Elbow circles for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)

Before starting any exercise program, talk to your health professional. They may ask that you do specific exercises and will help you decide how often and how long to do them.

Start the exercise slowly and gradually. Either keep track of how long you can do it or count the number of times you can do it before you are mildly out of breath. Then rest and move on to the next exercise. Each week, increase the amount of time you do them or how many you do.

  • Sit or stand with your feet slightly apart.
  • Place your hands on your shoulders with your elbows at shoulder level and pointing out.
  • Slowly make a circle with your elbows.
  • Breathe out as you start the circle and breathe in as you complete the circle.

Current as of: July 6, 2021

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Ken Y. Yoneda MD - Pulmonology
Lesley Ryan MD - Family Medicine
Tangi Williams RRT - Registered Respiratory Therapist