Hi There, 


Wondering regarding the safety of planks.  My upper body strength and core is really suffering.  I used to love to row - but that is out.  I have been doing the treadmill and exercise bike.  Wondering what others do for upper body strength.  It has only been 7 months and still feeling a little timid.




Me too

by Donny - 2020-01-09 17:11:12

Except, I'm only 2 months post op. It's amazing how quickly you can lose strength, at least at my age :-).  I was back on the cardio machine the 2nd week, but waited till this week to start back in with weights and planks. Not gonna lie, it was hard, but glad to be back on the road to my old self.

My doc said any upper body stuff was ok to go back to except anything overhead. Did yours tell you otherwise?  Planks, pushups, even standing rows are ok. The only thing I can't do anymore are things like pull-downs, shoulder press, military press, etc. Basically anything that causes my clavicle to go up and down, thereby stressing my lead with repetitive bending. What he actually said was  "those execises will "PROBABLY" be ok".  That didn't instill me with much confidence, so I'm choosing to exercise those muscle groups with other movements. So, I'm back to all the other stuff like curls, tricep press, light squats, standing rows, bench press, planks, etc. All stuff below my shoulders. 

Check with your doc, but I think you should be able to do more than you think.....

Good luck to you. 

Planks, rowing, upper-body work - all ok with a PM

by crustyg - 2020-01-10 09:29:49

I'm a little younger and happily row 5k at a decent pace, and do planks as part of BodyBalance/Yoga.

Overhead work is fine too, once you're 6weeks or so post lead implantation, so pull-downs are fine.  Otherwise front-crawl swimming would be out - and it's also fine with a PM.  I've stopped my weak attempts at butterfly due to cervical spine issues (used to have a weekly coached lesson).

And, yes, getting back to our previous level of performance takes longer at our age, but it's all possible and permissable.  There really shouldn't be any limitation on clavicle movement *unless* your EP knows that there's something special about *you* where your leads go from the PM pocket to the large vein that gives access to the heart.  But it's *not* a general limitation that applies to everyone.

go ahead and do it

by Tracey_E - 2020-01-10 09:49:23

Did a doctor tell you rowing is out? Rowing hours a day to train for the Olympic rowing team is not a good idea but unless something is odd about your placement, rowing for fitness is perfectly safe once we heal. I use the rower at the gym and kayak. I plank, do overhead weights, pull ups, push ups- whatever I want, with my doctor's blessing.  Sometimes we can feel the device shifting or scar tissue can get aggravated if we overdo it, but the pacer and leads won't be damaged. I've been doing Crossfit for 9 years, paced 25 years and am on my 5th battery, have never held back and never had a problem. 

I feel

by Pacer2019 - 2020-01-10 20:22:15

Like rowing on a concept 2 is fine with proper form .... remember it's primarily the legs not the arms or upper body you are working .... I just fracture a bone in my foot meaning other stuff is out for me for now ...I am planning  on doing some rowing and feel like it will fine... push back with legs and don't pull until legs are almost straight - I imagine keeping my elbows in will make it fine - if concerned one could even take a closer grip I guess.?

start slow and focus on proper form until you feel confident 


by Pacer2019 - 2020-01-10 20:23:01

I think planking is a great thing to do ! Need to do some myself 

Upper body

by runpacer - 2020-01-21 16:18:06

I returned to running shortly after surgery. I started slow and continue to move slowly but at slightly longer distances. I do pushups as my primary upper body work. I wasn't much good at pull-downs and other "bar" work because of pins in both of my shoulders. However, I dance and organize community dances. There are moves which require me to lead with my left arm. Every Sunday the group I organize dance. Monday's I feel sick and need to recover primarily because of the moves I make with my left arm. I always worry that I am going to dislodge a lead. My chest gets sore around the area where the incision to place the pacemaker was implanted. I try to be careful but it does not seem as if I can be careful enough. It might be the same with some of the upper body work with weights. I am 2.5 months post surgery.


by heartu - 2020-02-02 15:47:34

I remember 10 years ago when I was first implanted that my entire upper body felt tight. I started with gentle range of motion exercises to stretch and loosen the muscles I wanted to work out. My primary forms of exercising was walking, pilates, and yoga. About 4 years ago I felt a need to step things up so I worked with a personal trainer who guided me on proper form to work the correct muscles. I learned a great deal from him and it does not take a lot to work your core as many may think.

Planks are great and I would start off doing them against the wall first and progress to the floor (you need good shoulder stability and strength to do these correctly on the floor. I would also recommend bird dogs, dead bugs, reverse crunches as well. Again, starting with the most basic beginning positions for each one and progressing as you get stronger and can engage your core easily.


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