who are otherwise unfit to perform conventional exercises, patients who suffer from arthritis, people with chronic pains etc, and many more can greatly benefit from these fitness equipment.

Actually, just about anybody, including bed-ridden patients and those who have been immobile for considerably a long time can make use of a recumbent bike as long as their legs are still functional. This can greatly speed up the recovery process since it proves even easier than walking.

Particularly for rehabilitating injured athletes, the use of recumbent bikes ensures that they do not lose too much fat in the process. As such, it is highly beneficial for athletes who are currently recovering from injury.

How to Set Up a Recumbent Bike

Most of the time, recumbent bikes are a fixed equipment, so it’s better to get it right when they are being set up newly. A certain degree of care and diligence must be applied in doing so. Special attention must be paid to the knee position/angle. This is highly important because of the technical nature of the knee joint.

In order to achieve the correct knee position/angle, one thing you can do is to gradually increase the height of the seat until your knees become almost completely extended when the pedal is at its farthest distance from your leg while cycling. This way, all the muscles of your legs are recruited into movement during your exercise and your knee will stay fine and safe as well.

You should understand that you do not have to regularly adjust the seat position in order to target a wide variety of muscle groups on your leg. Rather, optimize the seat for your knee as explained above and you would automatically be engaging all of the muscles on your legs.

To target different muscle groups, however, you have to toggle the resistance settings. For instance, an increase in the resistance will engage more of your hamstrings and gluteal muscles into the movement. Lower resistance, on the other hand, will shift the workout more to your quadriceps and calves.

Certain muscles that are at work when riding a recumbent bike 

There are four major muscle groups that are recruited when you ride a recumbent bike: the quadriceps, hamstring muscles, gluteal muscles, and the calves. The most powerful of these four groups is arguably the quadriceps. They help to flex the knees as you push on the bike pedals and draw your leg up again.

The glutes are quite a large muscle group and they contribute much to the movement. They are recruited to action each time your thigh moves to a straightened position from a position close to the body. They are engaged in the extension movement whenever you push down on the pedal.

The hamstrings usually act to flex the knee at every end of your pedal stroke in order to bring the pedal back. This happens whenever your lower leg goes to a bent position from a straight position during the cycling movements.

The calves are engaged during plantar flexion. That is, as your foot goes around and your toes are pointed downwards. They also act as a pump to get used blood back to the heart to be re-oxygenated.

Beyond these four groups, there are still a few muscles engaged when you work out on a recumbent bike. These muscles usually function in assisting movement and/or stabilizing the body. Some of these muscles include the abdominal muscles, the waist muscles, and even the tibialis anterior (opposing the calves).

Final Notes 

Your busy schedule may not allow you the availability to register for regular sessions at an athletic facility. Fortunately, you can keep yourself fit right in your home by making use of a recumbent bike. More so, with the reviews above, you need not be confused anymore on which recumbent bike to go for. We have listed the highest quality recumbent bikes available on the market today.

Furthermore, what we have presented above is the output of many months of research carried out by fitness experts. You surely can trust their judgments and suggestions with great confidence as you decide which recumbent bike is most suitable for your needs and budget.

5 Best Road Bikes that are Under $1,000

Road bikes are becoming more popular nowadays thanks to their adventurous nature and the fact that they provide a good platform for us to exercise. Finding a good road bike, on the other hand, is increasingly becoming difficult as people aren’t able to access the best bikes that suit them. So how can you solve this problem?

Before purchasing a road bike, you should first try and understand the features or factors that constitute a good road bike and discover the best places where you can easily shop for one (should you purchase one from a local store or from an online platform?).

Features of a Good Road Bike and How to Choose One 

  1. Appropriate Size and Fit 

Before purchasing a road bike, ensure that you consider the bike’s size in order to determine your appropriate fit. With this in mind, choose one which frame size corresponds to the length of your inseam and your height.

  1. Frame Material 

The three main materials used in the construction of a road bike’s frames include aluminum, steel, and carbon fiber. Amongst the three, steel is the heaviest but ranks as the most durable. It’s also a suitable choice if you seek comfortability as it absorbs some of the bumps you may come across while riding on your bike.

