Exercise program for breast cancer

Exercise program for breast cancer

Movement is good! However, cancer is a severe impairment of fitness. It is essential to take the exercise program slowly and not overzealously. Below is an exercise program for breast cancer patients.


Endurance training is practical and easy to implement. It, therefore, plays a vital role in the rehabilitation of cancer patients, such as breast cancer patients. After just four to six weeks of regular endurance training, you will see the first successes. Endurance training positively influences the organ, hormone and nervous system as well as the psyche and musculoskeletal system.

Exercise 1 – Endurance training Endurance sports such as walking, Nordic walking, cross-country skiing or cycling are highly recommended if the training is carried out with little use of the arms. Remember the motto: “Run without panting” The rule of thumb is 180 minus your age (the pulse should not exceed 150 beats per minute). Notes:  Before you start training, you should have an exercise ECG by a specialized doctor to rule out possible cardiological diseases!


Above all, an operation damages the patient’s coordination and motor skills. Even if the ability to perform has been retained, coordination may have suffered due to damage to nerve tracts during the operation. This is where exercises help to regain mobility.

Exercise 2 – Guided arm circles

  • Stand in a relaxed position and stretch your arms out to the side
  • Slowly  begin to circle your arms forward, making the circles bigger and bigger
  • Then, let the circles get smaller again
  • Now move your arms in the other direction
  • Do the exercise for 30 seconds, followed by a 30-second break
  • Repeat the series three times

Exercise 3 – arm raises

  • Stand with your knees slightly bent, hip-width apart, tighten your buttocks and stomach, and raise your straight right arm forward while you move your left arm backward.
  • Open and close your hands alternately.
  • Then switch directions
  • Repeat the exercise five times, then rest for 30 seconds.
  • Repeat each series three times.

Notes:  Carry out the two coordination exercises very slowly. Here, the accuracy of the movement counts, not the speed! Breathe evenly and try to move both arms in equal circles. To help, you can also stand in front of a mirror to check your movements. These exercises must be manageable; otherwise, your coordination skills will decrease. Take a break until you feel fit again, then repeat the exercise.


Controlled strength training contributes to maintaining or achieving mobility and safety. Amazing progress can be observed after just a few weeks of training with a comparably small amount of time.

Exercise 4 – Strengthening of the leg muscles

  • Lean against a wall with your back feet hip-width apart
  • Slowly bend your knees to a maximum of 90° (keeping your back in contact with the wall)
  • Hold this position for 15-20 seconds
  • Keep breathing – don’t hold your breath!!
  • Then slowly straighten your legs again
  • Take a minute’s break
  • Repeat the exercise three times

Exercise 5 – strengthening the chest muscles

  • Stand about a meter away from a wall
  • Extend your arms in front of the wall and support yourself against the wall more than shoulder-width apart
  • The fingertips point upwards
  • Tighten your buttocks and stomach and maintain that tension throughout the exercise
  • Slowly move your torso forward toward the wall by bending your arm joints
  • Then straighten your arms again
  • Repeat this exercise 15 times and then rest for 1 minute
  • Repeat the series three times


  1. When performing the strength exercises, make sure you do the movements slowly and not jerkily.
  2. Avoid forced breathing, and always breathe out while bending your arms. Breathe in a while, straightening your arms.
  3. Don’t overexert yourself!


Exercise 6 – strengthening the back muscles

  • Stand with your knees (slightly) bent, shoulder-width apart, and your hands on your thighs
  • Squeeze your abs and buttocks and hold that tension
  • Now lean your upper body forward, but keep it straight
  • Her gaze is directed to the floor
  • If your hips are at a 90° angle, try stretching your arms out to the side and forward
  • Hold this position for five seconds, and then slowly bring your arms back and straighten up

Notes:  Perform this exercise very slowly and continue to breathe evenly. The back must be straight and must not form a hunchback. Repeat this exercise five times. Rest five to 10 seconds between repetitions.


These exercises are designed to make your arms and shoulders flexible again. In addition, stretching exercises promote body awareness and should not be missing from a complete training program. Otherwise, growing muscles will shorten over time.

Exercise 7 – stretching in the arm area

  • Stand comfortably and hip-width apart
  • Tighten your abs and buttocks
  • Bring both arms behind your back and grasp the wrist of the other with one hand
  • Now pull your arm towards the ground, leaving the stretched arm completely relaxed

Note:  Be careful not to hunch your shoulders!


Exercise 8 – stretching in the shoulder area

  • Stand comfortably with your legs slightly apart.
  • Clasp your hands in front of your body as if in prayer, turn your hands outward and stretch your arms out in front of you.
  • Now pull your shoulder blades apart, let your head hang down, make your upper body round
  • Hold this position for five seconds, then slowly straighten your upper body.


  1. Perform the stretches slowly and avoid jerky movements.
  2. Only go as far as you feel a comfortable tug. Stay within
  3.  the pain threshold.
  4. Repeat the stretch three times, then shake your arms and shoulders vigorously.


Relaxation exercises are ideal for achieving a harmonious conclusion to the movement unit. Relaxation is the ability to surrender to physical and mental relaxation. Special exercises ensure pleasant sensations such as warmth, heaviness or lightness. Relaxation is the first step in regeneration and is generally gladly and gratefully accepted as a “mental break” by women with breast cancer.

Exercise 9 – Relaxation 1

  • Sit comfortably in a chair with your legs slightly apart and your arms hanging at your sides
  • Tilt your head down and slowly arch your back, vertebra by vertebra
  • Remain in this position for a moment and continue to breathe relaxed
  • Stand up again and repeat the exercise

Exercise 10 – Relaxation 2

  • Lie comfortably on your back and close your eyes.
  • Breathe in and out calmly and relaxed.
  • Now tense any muscle group (e.g. clench your right hand into a fist and pull your right arm)
  • Hold the tension for seven to ten seconds, and then relax.
  • Over the next few minutes, feel how the relaxation develops at this point.
  • Repeat this exercise with the other side or muscle groups (e.g., press a heel on the mat and thus activate your leg muscles, pull a shoulder to the ear, etc.)


Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *