Swim Exercises with Excy Upper Body Ergometer Using an Exercise Ball

This Position Can Also Be Done Using a Weight Bench or Other Flat Surface

Quick tip: Optimal pin placement: Will vary (focus on crank arm being 1 to 2 inches below shoulder). Lie down Keeper, place exercise ball on Keeper. Lie face down on the ball, place hands on pedals, spread feet for wide balance. Pull through cranking motion as if in the water. See more positions.

Swim Exercises with Excy Upper Body Ergometer Using an Exercise Ball Pedal Exerciser Forward

Forward Pedal Exerciser

Swim Exercises with Excy Upper Body Ergometer Using an Exercise Ball Pedal Backwards

Reverse Pedal

Swim Exercises with Excy Upper Body Ergometer Using an Exercise Ball Hand Crank Back and Forth

Crank Back and Forth

*Exercise illustrations ©2018 PT-Helper

Swim Exercises with Excy Upper Body Ergometer Video

Swim Exercises with Excy Upper Body Ergometer Setup Overview

Place the opened Excy system on the floor. Use the pin to adjust the height to your preference (top hole is optimal with a goal of having the arm crank be even to 1 or 2 inches below the shoulder). Place the Keeper on the floor and use the dual center Keeper Holes and posts bands to connect to the Excy bike. Place the exercise ball on the Keeper for swim exercises. Stand on the Keeper behind the exercise ball, squat down and lie face down over the exercise ball and focus on keeping your feet spread wide for balance and a strong torso. Slowly roll forward and extend your right arm straight out to reach for the pedals. Adjust your body positioning on the ball and Keeper until the distance puts a 5 to 10 degree angle in your elbow while hand cycling (never lock your elbows while pedaling). Your wrist position should be flat on the pedals. Make sure your thumb is not near the crank arm as it may get pinched during cranking. Hand pedals or hand gloves can be added for comfort. This position is taxing for the thoracic and lumbar spine and the shoulder extensors. Make sure you have the endurance and strength to be in this position. Start easy for duration, intensity, and resistance levels as upper body muscles are smaller, weaker and less efficient, which means it is easy to get very sore muscles almost immediately if you jump into high tension cranking motions that you are note use to. Exercise: With your torso face down on the ball and your toes on the Keeper for balance with feet shoulder width apart, reach forward with your right hand on the pedal. As your right hand pushes forward and down on the pedal, your left hand circles backward and forward to complete the rotation of the pedals. Pull through the cranking motion as if in the water as a swimmer. Remember to keep your back straight and torso strong. Keep your chin slightly tucked to prevent neck strain (do not look up or down). Do not let the back hyperextend (excessively arch). You can also use a weight bench for swim exercises.

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

  • 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 excy@excy.com 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 www.PT-Helper.com.

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