Aluminum frames, on the other hand, are lighter than steel frames and provide a good strength to weight ratio. Moreover, they provide the required stiffness – a feature that guarantees efficient power transfer. For those who fancy or tend to ride for fun and fitness, an aluminum frame is the best pick as it guarantees a smooth ride.

Lastly, carbon fiber frames are the most versatile material. This is because they can be designed to suit the different needs of a cyclist. Carbon fiber frames have the best strength to weight ratios, making them the perfect choice for customers who intend to use their bikes for racing functions.

Carbon fiber frames are also strong and light and are capable of flexing in certain places and become rigid in other areas (this is due to its versatility). It should be your choice if you seek to attain the best balance between comfort and stiffness.

Due to its superb versatility, road bikes made using carbon fiber frames are expensive when compared to bikes made using either aluminum or steel.

  1. Fork Material 

A good road bike should be fitted with a strong fork material which in turn will allow you to steer your bike in a precise manner. Go for a road bike which fork material is made of either steel or carbon fiber, especially if you’re aiming to get the best compliance in a road bike. If compliance is your last option when it comes to the selection of a road bike, then you can choose an aluminum fork material instead.

Fork material made of steel is the heaviest followed by aluminum, with the lightest being carbon fiber. The design of a fork is also a major consideration when it comes to the selection of road bikes as the design of a fork material affects the ride characteristics of your road bike. How is this so?

This is because a road bike that’s designed with a curved fork is more absorbent and forgiving as compared to a road bike designed with a straight fork. It’s also advised that you purchase a road bike which fork material differs from that of the frame. A good example is when you purchase a road bike fitted with an aluminum frame but has a carbon fork. Doing so enables you to maximize the benefits of both materials.

  1. The Right Groupset 

A groupset simply refers to your road bike’s mechanical parts. In other words, its gear shifters, brakes, and just about any mechanical parts on your bike.

A road bike with similar groupset made from the same manufacturer tends to be more stylish, consistent, and refined in appearance when compared to a road bike model with an assortment of different components from different manufacturers. Groupsets are available at varying levels depending on the intended use and price levels. The two most popular groupset manufacturers are Shimano and SRAM.

As the level changes from Basic up to Pro, so does the price and quality of the components. However, the variation of weight is quite the opposite; it instead decreases as you move from the basic up to pro. Another important consideration is that the reliability and actual performance of the components reaches a point of ‘diminishing returns’ once you pass the mid-Range level.

What it means is that you don’t have to spend a lot of money, or even spend any money at all. Since most of them can be easily upgraded, you can swap them with better components any time soon.

  1. Wheels 

When purchasing a road bike, check out its wheels as they will determine the kind of brakes and tires you will use. For those who are interested in buying a road bike which they will use to train and improve their fitness, it’s advised to go for a bike model with strong wheels. Lighter wheels are preferred because of the improved performance they give to a bike. This is so because the rotating weight of a road bike counts more as opposed to a bike’s static weight.

  1. Steering and Other Components 

A good road bike has all the basic steering and other crucial components that let you maneuver your bike with ease. These include the stem, handlebar, saddle, and pedals.

The stem is what holds the bike’s handlebars at the center which are the ones responsible for providing your bike with 2 of the 3 static contact points. Keep in mind, however, that even though your bike doesn’t have a perfect fit despite it being the right size, you can easily solve the problem by getting a shorter or longer stem.

You can even flip the stem to use it both ways. This way, you can save a bit more cash especially if you’re in need of a longer reach. However, don’t go too long or too short as this can affect the overall handling performance of your bike.

By default, bars that are preinstalled on bikes are good enough for a lot of individuals. Since road bikes come with curved handlebars, most people might think that they’re uncomfortable as they will have to deal with the “drops” or the bar’s lower end which is almost parallel to the ground.

