Building Back to Strength

Build Back to Strength

Led by Alisa Burke, Physical Activity Lead at Penny Brohn UK and founder of the Bodyworks project. Join these 45-minute sessions for a gentler exercise class to support you in building back your fitness, mobility and muscle strength step by step.

Physical activity is beneficial for therapy related side effects, for managing mood and improving health outcomes.

In these sessions we will:

  • Include a 10 minute gentle warm up, 25 minutes of seated or standing exercises focusing on strengthening the main muscle groups and finishing with 5 minutes of cool down stretches
  • Aim for an introductory/light intensity session though please listen to your body and take more rest breaks as feels appropriate for your current situation. This class is aimed at anyone de-conditioned from surgery/treatment, new to muscle strength exercise or starting being active after a long period of inactivity.
  • Offer adaptions to cater for most abilities and particular considerations.
  • Be using an upright dining type chair, small dumbbells, OR filled bottles/cans, OR a resistance band.

Please be aware:

  • When becoming more physically active – start slowly and build up gradually
  • Exercise carries its own risks. Learn to listen to your body and what it is telling you. If you feel unwell and need to stop, you must inform a health or exercise professional immediately.
  • Delay becoming more active if: You have a temporary illness such as a cold or fever or have had an episode of sickness, diarrhoea, dizziness, fainting, persistent headache or pain in the last 24 hours, or your health changes – if so, talk to your doctor or a qualified exercise professional before continuing with a physical activity programme.
  • If you answered YES to any of the health questions in the registration process, please talk to your doctor by phone or in person BEFORE you become much more physically active. Tell your doctor about the registration (“PAR-Q”) questions you answered YES to.
  • You may do any activity you want, provided you start slowly and build up gradually.
  • You may need to restrict your activities to those that are safe for you. Talk with your doctor about the kinds of activities you want to take part in and follow their advice.

For safety and insurance reasons, classes are limited to 30 participants.


Thank you so much for your wonderful classes! You have made such a difference to me: I was giving up on my right arm, but thanks to your lessons my shoulder & arm are improving a lot & I feel so much better! Your exercises are much better than the physio’s one, on the phone. You are so amazing & Penny Brohn UK is such a remarkable charity!

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Frequently Asked Questions

We believe that everybody should have equal access to the practical, emotional and social support they need to live life as fully as possible with the impact of cancer.
These sessions are made possible by your generosity. They are run entirely on a donation basis. There are no set charges, we simply ask you to give what you can - if you can.

If you are having difficulty booking or need more information, view our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) and Booking Guide.

You can also contact our Client Support team by email or call 0303 3000 118.

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email from Zoom containing information about how to join the session.

We use Zoom for our online sessions. You can download Zoom for your PC/Laptop or find it on iOS App Store or Google Play.

Zoom have created a video and guidance on joining a session.

For the comfort and safety of everyone joining our online groups we have a few room rules we ask everyone to observe.

  • Try and arrive on time for the start of the session if you can, if you do join late please mute yourself on entry to avoid disturbing others.
  • In general it makes for a better group experience if people can see each other, but do feel free to turn your video camera off if you are not feeling up to being visible that day
  • Make yourself comfortable and join the meeting from your favourite cosy space, but if your video camera is on, please check what can be seen by others. Although pyjamas are fine if you’re currently bed-bound, do dress in a way that is appropriate for a group gathering.
  • Please keep yourself on mute unless you are talking, especially when there may be distracting noises in the background.
  • Take part in discussions and question-and-answer sessions, if you want to, but please listen to others and help the meeting host to ensure everyone has time to speak if they wish. The group lead may suggest using the hands up icon or typing questions into
    the chat box.
  • If group participants share personal stories and sensitive information, please treat this as confidential and avoid disclosing anything outside of the group without their permission.
  • Should a group participant share information that raises a concern for their personal safety, we will follow this up privately in line with our safeguarding responsibilities.
  • Technical failures and internet problems are quite common with online platforms, if the facilitator or another participant experiences problems please be understanding.
  • In the unlikely event that a group participant says or does something inappropriate in a session, we will immediately remove them from the room and may take further action.

Thank you.

Advice given by Penny Brohn UK does not replace advice given by your healthcare professional or medical guidance.

Online group meetings are not suitable for discussing individual medical treatments or concerns, please note that we offer integrative doctor consultations and other therapeutic support by phone or video consultation for Penny Brohn UK clients requiring tailored advice and support.

When you register for our online sessions and use our services, you agree to our:

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