The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of a whole body exercise programme and dragon boat training on changes in arm volume in breast cancer survivors. A total of 16 female breast cancer survivors with no clinical history of lymphoedema volunteered. The 20-week exercise programme consisted of resistance and aerobic exercise with the addition of dragon boat training at week 8. Arm circumference at two sites (CIRC10, CIRC15), arm volume (VOL), and upper body strength (1-RM) were measured at baseline (T1), week 8 (T2), and week 20 (T3). All statistical tests were two-sided (alpha < or = 0.05). No significant differences between the ipsilateral and contralateral upper extremities at any of the three time points were found. All variables significantly increased from T1 to T3 (CIRC10: difference, d = 0.49 cm, 95% confidence interval, CI = 0.25-0.73, P = 0.000; CIRC15: d = 1.33 cm, CI = 0.78-1.88, P = 0.000; VOL: d = 100 mL, CI = 69-130, P = 0.000). As well, 1-RM significantly increased from T1 to T3 (d = 10.8 kg, CI = 5.6-16.1; P = 0.000). In summary, participation in a whole body exercise programme and dragon boat training resulted in a significant increase in upper extremity volume over time. However, the changes were consistent for both arms and the significant gain in upper body muscular strength likely accounted for the increase in arm volume.