Meanwhile, the saddle is where you will actually sit on, and the pedals are what you will use to propel your road bike to move forward. Saddles that are fancy looking may only offer limited comfort for a short distance since your bodyweight must be supported by your sit bones.

Hence, even though preferences may vary from one person to another, flat and narrow saddles can be more comfortable for most.

Now that we have got a good understanding of the components of a road bike and the factors to consider when buying one, let’s now try to understand why you should consider purchasing a road bike online.

Purchasing a road bike online gives you lots of advantages, some of which are as follows:

  • You get value for your money – whenever you purchase a road bike from an online platform, your money directly purchases the actual product as opposed to buying directly from a local store where some of your money goes to marketing and branding, thereby making the product even more expensive.
  • You can enjoy convenience – when shopping for a road bike online, there are no fixed hours. As such, you can shop anytime and anywhere you want.
  • You get the chance to compare different prices – online e-commerce sites have different and numerous road bike models available at different prices. It’s through such platforms that you will be able to compare different bike models and select one that suits your budget.
  • Easy to access customer reviews – customer reviews and how they rate the products after a purchase are all available on an online e-commerce platform. Accessing such reviews will help guide you in purchasing the best product there is.

Reviews of the Best Road Bikes that Are Under the $1,000 Range

  1. The Schwinn Volare

First on the list, and our most recommended top end pick, is the Schwinn Volare road bike. This quality bike is an entry level flat-bar road bike perfect for anyone who is in need of a simple and efficient commuter bicycle. It also comes in handy for anyone looking for the best road bike he can use to exercise.

Designed and assembled by the Schwinn Bicycle Company, one of America’s oldest and trusted bicycle manufacturers, this high-value workhorse guarantees you an excellent performance and value for your money.

The Schwinn Volare road bike has the following key features:

  • Strong and efficient aluminum frame – designed with a strong Schwinn aluminum frame and equipped with a rigid carbon fiber fork that absorbs some of the road vibrations when cycling, this road bike guarantees you a smooth ride.
  • Superb alloy wheels together with high profile rims – cyclists can now enjoy an improved ride quality, all thanks to its superb alloy wheels which keep its weight low. The high profile rims give your road bike a stylish appearance.
  • Topnotch bicycle components – the Schwinn Volare road bike is assembled using superior bicycle components including alloy linear pull brakes and Schwinn alloy crank which are all meant to improve your overall cycling experience.

Features and Specifications 

  • Alloy crank
  • Alloy wheels
  • Front and rear alloy linear pull brakes
  • 21- speed Shimano fire shifters
  • Rigid aluminum frame
  • Ez fire shifters together with Shimano rear derailleur
  1. The Diamondback Haanjo

The Diamondback Haanjo is the best low-budget road bike pick. If you’re looking for a bicycle that’s efficient, powerful, yet budget-friendly, then the Diamondback Haanjo is the one for you. This road bike represents the best that “adventure road bikes” have to offer.

What’s even more interesting about this bike is its ability to handle gravel roads as well as rough streets, thus giving you that flexibility that you deserve.

The Diamondback Haanjo comes with the following key features:

  • 6061-T6 aluminum alloy frame – designed in an endurance geometry, the 6061-T6 aluminum alloy frame offers a cyclist the best riding comfort. The frame of the Diamondback Haanjo is also durable in nature.
  • DB Gravel Disc Carbon fork – the aluminum alloy frame is equipped with a DB Gravel disc carbon fork that is responsible for absorbing road vibrations. The carbon fork facilitates an accurate and precise steering.
  • Great range of bicycle components – the Diamondback Haanjo is equipped with a great set of bicycle components which include TRP disc brakes that give it a superb stopping power and a great set of gears together with all weather tires that support multi-road capabilities.

Features and Specifications 

  • TRP disc brakes
  • All-terrain tires
  • DB Gravel Disc Carbon fork
  • 2×11 speed Shimano 105 drivetrain
  • 6061-T6 aluminum alloy frame
  • Diamondback Ready Ride
  1. The Kestrel Talon 

The Kestrel Talon is a road bike designed for racing. It’s the best choice for cyclists who are searching for a road bike to train with. Designed and assembled by Kestrel USA, an innovative American bicycle company famous for designing innovative and fast carbon fiber bicycles, the Talon is highly preferred by many cyclists for its high responsiveness to changes in direction.

