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Topic: Downward dog and plank - do you do them?

Forum: Working on Your Fitness —

Conversations about exercise, diet, and getting back in shape after breast cancer diagnosis and treatment.

Posted on: Apr 17, 2020 09:24PM

mitziandbubba wrote:

Hello! My LANA certified PT says I do not have lymphadema and has told me I am ok to do down dog, plank on my forearms working up to a real plank, and other body weight exercises. I am still quite hesitant b/c I thought these things were completely off the table but she says no? I have tried playing around with these things a bit and I have no trouble at all I am scared so I haven't really done a series of postures, just the odd plank on my forearms and then I get nervous. Are others doing these postures in classes? How long did you wait?

I want to be cautious but I want to do all of my fitness things like before and my PT doesn't seem worried? She said I was much stronger than her typical patients and I did PT from August until February for bad elbow pain that developed after my surgery/radiation that has now resolved.

I weight trained before cancer but right now I'm still at 5 lbs tops a side. I was about to start moving that up when COVID-19 hit and I only have small 2 lbs weights at home.

Surgery 5/9/2019 Lumpectomy: Left Surgery 5/28/2019 Lymph node removal: Sentinel Dx IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Radiation Therapy Whole-breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Apr 18, 2020 05:16AM Rah2464 wrote:

I have worked my way gently up to them. I started my downward dogs using a chair as an in between stage, then worked down from that. I use very light weights for now for arm exercises but want to work up to higher. I have 2 lb and 3 lb.

Planks I have been extra cautious with, but I do them now. I don't do them for long periods of time yet. There are some days that I modify the planks, just depends on how I feel. There is definitely conflicting information out there. What I do know is that if I overdo, I can get some lymphatic congestion on my left side where four nodes were removed. So I do my lymphatic massages and rest if need be. Does your PT specialize in lymphadema?


Dx 5/23/2018, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Surgery 6/26/2018 Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Hormonal Therapy 7/26/2018 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Apr 18, 2020 07:39AM MountainMia wrote:

I had a lumpectomy with 4 nodes removed, a year ago today (4/18/19,) and then had reduction on my healthy breast in mid-November. Before my gym closed in March, I was generally using 12 and 15 lb dumbbells, and starting to pick up 20s for a couple of exercises. I can plank and do push-ups.

If your PT gives you the go-ahead, you are probably ready. Start out slow, take it easy. Watch for signs of edema. If none, you can probably work your way back up to doing what you used to do.

The rain comes and the rain goes, but the mountain remains. I am the mountain.
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Apr 18, 2020 11:11PM - edited Apr 18, 2020 11:49PM by ruthbru

Take it super, super slow; but yes, eventually you will get back to downward dogs, planks, and whatever else you want to do. My key, I think, was working up very gradually and being consistent. I never did go back to very heavy weights, which was okay with me, but I can hold a plank forever. Happy


"Invisible threads are the strongest ties." Friedrich Nietzsche Dx 2/2007, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 0/11 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2-
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Apr 19, 2020 09:21AM - edited Apr 19, 2020 09:22AM by Ingerp

My only restrictions on yoga/weights were right after my surgeries. I thought it was interesting that yoga was the last thing I was allowed to add back in. It didn't have anything to do with LE but with opening up the armpit like you do in a down dog. My BS didn't want me to pull on that area for about a month after a lumpectomy but I've had absolutely no restrictions since. In the pre-coronavirus world I was consistently doing yoga and weights. (I'm pretty much of a slug these days, but that's another story. . .)

P. S. Yes—lots of planks in the good old days.

Dx 3/11/2016, DCIS, Left, 6cm+, Stage 0, Grade 3, ER-/PR- Surgery 3/22/2016 Lumpectomy Surgery 4/19/2016 Lumpectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 5/17/2016 Whole-breast: Breast Dx 3/2/2018, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ (FISH) Surgery 3/12/2018 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Chemotherapy 5/17/2018 Taxol (paclitaxel) Targeted Therapy 5/17/2018 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Radiation Therapy 8/19/2018 Whole-breast: Breast

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