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Pacemaker Shoulder Exercises

author image Kara Dickerson
Kara Dickerson started writing in 2010, with her health and fitness-related articles appearing on LIVESTRONG.COM and eHow. She is a registered nurse on a cardiac stepdown unit, a certified personal trainer at East Tennessee State University and a fitness instructor. Dickerson received her Bachelor of Science in nursing from East Tennessee State University.
Pacemaker Shoulder Exercises
Pacemaker Shoulder Exercises Photo Credit Polka Dot Images/Polka Dot/Getty Images

Physical activity is restricted following a pacemaker implant--due to the lead placement of the pacemaker. Pacemaker leads are positioned in the heart muscle to aide the normal beating of the heart. Following your surgery, however, you should begin some exercises to regain your range of motion.

Shoulder Rotation

Begin with your elbows bent and your arm at a 90 degree angle. Slowly rotate your arm down at your shoulder joint, keeping your elbow bent. Perform three sets of 10 repetitions. This will increase your range of motion.

Arm circles

While keeping your back straight, bend forward at the waist and allow your arms to dangle in front of you. Move your arms in small circles at your shoulder joint. Focus on one arm at a time. Perform three sets of 10 repetitions. This exercise will increase blood flow and help work out any soreness you may have following your surgery.

Resistance Training

According to American College of Sports Medicine, "Traditional resistance training can be resumed 4 to 6 weeks following pacemaker implantation." Training, however, should only be at 50 percent of maximum lifting ability. Discontinue any exercise that causes discomfort or problems and consult your doctor. Always start with light weights and increase as tolerated.


Consult your doctor before starting any exercises. Always start slowly and stop any exercises that cause discomfort. Range of motion exercises decrease stiffness and strengthen your muscles. Try to avoid excessive shoulder movements, such as with military presses or the butterfly stroke. You should not raise your arm above shoulder level the first two weeks following your surgery.

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