An elliptical trainer, treadmill and exercise bike offer effective cardiovascular exercise. However, if you have a back injury, you need to be cautious in your choice of exercise equipment. The type of back injury will also dictate which exercise equipment is best for you. For example, if you are dealing with an injury to your spine, you want an exercise that keeps your spine in a healthy alignment without any jarring that may aggravate the nerves. If your back injury is muscular, you have a little more flexibility in your options, but still require strong back support.

The best option of exercise equipment when you have a back injury is an exercise bike. A recumbent bike is ideal because your back is supported by a back rest. This eliminates any jarring, twisting or excess pressure on your back. A recumbent bike has a larger seat, back rest and the pedals are in front of you instead of underneath you, which also provides greater back support. In contrast, an elliptical machine, which is less jarring on your back than a treadmill, does not offer back support and if the pedals unexpectedly go backward, you may feel a twinge in your already sensitive back. 

Since you walk throughout the day, you may think a treadmill is safe when you have a back injury. This is not always the case. The set treadmill speed does not give you control of your pace and you may overdo your workout and increase your back pain. Also, many treadmills begin with a slight incline which can aggravate certain back conditions such as sciatica. 

For overall safety and to receive and effective cardiovascular workout, a recumbent exercise bikeis best when you have a back injury. Aim to exercise for at least 10 consecutive minutes at a pace that leaves you somewhat breathless. Adjust your speed and tension for a more challenging workout and enjoy the calorie-blasting benefits of the recumbent bike without stressing your sensitive back.

For more information on exercise equipment, contact the team at American Home Fitness today.