Cardiovascular Training for Pectus Excavatum

pectus excavatum cardio

Cardio is necessary when you have Pectus Excavatum.


Because a compromised cardiac function is typically associated with the condition.

For me personally my cardio respiratory endurance was weakened from Pectus due to a diminished lung capacity and an early onset of short- ness of breath.

Therefore, I believe it is VERY important to partake in some cardio-respiratory training for health and well-being and to help improve all aspects of your pectus condition

Whilst performing cardio-respiratory activities, in particularity jogging, it is important to control and focus on your breathing & ensure you have correct posture & an active core. You want to make sure your shoulders are rolled back, your chest is proud and your breath is controlled.

Other than the health improvements of cardio it can be useful as a tool to keep your caloric expenditure up in the instance of an individual who gains fat easily which will help you lose fat. This will help improve the look of the dreaded potbelly associated with Pectus. See the example below of a client of mine who used cardio to improve his pectus.

Losing fat and building muscle results a lean muscular physique which is key for the masking of pectus through exercise.

The type of cardio I recommend you do is LISS.

LISS stands Low Intensity Steady State Cardio. Instead of pushing yourself to breaking point for a short burst of time, you aim for a low level of exertion for a long, continuous period. For example, swimming laps for 45 minutes at a steady pace.

Due to the rigorous and taxing nature of the weight training regime that is required for building muscle to mask pectus you will probably be extremely sore and tired.

This is why I recommend LISS, as it can be utilised in these circumstances to keep your caloric expenditure and aerobic endurance up without stressing your body, your central nervous system & enabling your muscles to recovery.

You can do any form of cardio, whether you want to ride a bike, go swimming, go for a jog, go for a long fast paced walk, whatever. Swimming is my personal recommendation however.

Swimming is a great form of cardio for you to do to cut body fat and improve your case of pectus. Swimming, unlike some forms of exercise like running or bike riding works your upper body as you rely on it to propel yourself through the water. This then results in a development of muscle in your upper back and chest, particularly the lats and internal rotators of the shoulder which are key for improving pectus excavatum because when you develop these muscles you help correct your posture. Therefore, you are getting the postural & also the muscular development benefits that help improve your case of pectus.

That being said though, through weight training & stretching you will be able to develop your muscles in your back & correct your posture faster than you would through swimming. So the primary benefit of swimming is to burn calories & improve your lung capacity & respiratory fitness.

Furthermore Pectus sufferers commonly have a diminished lung capacity which makes swimming even more important as swimming can directly help this.

Additionally, other than the physical benefits of swimming there is also a psychological benefit to choosing this as your form of cardio. That is, it is going to force you to get comfortable with your body and people seeing you shirtless. A huge part in overcoming pectus is overcoming the limiting belief, the self-doubt, the lack of confidence that it instills in us. So by choosing to swim, you will train your mind & your body.

If you want to start following a program specifically designed to make your pectus less noticeable & receive coaching from Riley Byrne (the worlds only Pectus Excavatum specialised Personal Trainer) then go to to apply.

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