Lifting heavy weights is safe and efficacious for women with lymphedema secondary to breast cancer.
In a 3 month randomised control trial women with lymphedema were split into 3 groups; light resistance exercise, heavy resistance exercise and usual care. Swelling, symptom severity, physical function and quality of life were measured. There was no difference between the light and heavy resistance exercise. Heavy weights did not increase lymphedema symptoms. Both light and heavy resistance exercise can aid in the management of lymphedema through improvements in physical function and quality of life.
Cormie, P. 2013