I like exercises that allow me to get an aerobic workout with upper-body muscles. My favorite upper-body workout, walking with hand weights is impaired somewhat currently because my sore SI joint limits the length of my walks. My PT facility had a machine that allowed me to arm-cycle which I enjoyed, and I thought it would be nice to reproduce this at home. My recumbent exercise bike puts the pedals in a pretty ideal position when it is laid on its back. I tried it out and got a good workout, but gripping the pedals by hand wasn’t too comfortable. This was easily fixed with a dowel, as shown in the pictures.

Unfortunately, the pedals aren’t too comfortable to grip by hand
Easy Fix: I just bolted a dowel to the bottom of the pedal which sticks out past the end so the dowel becomes the hand grip. The only problem is that it is not mounted concentrically with the axis of the pedal. So if you grip tightly this would be torquing the wrist back and forth a bit while pedaling. This is avoided by gripping loosely and letting the pedal rock while pedaling, as you can see in the video.

I can get a nice upper-body workout with this setup. I can just cruise at an easy pace or make it as hard as I want by throwing in some intervals. Here is a video showing arm cycling. This is now an enjoyable addition to my upper-body routine.

One thought on “Arm-Cycling

  1. Why not just purchase a mini cycle designed for under desk peddling or arm cycling. Generally cost about $20-$40 or so. Convenient and made for such exercises as opposed to modifying a traditional or recumbent bike. Amazon and Wal Mart have a wide selection. It’s a great upper body aerobic exercise. I have a Schwinn AirDyne stationary bike with hand grips and foot pedals independent of each other so they can be used together or separately. Sometimes I just sit on the bike and “pedal” with arms only. Great workout either way but the mini cycles are a much cheaper option if you already have a bike and just want to get an arm workout.

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