Skip to Content

Using the Peloton Bike with a Herniated Disc

Have you ever wondered if it's possible to use a Peloton bike if you have a herniated disc? If so, you're not alone. Many people have back pain caused by herniated discs, and many are looking for ways to stay active without causing further damage. But can the Peloton bike be used with a herniated disc? 

When I was in my early thirties, I had my first experience with a herniated disc.

I was doing taekwondo, kickboxing, and running a lot. I am pretty sure that the kickboxing and combo of these contributed.

A herniated disc can sometimes be called a bulging disc but they mean the same thing.

In case you are not familiar with this horrible, usually lower back pain, a herniated disc is when there is a problem with the rubbery cushions (disks) that sit between the bones that make up your spine.

A spinal disk has a soft center encased in a tougher, rubbery exterior. A herniated disk occurs when some of the material between the discs pushes out putting pressure on surrounding nerves.

It can be caused by age-related wear and tear, and activities that require excessive lifting or twisting. 

The resulting pain is usually sharp and localized to the area of the herniation, but it can also radiate outwards and cause numbness in other areas.

Physical activity may be painful with a herniated disc. However, certain exercises can help strengthen the muscles around the spine, reduce inflammation, and alleviate some of the pain associated with this condition. 

What about using a Peloton bike? While it's true that pedaling on an exercise bike won't put any direct strain on your spine, it still requires repetitive movement - something that might exacerbate existing symptoms in some cases. 

You will also need to adjust your posture according to what's comfortable for you - many people find that riding a bike with their back slightly curved helps reduce pain from a herniated disc. 

Of course, it's essential to consult with a doctor before making deciding about exercise when dealing with this condition.

Impact On Physical Activity

The impact of a herniated disc on physical activity can vary greatly from person to person. Some people may be able to engage in most activities they did before their diagnosis, while others may need to adjust or eliminate certain exercises. 

In general, low-impact activities are recommended for those with a herniated disc. Walking, swimming, and even biking are recommended if you are careful and avoid sudden movements that could aggravate symptoms. 

Biking on a Peloton bike could be beneficial as it allows you to pedal at your own pace without putting too much pressure on the spine. 

Additionally, the adjustable resistance levels on Peloton bikes make them ideal for those with varying fitness.

Of course, take precautions when using any exercise equipment - including a Peloton bike. Make sure to start slowly and gradually increase speed and resistance as your body becomes more comfortable with the motion. And if you ever experience pain or discomfort while riding, stop immediately and consult your doctor if needed. 

By following these simple guidelines, you can stay safe while enjoying the many benefits cycling offers to those with a herniated disc.

Exercises to avoid when dealing with a bulging disc

High-impact activities like running and jumping can put too much strain on the spine and exacerbate existing symptoms. 

Any exercise that places excessive pressure on the lower back should also be avoided, such as heavy lifting or contact sports. You should also avoid any activities that involve sudden twisting motions or require you to bend your back in an awkward position.

When it comes down to it, it's all about finding the right balance between staying active and avoiding activities that could worsen your herniated disc symptoms. 

By being mindful of what kinds of exercises are safe for your condition and taking into account how your body responds, you'll be able to find an effective way of staying fit while still protecting your spine at the same time.

peloton herniated disc

Can I cycle with a herniated disc?

I remember at the time the orthopedist I saw told me I would most likely never run again.

As someone who had run track and cross country in the past, this made me pretty sad.

Well after months of physical therapy, my back pain improved a lot.

I then went on to have three children back to back which took a huge toll on my pelvic floor.

Once I was ready to get back in shape after having kids, I seriously wondered what kind of exercise would be best for someone with pelvic issues and a herniated disc?

Cycling and walking were what I was told by my physical therapist.

A couple of weeks later I saw a Peloton commercial (this was 2016!) and I was sold.

Well, I love my Peloton bike and have not looked back since! I am not sure if this was what my therapist had in mind when she said cycling.

I am proof that you can use a Peloton with a herniated disc.

Cycling can also improve your core strength which is also great for recovering from a herniated disc or any kind of lower back pain.

