The prevalence of chronic kidney disease (CKD) and end-stage renal disease (ESRD) is increasing steadily. CKD does not only relate to morbidity and mortality but also has impact on quality of life, depression and malnutrition. Such patients often have significantly decreased physical activity. Recent evidence suggests that low physical activity is associated with morbidity, mortality, muscle atrophy, quality of life impairment, cardiovascular outcomes and depression. Based on this, it is now recommended to regularly improve the physical activity of these patients. Furthermore, studies have shown the beneficial effects of various exercise programs with respect to outcomes such as low physical activity muscle atrophy, quality of life, cardiovascular outcomes and depression. Despite these encouraging findings, the subject is still under debate, with various aspects still unknown. In this review, we tried to critically summarize the existing studies, to explore mechanisms and describe future perspectives regarding physical activity in CKD/ESRD patients.