The James Advanced Exercise Program (The James)

The James Advanced Exercise Program

Regular exercise several times a week is good for your mind and body. Exercise can help fight fatigue, boost your energy level, relieve stress and tension, make your muscles stronger and help you sleep better.

You should try to be active each day and return to your normal daily activities as soon as your doctor says it is okay. It is important to start slowly and increase your activity over time. Remember to breathe during each exercise. Try to do this exercise program 2 times each week, every 2 to 3 days.

Before You Start an Exercise Program

Check with your doctor before you start an exercise program. It is important to know if it is safe for you to exercise. Ask your doctor or physical therapist about any special precautions you should follow.

Your Exercise Program

This exercise program has 5 parts:

  1. Warm up
  2. Stretching
  3. Core exercises
  4. Weight training
  5. Cool down

Warm Up

It is important to warm up before you exercise to lower your risk of injury. A warm up should last for about 10 minutes and include exercises that raise your heart rate, such as walking or biking or using an elliptical machine.

Stretching

These exercises will help you stretch your body. Do each stretch slowly and gently to prevent soreness. It is important to continue breathing during each stretch. Hold each stretch for 15 seconds on each side.

Chest Stretch

  1. Face the wall and put one arm out straight to the side against the wall.
  2. Turn your chest away from your arm.
  3. Hold for 15 seconds.
  4. Repeat with your other arm.

Shoulder Stretch

  1. Face the wall and extend your arm across your chest.
  2. Put your palm on the wall and relax your shoulder. Lean in toward the wall.
  3. Hold for 15 seconds.
  4. Repeat with your other arm.

Tricep Stretch

  1. Walk your fingers up the wall and stop when you feel a stretch in the back of your upper arm.
  2. Reach one arm over your head and bend it at your elbow.
  3. Use your other arm to gently push your elbow down behind your head.
  4. Hold for 15 seconds.
  5. Repeat with your other arm.

Calf Stretch

  1. Place both hands on the wall with your arms out straight.
  2. Lean into the wall with your front leg bent and your other leg out straight.
  3. Push your heel down and your hips forward.
  4. If you are able, prop your foot up against the wall. Keep your heel on the floor and point your toes up, touching the wall. Lean into the wall until you feel the stretch.
  5. Hold for 15 seconds.
  6. Repeat with your other leg.

 

 

Quadriceps Stretch

  1. Face the wall and use the wall for balance.
  2. Slightly bend your knee and grasp your foot behind you.
  3. Pull your foot towards your bottom.
  4. If needed, you can use a chair or stool to hold your foot up.
  5. Keep your knees together, stand up straight and press your hips forward.
  6. Hold for 15 seconds.
  7. Repeat with your other leg.

 

 

Hamstring Stretch

  1. Sit at the front edge of a chair.
  2. Put your leg out straight and point your toes up.
  3. Keep the knee of your other leg bent.
  4. Lean over your extended leg and reach towards your toes.
  5. Hold for 15 seconds.
  6. Repeat with your other leg.

Inner Thigh Stretch (Butterfly)

  1. Sit on the floor and bend your knees to bring your heels together. Keep your back straight.
  2. Let your knees fall toward the floor.
  3. If you are able, put your hands around your toes and gently pull your feet in toward your body until you feel a stretch in your inner thighs.
  4. Hold for 15 seconds.

Back Stretch

  1. Lie flat on your back with your knees bent.
  2. Press your lower back into the floor.
  3. Keep your knees together and slowly drop your knees to one side. Keep your shoulders flat on the floor.
  4. Hold for 15 seconds.
  5. Repeat on your other side.

Core Exercises

Core exercises work to strengthen your stomach (abdominal) muscles. Core strength is important to help you balance and prevent injuries that can happen when you are active. Try to repeat each exercise 10 times.

Ab Curls

  1. Lie flat on your back with your knees bent.
  2. Pull your stomach in towards your spine.
  3. Keep your neck relaxed. It may help to use your hands to gently support your head.
  4. Use your stomach muscles to curl up. Do not bend your hips.
  5. Slowly lift your upper back off the floor.
  6. Slowly drop back down to the floor.
  7. Repeat 10 times.

Bridging

  1. Lie flat on your back with your knees bent.
  2. Pull your stomach in towards your spine.
  3. Keep your stomach muscles tight and your shoulders on the floor. Lift your hips off the floor.
  4. Hold for 1 to 2 seconds.
  5. Slowly lower your hips back to the floor.
  6. Repeat 10 times.

Neutral Back with Marching

  1. Lie flat on your back with your knees bent.
  2. Pull your stomach in towards your spine.
  3. Slowly lift your legs, one at a time, towards your chest.
  4. Repeat 10 times with each leg.

