Stimulate the lymphatic system

Simple exercises to stimulate blood and lymph circulation

These simple arm and leg movements (muscle-pump exercises) are beneficial for the lymphedema therapy, especially in combination with compression therapy. Even healthy people should support their blood and lymph flow – take some time every day and try to keep moving with these exercises for a few minutes.

Warming up

Warm up exercise 1

Walk on the spot with a rapid tempo while swinging bent arms, as though you held walking sticks in your hands. Time: 1-2 minutes

Stimulate the lymphatic system with warm-up exercises

Stimulate the lymphatic system with our warm-up exercises

Warm up exercise 2

Sit on a stool with your back straight and place your hands on your breastbone. Breathe in and out deeply 10 times so that you can feel the chest rise and fall. Now place your hands in the middle of your abdomen and breathe deeply 10 times "from the belly", so that you feel it rise and fall. Time: 1-2 minutes

Arm exercises

Arm exercise 1

Move your shoulders while sitting in an upright position by first raising them up, then relaxing. 10 repetitions

Arm exercises to stimulate the lymphatic system

The second arm exercise to improve lymph flow

Arm exercise 2

Place your hands on the side of your buttocks and ball them into fists. Pull your balled fists in front of your upper body and over your head, so that your shoulders are raised as high as possible. Stay in this position for 5-10 seconds, then relax. 3 repetitions

Arm exercise 3

Draw your shoulders straight back, moving your arms and hands in the same direction as well. Then relax and return to the starting position. 10 repetitions

Ten repetitions of exercise 3 to improve lymph flow

Exercise 4 has four steps to follow

Arm exercise 4

Hold your hands in front of you and make fists. Open the fists and spread your fingers as wide as you can. Hold your fingers stretched then bend your wrist down, then up. 10-20 repetitions

Arm exercise 5

Stretch one arm straight out to the side, then bring it back so that it touches the opposite shoulder. Your head should follow the direction of movement. Swap arms. 10-20 repetitions

Our muscle-pump exercises

Exercise 6 of our muscle-pump exercises to improve lymph flow

Arm exercise 6

With one arm bent so that your fingers are touching the shoulder, stretch the other arm straight out to the side away from you. Swap arms. 10-20 repetitions

Leg exercises

Leg exercise 1

Sit on the floor with your arms supporting you and stretch both legs straight out. Now bend and stretch one foot after the other. 10-20 repetitions

First exercise to stimulate the lymphatic system

Second leg exercise to improve lymph flow

Leg exercise 2

Now stretch and bend both feet forwards at the same time then back. 10-20 repetitions

Leg exercise 3

Pull both feet towards you then clump your toes together. Open them again. 10-20 repetitions

Clump your toes together – stimulate the lymphatic system

Wenn das Lymphsystem nicht richtig funktioniert - Beinübung

Leg exercise 4

Make a circular motion with both ankles by first turning the toes outwards, then forwards then finally inwards so that your large toes touch. 10-20 repetitions

Leg exercise 5

Lie flat on the floor and pull one leg up as you stretch the other out. Swap legs. 10-20 repetitions

Pull up your legs – stimulate your lymphatic system

Lift a leg – stimulate your lymphatic system

Leg exercise 6

Now support yourself with both arms on the floor at your side. Lift a leg, pull it towards you and make a circular motion as if you were riding a bicycle. Lower this leg again and repeat the exercise with the other leg. 10-20 repetitions

Stand up and bend slightly at the knees. Hold your arms stretched out pointing downwards. Stretch yourself upwards from this position: raise both arms as high as possible and stand on tiptoes. Hold on for a couple of seconds, then bend again at the knee. 10-20 repetitions

Finally, relax the musculature and take a deep breath!

Further reading

Treating lymphedema correctly

Treating lymphedema correctly

Learn all about the treatment of lymphedema.
Self-management: take charge of your disease

Self-management: take charge of your disease

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