So sorry, Kirsten, Jackdup, I promised to post this a while back. This is how my PR course was organised and how I've carried on doing them, twice a week, but there will be other versions.

You can start at any point in the circuit but this is where i begin:

CALF RAISES (up and down on tiptoes, you can hold something for support)

ARM STRENGTHENING (done with e.g. walking stick held out in front of you and swivelling slowly round from the waist from right to left. I put attach a 1 kilo ankle weight onto the stick but it takes a while to work up to this.

You can also do arm circling with arms held out to the side)

STEPPING (you can buy a stepper off the net or any sports shop - you could also use bottom step of staircase but that tends to be higher, too high for me anyway!)

BICEPS CURLS (with weights - alternate your arms)

MARCHING ON THE SPOT (hold dumbbells if you want added exertion)

* WALL PRESS UPS (i.e. like press-ups but off the wall)

** WALKING UP AND DOWN (you can carry weights as you get stronger)

*** SIT TO STAND (up and down off a chair. One way they assess your fitness at PR is to see how many you can do in a minute.)

UPRIGHT ROWS (lifting weights up as high as poss, both at same time)

SQUATS (hold something for support if you need to and they can be quite small to begin with)


* BALL THROWING (at the wall with your hands behind the ball, i.e. fingers pointing at each other, amazing shoulder exercise)

** SIDE SHUFFLE, (i.e. walking sideways while facing forwards)

*** LEG EXTENSIONS (from sitting, alternately lift up and straighten each leg). I do both exercises, but this is good if you have abdominal prolapses as I do so i never do the full 3 minutes of sit to stand)

What you are aiming at over 12 sessions (twice a week for 6 weeks) is to be able to do each exercise for 3 minutes, with 1 1/2 minutes rest in-between each one. We had a rolling programme so you just started doing as much as you could manage. In some courses everyone starts at once and then the physio will time the exercises starting at 1 minute with 3 1/2 minutes rest and increasing each session.

Warm up first to avoid pulling a muscle, and cool down with stretches after (helps get rid of lactic acid in muscles).

If you are doing them at home, start as slowly as you want - anything is better than nothing - and work up as you get stronger. You can use tins of food for weights.


Also a pulse oximeter is useful if you are borderline in your O2 levels.

The best thing you can do is get referred to a PR course but they are not available everywhere, which imo is a scandal.

After you've got properly used to these and much fitter, substituting or adding different exercises can be very helpful. Ive added a twice weekly shorter workout of different exercises to the two PR workouts i already do and I've found my O2 levels have increased so that i seldom need to use my ambulatory oxygen now.

I'd love to hear variations in other people's PR courses. And there is lots more on the net with good demos of how to do them.

Take care all, and happy new year to everyone. :)

24 Replies

  • It's outrageous that many people can't, Tee. You could always print this out and take it to your doc to protest, or better send it to your CCG (clinical commissioning group) ℅ your surgery. Improvement from tailored exercise is so evidence based you'd think they'd have caught up by now. :(

  • very useful post for people who not done a rehab course , but you seemed to miss the first thing in the morning exercise 4 mugs of tea to get you going using right hand for 2 and left hand for 2 , and also trying to get the biscuit packet open with out using a knife I spend 3 mins trying then give in and get a knife

  • Yes but then I got to get the toaster out and clear up the crumbs ect

  • Jet wouldn't wait for crumbs he would try get the bread out the toaster , never had a dog like it if you catch him doing something wrong and shout at him he looks round much to say who are they talking to then carry on or he just ignor you completely pretend he is deaf ,

  • Oh he hears a chocolate wrapper being open the far end of the house even when he is a sleep ,he is just naughty

  • Sorry i omitted that essential mmzetor ;)

  • I would of thought a man like you Mr M could do this with one hand behind your back lol

  • Brilliant O2, thanks a lot. This is going to be useful for so many of us - especially those like me who are a bit re, rusty 😜

  • Haha - get de-rusting instantly peege :D

  • I did! Starting with a massage yesterday to iron out the lumps, exercises done this morning (not quite all but a good start) 👍xx

  • Brilliant peege. Keep going - often i feel like i just don't want to do them, then i think about the lovely endorphins you get after.

    Can see why gym bunnies get addicted - mind you i loathe gyms :D

  • Me too, and they're unhygienic, people sweating all over the equipment, yuk. I agree about endorphins, you get that real "feel good" high after exercise.

  • Eurgh, bum sweat on the bikes 😝

  • :D :D

  • I was thinking more of dripping hands and foreheads peege! Now I can't get that image out of my head - thanks :o

  • This is so helpful Trees, thanks for taking the trouble to post it, as most online "work-outs" seem to be for healthy people. I already walk as much as I can but will try these targeted exercises. My arms are very weak - I'm impressed you've worked up to a 1kg weight on your stick, that's quite heavy! I'm pleased to hear the routine has improved your O2 levels.

  • Cheers Hanne. :)

  • That's awesome O2, thanks so much. You got today's exercise just typing all of that. Never thought it would take some much typing so again I really appreciate you taking the time to do this.

  • I touch type jackdup so it wasn't much trouble and I'm just sorry i forgot before. Let us know how you get on with them. :)

  • Very helpful! Thank you so much!!

  • A pleasure suemack :)

  • Hi 02

    Your exercises sound interesting. I have another one for you=

    Stand with your palms against the wall with your feet about one foot from the wall.

    Put one foot about two feet behind the other.

    Bend the leg in front while at the same time keeping the leg behind very straight

    Keep both feet flat on the floor and count to twenty.

    You should feel a great stretch in the leg that is behind.

    You should do five of each of these exercises?

    Hope I have explained this clearly! The muscles in my legs have got quite large, from having none to having a decent muscle.

    Could you expand on your ball throwing exercise please? I could not understand what exactly is happening.

    Many thanks


  • Hi Natassa, great leg exercise, thanks for that.

    Re the ball throwing, yes, i wondered if i was clear enough.

    At PR we had balls which were made of heavy foam, about 10" across and held them with our hands behind the direction of throw, with the BACKS of your hands facing your body. Your forearms should be parallel to the floor with your elbows stuck right out. It feels quite odd at first as its not generally how you would throw a ball.

    When i started PR, this was the one which took me longest to build up to 3 minutes. The physio laughed when i told her that - she said the men would often poo-poo the idea that it would be hard but would always collapse long before the 3 minutes was up.

    It really works your shoulder muscles.

    Hope this helps but do ask if it still isn't clear. If Im doing it at home i use a tennis ball and it works fine.

    Take care, jean :)

  • Hello 02.

    Just come across your post. It's brilliant.

    Thanks. Don't know how I managed to miss it..

    I've done PR loved it.

    Now go to follow up with Lung Foundation class once a week.

    Going to try out your routine at home.

    As folk have said the thought of lycra, etc and going into a gym horrifies me!

    Thanks for the encouragement

    Ann 😊

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