Bedside Cycle / Chair Cycle for Early Rehabilitation, Exercise and Strength Training

Quick Tip: Optimal Pin Placement: No pin (will vary for the bedside cycle or chair cycling positions). Place Excy on the floor in front of a chair, a PT table, or bedside. Align your body to be centered with the Excy system. Push down on the front side of the pedal motion to prevent scooting. Add hand weights for whole body. See more positions.
Bedside Cycle and Chair Cycle for Early Rehabilitation, Exercise, and Strength Training Forward Pedaling

Bedside Cycle Forward Pedaling

Bedside Cycle and Chair Cycle for Early Rehabilitation, Exercise, and Strength Training Reverse Pedaling

Reverse Pedaling

Bedside Cycle and Chair Cycle for Early Rehabilitation, Exercise, and Strength Training Back and Forth Pedaling

Back and Forth Pedaling

*Exercise illustrations ©2018 PT-Helper

Video Bedside Cycling / Cycling from Physical Therapy Table

Chair Cycling with Excy

Range of Motion Bedside Cycling or Chair Cycling Exercises

Bedside Cycle and Chair CycleSetup Overview

To get started with the bedside cycle or chair cycle position, open your Excy system and place it on the floor in its lowest position without the Clevis Pin in front of a standard sized stable chair or seated surface. Place the right pedal in its most forward position (about 3’o’clock). Raise your right foot off the floor while straightening your leg and place your right heel on the pedal (your knee should be straight with your heel on the pedal). If you have too little or too much angle, adjust the Excy system until your leg is straight with your heel on the pedal. Place both feet on the pedals so that the balls of your feet, also called the metatarsal, are directly over the pedal axis. As you pedal, you should have a 25-30 degree bend in your knee for the greatest pedaling power, comfort, and to prevent injury (never hyperextend the knee while pedaling). Your feet should be close to the crank arm, but never so close that your ankle hits on its way through the stroke. Avoid splaying your feet outwards or rotating them inwards while cycling. The favored foot position is barefoot or with socks. When wearing shoes, make sure they are suitable to allow you to maintain a fixed and stable position on the pedals. Add pillows if you need more back support (likely necessary for deeper seated surfaces). This position can also be used from the side of a bed or physical therapy table (make sure you can sit upright without the support of a back rest). For higher intensity, open the Slide and place the Rear Base behind the legs of the chair or use the toggle ties to prevent scooting. Use the Clevis Pin to adjust the height to work different muscles. Higher sturdy chairs can be used to get in an upright cycling position. Arm weights and resistance bands can be added to incorporate the upper body into the workout. Performing calf raises from this position is also enjoyable. If you feel remotely off balance, place your chair against a wall. Exercise When cycling, think in terms of square rotations to improve your technique and pedaling efficiency. Envision pushing your foot forward along the top of the square, and then curling your toes and pushing down against the front side of the square and pulling towards your glutes as you pull up the backside of the square. Not only is this better for muscular engagement, it also prevents the system from scooting. Through the bottom of the pedal stroke you simply need to un-weigh and apply a little of force while pulling up the pedal to keep the momentum going. Keep your core strong while cycling and use those lower abdominal muscles to stabilize the pelvis and keep your hips facing forward. Sitting up straight without using a backrest engages the core for a whole body workout. If sitting up and on the edge of a chair, bed, or PT table, make sure your sitting bones are fully engaged with the surface. Sit tall, keep your pelvis steady and focus on a strong core without over extending your back. You can grasp the edges of the bed or armrests with both hands and engage your abdominal muscles to help keep your torso tall. The higher the resistance, the more difficult it is to pedal. You can also enjoy pedaling “Back and Forth” and “Backwards” exercises.

Snapshot Bedside Cycle and Bed Exercises

Snapshot Chair Cycle Exercises

Getting Started

There’s a big advantage of pedaling, spinning, or cranking Excy with controlled forces. Take time to pedal slowly at the easiest levels until it feels smooth and controlled before increasing resistance. Before pedaling, always protect your surface with a towel or mat.

Pedaling Forwards & Backwards

Whether using hands or feet, think in terms of square rotations to improve technique. Envision pushing your hand or foot forward along the top of a square and pushing down against the front side of the square and pulling towards your body as you pull up the backside of the square. To pedal backwards, follow the same process.

Back and Forth Strokes

Pedaling back and forth is great for range of motion and strength training. Simply apply pressure, unweight the opposite hand or foot in a repeating motion.


Instead of relying on pedaling with resistance cranked up to fatigue the muscle, you will instead set the resistance to easy and steadily press into the pedals with even forces to constrict your upper or lower body muscles and hold it until fatigue sets in.

Resistance Guidelines for Clinic and Home Physical Therapy

Excy offers a wide range of resistance to accommodate all riders. Depending on your goals, you may want to do more rotations or cranks with less resistance, or the opposite. Excy is designed to take either path or a combination of both. Generally, rotations with light to moderate resistance are used to improve cardio vascular endurance, while high resistance with fewer cranks are used to increase muscle size and strength. It is important to start easy before increasing tension as it is easy to get very sore muscles almost immediately doing high tension cranking motions that a person is not use to.


On-Demand Exercise, Home Physical Therapy, and Strength Training Instruction!


Download the free Excy mobile coaching application for on-demand, live, and guided workouts. Save workouts, set goals, and keep track of progress over time! Watch instructional videos from physical therapists to learn proper technique. Contact with questions at or 425-205-9444.

Download the PT-Helper App! Excy has partnered with PT-Helper to make it easy to create and follow a customized Excy home exercise program. Hundreds of other physical therapy and wellness exercises are also available.  The app takes you through your program every step of the way. Visit us at

apple-store-PT Helper google-play-PT-Helper