Your lymphatic system functions by using lymph fluid to collect and remove cell waste. If the system isn’t healthy, toxins can quickly build up as the lymph fluid flows less smoothly, causing congestion. But did you know that exercise is actually the primary factor in determining a healthy lymphatic system?
This means that you need to put in the work to keep your lymphatic system healthy. If not, you risk having to deal with all sorts of immunity issues, as well as countless other health problems. So get moving and make sure you’re helping your body flush out that waste!
Here Are 7 Exercises That Flush Your Lymphatic System
1. Pelvic Tilt
- Step 1: Start by lying on your back on the floor. Place your arms in an outstretched position beside you. Alternatively, you can clasp them beneath your head.
- Step 2: Move your feet so they rest at a hip’s width away from each other, facing forwards, and bend your knees as you do so.
- Step 3: Tuck in your tailbone and your belly button, pulling both towards your spine. As you do so, the small of your back should begin to press against the floor, allowing you to lift your pelvis in a gentle tilt.
- Step 4: Engage the muscles in your hips and behind as you lift your pelvis. Hold the position for around five seconds.
- Step 5: Release back to the initial position.
- Step 6: Repeat this process 20 times. You should aim to do five sets in total.
2. Forward Bend
Known also as the uttanasana, this move is commonly practiced in yoga. Yoga, in general, is great for immunity (and, by proxy, your lymphatic system) and has positive effects on the overall quality of life. But on its own, the forward bend is still particularly powerful for your lymph nodes. Here’s how to do this exercise. (2)
- Step 1: Start by standing straight, with your feet next to each other and your hands placed on your hips.
- Step 2: Bend forward, hinging at the hips, gently and slowly. Elongate your torso as you do so.
- Step 3: Try to keep your knees straight. Even if you can’t, lock your knees so you keep your legs as straight as possible. Your heels should press into the floor, causing your sit bones to lift upwards. Allow your upper thighs to turn in towards each other very slightly.
- Step 4: Now, bring your hands downwards. If you can, reach backward and hold the back of your ankles or calves with each hand. If you can’t do this, press your palms against the floor beside or a little bit in front of your feet. You can also just press your fingertips. If this is still not doable, bend your elbows and cross your arms in front of you, with your right hand holding your left elbow and vice versa.
- Step 5: Hang your head downwards, making sure your hips are above your ankles in alignment and the weight is shifted onto the balls of your feet. Slowly nod your head upwards and downwards, then side to side.
- Step 6: Maintain the position for around sixty seconds, breathing deeply throughout.
- Step 7: Come out of the position by moving your hands to your hips. Inhale and keep your back straight, bringing yourself back up to the initial position with the use of your abdominal muscles.
3. Arm Pumping
Arm pumping exercises help to get excess lymphatic fluid moving, causing it to drain efficiently through ducts instead of clogging. As such, performing these exercises regularly can help to prevent issues with your lymph nodes.
There are two variations of the arm pumping exercise, and they both are similarly effective. Here’s how to do the first one.
- Step 1: Lie flat on a yoga mat. If you don’t have one, the floor will do. Keep your arms straight by your sides.
- Step 2: Raise your arms, maintaining their straightness, until they are between six and eight inches off of the ground.
- Step 3: Move your arms up and down. One up-and-down cycle is considered one “pump.” Make sure your elbows are kept nice and straight.
- Step 4: Do 100 pumps. You should try to do them as quickly as you can, with at least one done per second. Make sure it’s at least mildly challenging: your breathing should intensify.
Here’s how to do the second one:
- Step 1: Start by sitting on the ground with your legs crossed. Keep your back nice and straight, and your arms by your sides.
- Step 2: Bend your elbows at around 60 degrees so that your forearms are pointing outwards from your body. Meanwhile, your palms should face up. The result should be each arm creating a V shape. (Imagine that you’re doing a very low shrug.)
- Step 3: Move your arms upwards, extending them and straightening your elbows so that your arms are both now making one single V or Y shape. Make sure you’re reaching as high as you can.
- Step 4: Bring your arms back downwards into the initial double-V position. The act of raising and lowering your arms is considered one “pump.”
- Step 5: Do as many pumps as you can within 90 seconds, making sure your heart rate is elevated when you do so. A good amount of pumps is 60.
4. Kettlebell Squats
Squats are very powerful moves that train your lower body, and they also help the lymphatic system to flush itself. Here’s how to do them.
- Step 1: Stand straight with your feet at a hip’s distance apart.
- Step 2: Take your kettlebell. Hold it securely in your hands.
- Step 3: Lower yourself into a squat, gently, keeping your legs wide open as you do so. Make sure your back is straight.
- Step 4: Hold the position for a few seconds.
- Step 5: Raise yourself back into a standing position, doing so slowly. As you lift yourself up, lift the kettlebell, too, up to your shoulder at minimum, but higher if you can.
- Step 6: Repeat this process 10 times. You should aim to do three sets in total.
If you don’t have a kettlebell, you can do ordinary squats, too, but do note that this will not be as effective.
5. Leg Falls
This exercise is very simple and low in intensity, but it works wonders for your lymphatic system, so practice positive thinking! Here’s how to do it.
- Step 1: Lie flat on a yoga mat. If you don’t have one, the floor will do. Have your feet flat, pressed against the ground, and your knees bent.
- Step 2: Bring one of your knees down, lowering it gently to the floor by allowing it to fall open. Make sure you are in control of this motion as your knee falls to the floor.
- Step 3: Return the fallen knee back to its initial position.
- Step 4: Repeat this process with your other leg. You should do this five times for each leg.
6. Armpit Pull
This very simple move isn’t an intense exercise. In fact, it’s very simple and easy to perform and is meant as a straightforward, gentle lymphatic-cleansing move. You will need someone’s assistance to perform this move, however. Here’s how to do it.
- Step 1: Lie down on your back while a companion stands where your head is.
- Step 2: Your companion should put their hands beneath your armpits. From there, they pull you in a gentle manner towards themselves.
- Step 3: Make sure your arms stay by your sides as they do this.
- Step 4: Ask your companion to continue pulling for between 20 and 30 seconds. Then pause for a brief rest.
- Step 5: Repeat the pulling action five times.
7. Jumping Exercises
If you really want to kickstart your lymphatic system, all you really have to do is jump around a lot. Of course, you can simply jump up and down for fun, or use a skipping rope, or add a few to an exercise routine. Better options, though, are jumping jacks and rebounding.
Jumping jacks are very simple to do and they work out your whole body at once. Simply jumping while your arms move up and down – reminiscent of the “arm-pumping” exercises we previously talked about – can really help to get your lymphatic system active. Start by just doing 10 jumping jacks twice or thrice a day, then slowly work your way up until you find yourself doing 100 of them!
Rebounding definitely takes the cake when it comes to the most positive and effective exercises that flush your lymphatic system. This rebounding refers to the act of jumping on a trampoline. This helps strengthen muscles while getting your circulatory and lymphatic systems moving. (3)
Jump on a trampoline for between 10 minutes and half an hour to your favorite music and be amazed at the results. However, if you’re looking for more specific rebounding exercises for your lymphatic system, do some of the following:
· March and Bounce
This type of rebounding involves you using the bounce from the trampoline to provide you with a marching momentum, one foot after the other. Swing your arms naturally and freely, lifting your knees as high as possible each time.
· Simple Bounce
If you have pain issues or are under a doctor’s instructions regarding safe trampoline use, you can do very light, calm bouncing instead. Even this is enough to flush your lymph nodes!