In this article I will teach you some of the best exercises you can start implementing into your exercise regime to make your Pectus Excavatum less noticeable.
It is important to note that Pectus Excavatum is a bone deformity & exercise alone will not make your sternum flat BUT it can work wonders to make your indentation and your rib flare a lot less prominent.
How does exercise improve Pectus Excavatum?
A typical person with Pectus Excavatum has rounded shoulders, anterior pelvic tilt, poor upper body strength, bad posture & not much muscle. By partaking in a pectus specialized exercise regime you can correct all of these problems, thus greatly improving the appearance of your body. (see my transformation below)
Back exercises should be a staple in the training regime for Pectus Excavatum. The reason for this is when you strengthen your back you will improve the kyphotic rounded posture that is caused by tight chest muscles associated with Pectus Excavatum. By fixing this posture you will drastically improve the look of your Pectus Excavatum. To see this for yourself look down at your chest and round shoulders in & then pull your shoulders back and look at the difference it has on the extent of your indent.
Three of my favourite back movements for Pectus Excavatum are:
Pull ups/chin ups
Unilateral Seated Rows
The above exercises all work different muscles in your back and developing all of the back muscles is very important for postural correction so that is why I would recommend incorporating these three.
Developing a big muscular chest is a key component for improving the look of Pectus Excavatum with exercise. When you develop the muscle fibers around the indent it creates an illusion that the depressed sternum is caused due to your impressive pecs & this then makes your pecs appear bigger than they are. The degree at which developed pecs can make Pectus Excavatum look less noticeable is shocking. Just look at my transformation and my client transformations below as examples.
When training chest for Pectus Excavatum you should focus on exercises that target your inner chest. Examples include the Landmine Press, Plate Squeeze & Press, Cross Body Chest Press, Crush Grip Dumbbell Press, Close Grip Bench Press, Diamond Push ups & different fly variations with an emphasis on the squeeze as your bring the weight to the middle of your chest. Watch this video for some examples
You also should focus on compound pressing movements such as Push ups, the Bench press, Incline press & Decline press using both dumbbells & barbells. Progressive overload on compound movements is a very effective & proven way to build your pecs. Watch the video below on Bench Pressing for Pectus Excavatum.
If you have an asymmetric case of Pectus I would recommend doing unilateral pressing movements such as the unilateral dumbbell press instead of barbell movements like the Bench Press. This way you can isolate the smaller pec and help even out in the imbalance. You should read this article if you have an uneven case of Pectus Excavatum.
Lastly & most importantly you should also be doing the Dumbbell Pullover. This is potentially the best exercise for Pectus Excavatum that you can do. Watch the video below to learn more about the Dumbbell Pullover & how to do it right!
Developing your abs is extremely important when exercising for Pectus Excavatum. A strong core will help fix anterior pelvic tilt which is a very common posture for most people with Pectus Excavatum. This posture accentuates the extent of your pectus potbelly & rib flare so it is very important we address it. Furthermore, developed abs particularly your obliques will help tighten your rib flare, turning the flared potbelly appearance into a chiseled six-pack.
My favourites ab exercises for Pectus Excavatum are: The hanging leg raise The Cable Russian twist
The Ab Wheel Roll out
I recommend watching this video on ab training for pectus excavatum.
I hope you have found this article helpful & now have an idea of what exercises you can do for Pectus Excavatum. If you feel a bit overwhelmed and do not know where to begin but you do want to start training to make your pectus less noticeable then go to www.fixpectus.com/the-transformation-project and follow the prompts to book a 1 on 1 call with me. From there I will create a strategy for you and get you signed up on my programming!
Riley Byrne is the worlds only Pectus Specialised Personal Trainer. Born with PE Riley managed to overcome his condition through exercise without surgery and is now dedicating to coaching others to achieve the same transformation.