How To Use A Peloton Bike Safely With A Herniated Disc

With a Peloton bike, start slow and gradually increase intensity as your body gets used to the motion. Be sure to keep your posture upright throughout each ride and focus on keeping your core engaged as you pedal. 

Take breaks when necessary, and avoid pushing yourself beyond what your body can handle.

bulging disc exercises

Are there modifications that can be made to the Peloton bike to make it more comfortable with a herniated disc?

It is not uncommon for those with a herniated disc to worry about further injuring themselves when cycling.

However, several modifications can be made to the exercise bike to make it more comfortable and safe.

The most important thing to consider is the position of the seat on a Peloton bike.

The seat should be positioned so that it's hip-level and you should have a slight bend in your knee when on it.

This helps prevent strain on the lower back while cycling, which is especially important for those with a herniated disc as any extra strain could worsen their condition. 

Adjusting the handlebars so that they're higher, and you do not need to lean over as much can help reduce strain on the upper body, and give you more control over your movements.

It's also easy to lower the resistance setting on your Peloton bike to reduce the intensity of your workout and make it easier for someone with a herniated disc to use. 

Overall, there are plenty of modifications that can be made to a Peloton bike to make it more comfortable and safe for someone with a herniated disc. 

Are there any other low-impact exercises that are beneficial for a herniated disc?

Exercising with a herniated disc can be difficult. Finding the right low-impact exercise is important for maintaining fitness and staying healthy. 

When looking for an exercise machine such as the Peloton, consider the kind of low-impact exercises that can be done safely and comfortably with a herniated disc.

A great starting point is to look for exercises or machines that provide support for the lower back and don't put too much strain on the spine.

Stationary bicycles, elliptical trainers, and rowing machines are good options as they provide a low-impact workout without putting too much strain on the back or spine.

I find elliptical trainers pretty boring, but Peloton does have a rowing machine now available. I have not tried it but it could be an option for low-impact exercise as well.

No matter what exercise you choose, it's important to remember that stretching and warming up before you start is essential to maximize your workout without further injuring yourself. 

Always consult your doctor before beginning any new exercise routine.

cycling with herniated disc

How long does it usually take to recover from a herniated disc?

Depending on the individual, recovery may be as short as several weeks or as long as several months. That said, it is important to consult with your doctor before attempting any type of exercise to ensure that you can safely and effectively manage your condition.

In my case, it took several months but I have had my back get irritated occasionally for years.

I now know which exercises I need to do to find quick relief when I feel it flare up.

Physical therapy is often recommended for those with herniated discs to reduce pain and inflammation in the area. 

A physical therapist will be able to provide advice on how to best use stretches, strength training, and rehabilitation exercises that are beneficial for recovering from a herniated disc.

Additionally, they may also recommend using certain low-impact exercise machines that are designed specifically for this condition.

It is also essential to maintain good posture during recovery from a herniated disc.

This means sitting and standing up straight while avoiding activities that put a strain on the spine such as carrying heavy objects or bending over too far. 

It's important to practice relaxation techniques such as deep breathing and meditation, to reduce stress levels which can contribute to further exacerbating symptoms associated with herniated discs.

Recovering from a herniated disc takes time and patience but with the proper care, and support from medical professionals, it is possible to make progress toward healing your injury. 

Listen to your doctor and physical therapist's advice, but also listen closely to your body to ensure that you're taking all the necessary steps to successfully recover your herniated disc.

cycling herniated disc


In conclusion, it's important to understand the risks and exercise safely if you have a herniated disc.

While using a Peloton bike with a herniated disc is possible, modifications should be made to ensure your safety. 

With proper care and rehabilitation, most people can recover from a herniated disc without needing surgery.

I have recovered fully from my herniated disc and have been riding my Peloton for years now. I also now have the Treadmill as well and do some light running and lots of walking.

It's important to remember that everyone's situation is different, so consult your doctor or physical therapist for advice on the best course of action for your particular injury.

They may recommend exercises or lifestyle changes that will help reduce inflammation and improve mobility.

Ultimately, if you have a herniated disc it's important to take precautions and listen to your body while exercising.

By taking these steps and working closely with your healthcare provider, you can safely manage your condition and reach your Peloton fitness goals despite having a herniated disc.