Lying Down Exercise Cycling with Excy for Fitness and Home Physical Therapy

Supine leg exercises for bed, floor, or therapy tables

Quick Tip: Optimal Pin Placement: No pin (will vary). Place Keeper on floor or bed and connect Excy. Lie down to cycle. Use stomach and back muscles to stabilize the trunk, pelvis, and to keep hips facing forward. Add abdominal crunches and bridge for added complexity. See more positions.
Lying Down Exercise Cycling with Excy Pedal Forward

Pedal Forwards for Lying Down Leg Exercises

Lying Down Exercise Cycling with Excy Backward Pedaling

Pedal in Reverse

Lying Down Exercise Cycling with Excy Back and Forth

Back and Forth for Range of Motion

*Exercise illustrations ©2018 PT-Helper

Lying Down Exercise Supine Cycling Video with Excy on the Floor

Lying Down Exercise Cycling Video with Excy on a Physical Therapy Table

Lying Down Exercise Cycling Setup

To get started, open your Excy system and place it on the floor or in a bed in its lowest position without the Clevis Pin with the right pedal in its most forward position (about 3’o’clock). Place the Keeper on the floor and connect it to the Excy bike using the dual center Keeper Holes and a Post Band. Lay down on the Keeper (ensure the Keeper stays tight and doesn’t bunch up). Using a slow and controlled movement, 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 yourself on the Keeper until your leg is straight with your heel on the pedal. Pedal forward with the balls of your feet (you should now have a 25-30 degree bend in your knee and be in a position like your are doing a bicycle crunch). 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. Pillows can be placed under your head, your lower back, and/or your whole body for added comfort and support. At high levels of intensity, you can hold onto the Keeper with both hands to prevent your body from scooting. Use the Clevis Pin to adjust the height to work different muscles. Arm weights can be added to incorporate upper body workouts. 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. Through the bottom of the pedal stroke you simply need to un-weigh and apply a little of force while pushing the pedal to keep the momentum going. Use your stomach and back muscles to stabilize the trunk, pelvis, and to keep your hips facing forward. Adding abdominal crunches while cycling can engage your core, but also strain your neck. Lacing the fingers behind the head can encourage you to pull on your neck and worsen the strain. Hold your hands above your head or next to your head to ensure the exercise offers challenge; while moving your arms to your chest or the floor minimizes the challenge of the exercise. A slight pelvis tilt can be added for a more challenging workout. If you want to challenge it more, you can add a bridge exercise, which requires that you balance the stomach and back muscles to brace your trunk such that the pelvis is in a neutral position to the lumbar spine. This is an advanced move that we don’t recommend unless you have good trunk stabilization skills and can hold a bridge position off the Excy bike while lying down exercise cycling on the floor. When performing the bridge, avoid lifting your hips too high (lifting your pelvis about the height of your fist is plenty challenging enough for all levels…more is not better with the bridge position). Always start with easier levels of resistance. See other lying down exercise positions for “Back and Forth”, “Isometric”, and “Backwards” pedaling exercises.


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On-Demand Guided Lying Down Cycling Workouts

Live Lying Down Exercise Workouts

Snapshot of Lying Down Exercise Cycling

Snapshot Incorporating Bridge Exercises

Movement and 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.

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.

Upper Body Setup Guidelines

Lower Body Setup Guidelines

  • Palms facing each other
  • 5-10 degree in elbow
  • Pedal axis at shoulder or 1-2" below
  • Never hyper extend elbow
  • Focus on good posture and engage core
  • Pin placement will vary based on user preferences and goals
  • Start with heel on pedal with straight leg
  • Cycle with the balls of your feet (aligned with metatarsal)
  • 20-30 degree bend in knee while cycling
  • Hips/feet/knees properly aligned (do not splay feet or knees inwards or outwards)
  • Barefoot and socks favored
  • Never hyper extend knee
  • Pin placement will vary based on user preferences and goals

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

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