HCM Fitness Program Outline

Dr. Harry Rakowski, an HCM cardiologist at the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre, University Health Network (UHN) in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and Sarah Harris, personal trainer and lifestyle coach have designed Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced HCM Fitness programs for individuals diagnosed with Hypertropic Cardiomyopahty. These programs are an attempt to suggest suitable fitness programs for HCM patients. They may also be suitable for patients with other forms of heart disease.

Many people mistakenly believe that intense or extreme exercise is required to be truly fit. The saying “no pain, no gain” is a myth when it comes to health and fitness. One of the keys to success is developing Functional Fitness — exercise that integrates the whole body into movements that promote healthy, pain-free activities in daily living such as squatting, lunging, pushing, pulling, bending, twisting and walking. These fitness programs are HCM patient-friendly and they promote a sense of well-being and resilience to stress.

HCM Fitness Program Focus

Safe and Effective Exercises for HCM Patients

Tailored to any age and ability and conform to the guidelines for activities for HCM patients. Designed to ensure participants do not activate a fight or flight reaction in the body and encourage effective fitness progressions.

Postural Correction

Sitting for long periods and/or have daily stressors’ can lead to postural imbalances. These imbalances can decrease well-being and lead to many common musculoskeletal challenges. The exercises in this program are designed to promote good postural alignment.


Optimal flexibility allows for ease of movement, promotes proper posture and avoids or eliminates the potential for injury.


Core Stability creates a solid foundation for each movement. Without it bodies are unable to stabilize, making exercise challenging and inviting injury and dysfunction.

Muscular Endurance and Strength

Resistance training is required to improve metabolism for optimal weight management, enhance the ability to complete activities of daily living with strength and endurance, while improving energy and well-being.

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Cardiovascular Exercise

Helps improve cardiovascular health and increases powerful well-being dependent, endorphin levels.

Relaxation and Breathing Techniques

Rest and relaxation are necessary to renew and restore muscle function, enhance the ability to cope with stress while promoting well-being in mind, body and spirit.



An introduction to a safe and effective fitness program designed for patients with Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy.




A progression from the Beginner Program offering more advanced and integrated stretching, functional resistance training and relaxation techniques.




A progression from the Intermediate Program into full Functional Movement Patterns.



Choose from one of our three relaxation techniques and practice it each day.


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