When riding on this road bike, every single pedal stroke is changed or converted into high motion speed. Despite the bike’s superb qualities, it retails at a budget-friendly cost – a factor which makes it even more popular with cyclists.

The Kestrel Talon road bike comes with the following features:

  • Superb strength and finesse capabilities – the Talon is designed in a way that it helps improve lateral stiffness which in turn ensures efficient power transfer.
  • Maximum adjustability – the bike’s saddle seats can be mounted in a wide range of positions. It’s also possible to adjust it in a more forward position for tri-use and, it can even be adjusted in a backward position.
  • Lightweight and stiff – the bike is constructed with an enhanced modulus hybrid carbon frame material which makes it lightweight in nature yet at the same time stiff.
  • Designed with an A2 wind tunnel – the bike’s A2 wind tunnel, seat post, seat tube, and stays are aerodynamically contoured to ensure efficient airflow throughout the whole road bike.

Features and specifications 

  • Proprietary Kestrel H-stays
  • Kestrel EMS Pro Aero seat posts
  • Designed with an A2 wind tunnel
  • Designed with a Kestrel’s Enhanced Modulus Hybrid Carbon frame
  1. Vilano Aluminum 21 speed Shimano

Another superb road bike for those who enjoy club rides together with training and exercises is the Vilano Aluminum road bike. This road bike is fully equipped with a 12k carbon racing fork that absorbs road vibrations whenever you go cycling. Moreover, the racing fork ensures a precise steering.

The Vilano Aluminum road bike comes with the following key features:

  • 6061 Double Butted Aluminum frame –the bike’s double-butted aluminum frame offers superb strength to weight ratio which helps ensure maximum stability during a ride. In addition, the aluminum frames guarantee the cyclist a smooth ride. Since the Vilano Aluminum is a club riding road bike, it’s fitted with an aluminum frame which is excellent for fun and fitness purposes.
  • Equipped with a 12k carbon fiber fork material – as stated earlier, the 12k carbon fiber fork is responsible for the absorption of road vibrations whenever you go cycling.
  • Superb steering and other bicycle components –the Vilano Aluminum road bike comes with a great set of pedals and a double-walled wheelset amongst other great sets of components that ensure maximum functionality of the road bike.

Features and specifications

  • Shimano Tiagra 9 speed
  • 12k carbon fork material
  • 6061 Double Butted Aluminum
  • 700C Doubled walled Wheelset
  • Free pedals
  1. BAVEL Ultra Light Aluminum Road Bike 

This superb road bike is your ultimate choice if you seek a product that is lightweight in nature, fast, and provides you with optimum comfort. The Bavel ultra light aluminum road bike weighs only 27 pounds in terms of weight and is also very cheap, thus making it the ideal choice for budget bikers.

The Bavel Ultra Light Aluminum 21 Speed Road bike comes with the following key features:

  • Ultra-light aluminum frame – the Bavel road bike is fitted with an ultra-light aluminum frame material which explains why it’s very lightweight.
  • Top quality gear systems – bikers who fancy a good gear system will absolutely love the Bavel road bike. This is so because it’s equipped with a derailleur and Shimano EF-500 gear system which is a top-notch gear system. Moreover, the gear system is capable of running up to a speed level of 21 with 7 gears.
  • Flexible in size availability – the Bavel road bike is available in three different sizes to cater to different body types and sizes.

Features and Specifications 

  • Top grade Shimano brakes
  • Size availability ; 48cm, 51cm, and 54cm
  • Gear system; Shimano EF-500 and Shimano derailleur gear systems
  • Ultra modern aluminum frame

     

Conclusion

Road bikes are ideal for cycling, racing, and even training and exercising. In order to purchase a good road bike, ensure that you consider the abovementioned factors.