- Cancer Information
- Living well
- Exercise after a cancer diagnosis (including videos)
- Arm & shoulder exercises after breast surgery
- Level one exercises
Level one exercises
These gentle exercises increase your ability to move your arm and shoulder and improve circulation.
Level one exercises can be done while lying on a bed or sitting in a chair. When you are not doing the exercises you may find it comfortable to rest your arm on a pillow.
Learn more about:
|Tip: Gradually build up to doing each of these exercises 10 times 4 times a day.|
Lift your shoulder slowly up towards your ears and roll backwards.
Bend your elbow and touch your shoulder with your hand. Then straighten your elbow completely.
Support your elbow on a pillow. Keep your hand relaxed and your arm by your side, then bend your wrist back and forth.
Make a fist and squeeze slowly, and then gently open fingers out and relax.
This information has been developed by Cancer Council NSW on behalf of all other state and territory Cancer Councils as part of a National Cancer Information Working Group initiative.
We thank the reviewers of this information: Jane Turner, Accredited Exercise Physiologist, Sydney Survivorship Centre, Concord Hospital, NSW; Chris Jellies, Director, Domain Health, VIC; Marney Jury, Physiotherapist, Domain Health, VIC; Mary Shearer, The Breast and Endocrine Centre, Newcastle, NSW.
We would like to thank Cancer Council SA for kindly permitting its booklet Breast cancer surgery: information for women having breast cancer surgery to be used as source material for this resource, including the use of the exercise illustrations. Editors: Jenni Bruce, Jenny Mothoneos. Designer & Illustrator: Luisa Chisari.
View the Cancer Council NSW editorial policy.
The information on this page is also available for download.
Coping with cancer?
Speak to a health professional or to someone who has been there, or find a support group or forum
Life after cancer treatment
Programs and support for people who have finished treatment
ENRICH – a free healthy lifestyle program
A face-to-face exercise and nutrition program for cancer survivors
Level two exercises
Learn about exercises that help make your arm stronger and ease the tightness in your chest and shoulder muscles.
Safety tips for exercising with cancer
Precautions for people starting an exercise program
Staying healthy after treatment
Lifestyle changes that can help keep you in good health