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Avoid sudden accelerations and decelerations on the recumbent bike.
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The hamstrings are a group of three muscles -- the semitendinosus, semimembranosus and biceps femoris -- that run along the back of your upper legs. Their main job is to flex your knees and extend your hip joints. If you suffered a hamstring strain as the result of using a recumbent bike, you need to work on rehabbing your muscles. The recumbent bike can also be used in this rehabilitation process.
Causes, Signs and Symptoms
Generally, hamstring strains are most often caused by muscular overload, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. When the muscles are pushed beyond their limit or subjected to a sudden load or force, they can strain. On the recumbent bike, this could happen if you set the resistance too high, suddenly burst into a sprint or even try to stop too quickly.
Getting the Right Set Up
The first step in minimizing your risk of hamstring injuries is to set up your recumbent bike in the correct manner. Seat position is the most important factor -- it should be far enough back from the handlebars that you're not hunched over, but not so far back that you're straining to reach the handles or over-extending your knees as you pedal, as this is more likely to stress the hamstrings. It may take several sessions until you find your perfect position, notes the American College of Sports Medicine.
Straining on Sprints
While it's possible to strain your hamstrings when just working at a moderate intensity and completing a steady-state workout, you're more likely to experience issues when performing sprints on the recumbent bike. Rapid acceleration and deceleration are the main causes of hamstring strain, according to sports physiotherapist Chris Gellert. This doesn't mean you shouldn't perform sprints on the bike, but you should have a good base level of fitness before implementing sprint training and take five to 10 seconds to build up to your top speed, then five to 10 to slow down back to a normal pace again.
Fixing the Hamstrings
The recumbent bike can actually be used in rehabilitation of a hamstring strain, as it helps blood circulate around the injured area, notes Gellert. Dr. Jeffrey Tucker of the American Chiropractic Rehabilitation Board recommends self-myofascial release, such as self massage or foam rolling to help rehab the hamstrings, as well as stretching the muscle and starting to strengthen the hamstrings and glutes gradually to prevent further injuries.