Recumbent Bike

Recumbent stationary bikes provide an excellent way to condition, improve cardiovascular function, and burn fat. Even for people who have bulging or herniated discs, they are usually a safe form of exercise.


  1. When pedaling the legs should not have to be wider than the position they would normally be.
  2. The pedal at its highest point should come no higher than ½ inch below the front of the seat (use a level to determine the height). You can add a firm foam pad to lift your buttocks if necessary. It may put less strain on the hips, knees, and back to lift higher than ½ inch.
  3. When the foot is fully extended there should still be ideally 7 degree bend in the knees. (5 degrees is absolute minimum), or else undue strain will be placed on the knees.

All American Fitness (in San Jose) has a smaller bike for shorter people (5′ 4” and shorter): Body Guard. Their products and service are excellent, so I highly recommend going there for your sports equipment needs.

It’s crankcase is 2” less than Precor and Lifecycle (3.5”) which helps put less stress on a short person’s body.