Rowing Exercise with Excy Upper Body Ergometer

Quick tip: Optimal pin placement: Top hole (will vary). Sit on floor or in a bed. Open Excy, turn it around and place chrome base under sitting bones. Open Slide to leg length (if no Slide, legs will extend over the bar). Slightly lean upper body back, engage core while cycling arms. See more positions.

Rowing Exercise Excy Quality Upper Body Ergometer Arm Pedal Exerciser Forward

Rowing Forward

Rowing Exercise Excy Quality Upper Body Ergometer Backwards Pedaling

Rowing Reverse

Rowing Exercise Excy Quality Upper Body Ergometer Back and Forth

Back and Forth

Rowing Exercise Excy Quality Upper Body Ergometer Isometric Pedal Exerciser

Isometric Rowing

*Exercise illustrations ©2018 PT-Helper

Rowing Exercise Excy Video

Rowing Exercise Excy Position Setup Overview

Using Excy for the rowing exercise is an easy to do while sitting on the floor or in the middle a bed. Open the Excy system, turn it around and place the Front Base (chrome bar) under your sitting bones for a snug fit. In this position, pin placement height will vary based on your size. Those with shorter legs will want the pin in a higher hole, longer legs in the lower holes. Test your distance and height by starting with the pin in the second hole. Open the Slide and adjust it to your leg length where you can comfortably place the balls of your feet on the Rear Base (yellow bar) with a slight bend in your knee. Lock the Slide in place. While hand cycling, the pedals should be as close to your shoulder height as possible with a 5-10 degree bend in your elbow. Adjust the pin position and Slide as needed (do not fully extend your knees or elbows). If on the floor, consider sitting on a pillow for comfort and lower back support. A Bosu Ball can also be added on the floor for complexity and core focus. Make sure your thumb is not near the crank arms as it may get pinched during cranking. Hand pedals or hand gloves can be added for comfort. Exercise: To begin the exercise, keep your feet on the Rear Bar and at the same time, slightly lean your upper body back and cycle forward with your hands (the bar will slightly lift with your feet slightly coming off the ground for an optimal workout). Squeeze your abdominal muscles as you pedal. The power of your stroke comes first from your core as you lean back slightly to pull the stroke to your chest and then extend your opposite arm forward, secondly from the arms, and lastly from the legs. Keep your chin up with your arms, spine, hips, and legs staying in line and facing forward. Avoid rounding your back. In this position, set the resistance easy to maintain a smooth stroke pattern (explore the reverse position for higher resistance). To make the exercise more difficult, come up more into a V-like position and do not let your feet touch the ground (This is a more advanced Excy exercise and is reserved for advanced exercisers with healthy spines as it subjects you to compressive forces that occur when you repetitively flex and extend your spine). See other Excy Rowing exercises for “Back and Forth”, “Isometric”, and “Backward” exercises. For more information, visit Exercises provided by Excy Corporation.

Snapshot Rowing Exercise Overview

Live Rowing Exercise and Hand Cycling on the Floor

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.


Upper 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

Lower Body Setup Guidelines

  • 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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