Bridging With Marching

  1. Lie flat on your back with your knees bent.
  2. Pull your stomach in towards your spine. 
  3. Keep your stomach muscles tight and your shoulders on the floor. Lift your hips off the floor. 
  4. Slowly lift one leg up towards your chest.
  5. Lower your leg down to the floor.
  6. Repeat 10 times with each leg.

Side Plank

  1. Lie on the floor on your side.
  2. Keep your hand and elbow under your shoulder and your back straight.
  3. Slowly lift your hips off the floor.
  4. Hold for 3 to 5 seconds.
  5. Slowly lower your hips back to the floor.
  6. Repeat 10 times.

Lying Leg Lift

  1. Lie down flat on your stomach. Rest your forehead on your hands.
  2. Squeeze the left side of your bottom and slowly lift your left leg off the floor as high as you can. Keep your leg straight and hold for 1 to 2 seconds.
  3. Lower your left leg back down to the floor.
  4. Repeat 10 times with each leg.

Superwoman

  1. Start with your hands and knees on the floor in a table position.
  2. Tighten your stomach muscles and press your shoulders down.
  3. Extend your right arm and left leg out.
  4. Keep your back and hips straight.
  5. Hold 3 to 5 seconds.
  6. Slowly lower your leg and arm back to starting position.
  7. Repeat with your left arm and right leg.
  8. Repeat 10 times on both sides.

Seated Arm Weight

  1. Sit on a chair or therapy ball.
  2. Keep your back straight and bend your knees.
  3. On one side of your body, hold a weight with both hands close to your hip.
  4. With both hands, lift the weight up diagonally across your body toward the ceiling.
  5. Repeat 10 times on each side.

Weight Training Exercises

Use light weights (less than 3 pounds) to start with. When you are able to complete every exercise at least 20 times (2 sets of 10), you may start to slowly increase your weights. It is important to use correct form with all weight training exercises. Keep breathing during each exercise. Breathe out when you push, pull or lift. Talk to your physical therapist if you have concerns with any of these exercises.

Chest Press

  1. Lie flat on your back and pull your stomach into your spine.
  2. With your elbows bent, hold the weights over your chest.
  3. Slowly push the weights straight out in front of your chest.
  4. Slowly pull the weights straight back toward your chest.
  5. Repeat 10 times.

Tricep Extensions

  1. Lie flat on your back and pull your stomach into your spine.
  2. Extend your arms out in front of your chest.
  3. Bend your elbows and bring the weights back over your head.
  4. Slowly bend your elbow back to the starting position.
  5. Repeat 10 times.

Chair Squats

  1. Stand in front of a chair with your legs shoulder width apart and your knees slightly bent.
  2. Shift your weight to your toes.
  3. Slowly bend your knees and drop your bottom back toward the chair. Do not sit down.
  4. Keep both feet flat on the floor, push up and slowly straighten back to starting position.
  5. Repeat 10 times.

Upright Row

  1. Start in a lunge position, with one foot slightly behind your other foot. Use the arm of a chair for balance and support.
  2. Pull your elbow up past your back and lift the weight up toward your shoulders.
  3. Hold 3 to 5 seconds.
  4. Slowly lower the weight back down to starting position.
  5. Repeat 10 times with each arm.

Side Raises

  1. Stand up straight with your back against the wall. Move your feet about 12 inches out from the wall. Pull your stomach in toward your spine.
  2. Hold the weights at your side with your arms straight.
  3. Bring your arms straight up at your sides making a 45 degree angle. Your thumbs should be pointed up toward the ceiling.
  4. Slowly lower your arms back down to your sides.
  5. Repeat 10 times.

Step Ups

  1. Stand in front of a step with a weight in each hand down by your side.
  2. Push off your right leg to step up onto step.
  3. Lower your right leg back down to floor.
  4. Repeat 10 times with each leg.

Dumbbell Curls

  1. Stand up straight with your back against the wall. Move your feet about 12 inches out from the wall. Pull your stomach in toward your spine.
  2. Hold a weight in each hand, with your palm facing forward.
  3. Keep your elbows at your side and in line with your shoulders.
  4. Bend your elbows up and bring the weights up toward your shoulders.
  5. Slowly bend your elbows back down to your side.
  6. Repeat 10 times.

Calf Raises

  1. Stand up straight with your legs shoulder width apart.
  2. Pull your stomach into your spine.
  3. With a weight in each hand, slowly rise up on your toes.
  4. Hold 3 to 5 seconds.
  5. Slowly lower your heels back to the floor.
  6. Repeat 10 times.

Cool Down

It is important to cool down and stretch after you exercise. Repeat each stretch and hold for 30 seconds. Use your weight training workout log to write down when you did your exercises and the amount of weight you used.

 

© November 13, 2018. The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute.

This handout is for informational purposes only. Talk with your doctor or health care team if you have any questions about your care.

For more health information, call the Patient and Family Resource Center at 614-366-0602 or visit cancer.osu.edu/PFRC