Skip to content

The background image is ONE Group staff member Melanie Potiaumpai, PhD, works with cancer patient Curt Chambers in the exercise room at Penn State Cancer Institute in 2018. Both are smiling and Chambers is pulling on a resistance band.

Exercise videos

The ONE Group (Oncology – Nutrition – Exercise) is headed by Dr. Kathryn Schmitz, founder of the Moving Through Cancer initiative and immediate past president of the American College of Sports Medicine.

Moving Through Cancer is an international initiative that aims to make exercise standard practice in oncology care by 2030. In keeping with this goal, we have put together a series of exercise videos that may be beneficial to people with cancer and that can be done from home, without any special equipment required.

All of the exercise videos were filmed in the Exercise Medicine Unit, a 300-square-feet facility within the second-floor infusion suite at Penn State Cancer Institute.


Before you begin

Our first concern is your safety and well-being. The workouts and exercises on this page are intended for people 18 and older. Before beginning any of the exercises, please answer the following two questions:

Can you lift a full gallon of milk out of the refrigerator and put it on the table?

If not, please ask your physician for a referral to physical therapy. The exercises that follow may be beyond your capacity.

Do you walk around your home between tasks?

If not, please only do the exercises in the seated and lying-down workout section.

Did you answer yes to both questions?

If you can lift a gallon of milk out of the refrigerator and you walk around your home between tasks, proceed to any of the videos listed.

Click or touch any of the buttons below to jump to a specific section.

Partner workout

The background image is Melanie Potiaumpai and Erica Schleicher of The ONE Group (Oncology - Nutrition - Exercise) demonstrate lunges. The two women face each other and each is holding the other's right hand.

These four exercises are for you to do two to three times weekly with your partner.

Try working through the list twice, with 10 repetitions of each exercise each time.

If the exercise is shown for one side only, do it on both sides each time.

Workout of the week (WOW!)

Warmup

Go for a 10-minute walk.

Workout

Work through this list of exercises twice. Be sure to do both sides. Try 10 repetitions of each movement.

Warmup

Do each of these warmup exercises for one minute.

Strength and core exercises

Do each strength exercise twice, 10 repetitions per movement. Be sure to do both sides.

Stretches

Hold each stretch for 30 seconds. Do both sides where appropriate.

Warmup

Take a 10-minute walk before starting the exercises.

Strength and core exercises

Do each strength exercise twice, 10 repetitions per exercise, both sides.

Stretches

Hold each stretch for 30 seconds on each sides.

Warmup

Do each of these warmup exercises for one minute.

Strength and core exercises

Do each strength exercise twice, with 10 repetitions per movement each time. Be sure to do both sides.

Stretches

Hold each stretch for 30 seconds. Do both sides where appropriate.

Warmup exercises

Balance exercises

Flexibility exercises

Core exercises

Lower-body exercises

Upper-body exercises

Seated and lying-down workout

The background image is An abstract background image based on Penn State's signature shield shape

Some patients may be advised to be more cautious in exercise. For example, patients with metastatic disease in their bones may be advised to keep their exercise seated. For these patients, we offer the following exercises.

Note that some of these videos are shown standing, but the exercise can clearly be done seated.

Workout plan

Do both of the warmup exercises for a minute each, then choose two exercises from each of the other categories (flexibility, lower body, trunk, upper body). Do each exercise for 10 repetitions; rest, then repeat. Do this workout, seated or lying down, three times a week to maintain your physical function and improve your fatigue, anxiety, depression, sleep and quality of life.

Warmup

Do both for one minute each.

Flexibility

Choose two of these exercises and do each for 10 repetitions.

Trunk

Choose two of these exercises and do each for 10 repetitions.

Lower body

Do both of these exercises for 10 repetitions.

Upper body

Choose two of these exercises and do each for 10 repetitions.

Learn more

We recommend the following websites for additional safe and effective exercise programs. These exercises are specifically intended for people living with and beyond cancer.

Treolar Physiotherapy
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Sarah Weller and Ayesha Koome

Macmillan Cancer Support
United Kingdom
Anna Campbell, PhD

In addition to the exercise videos found here, The ONE Group (Oncology – Nutrition – Exercise) has created a series of more than 25 patient guides.

These short guides address nutrition and exercise topics that may be beneficial to people with cancer.

They are designed to help people with cancer manage the physical health effects of cancer and treatment and improve their mental health and wellness.

See the guides here

Support The ONE Group