Top 12 Pectus Carinatum Exercises in 2021 + Tips & More

Evidence Based This post has medical citations

I truly believe in my motto, moving our bodies for a better self. Movement is the main reason for good health and quality of life. In my opinion, active people are the happiest ones.

Many studies have proven that proper exercises can serve us and our bodies in the most powerful way possible. What I mean is that a decent workout routine and maintaining a healthy diet can cure many diseases and can change bodily appearance.

Corrective exercises are a big part of the treating process of the chest wall deformities, such as pectus carinatum. Pectus carinatum isn’t something that you can fix just by exercising.

However, the raised breastbone can be reduced and made less visible. The physical exercises and movements that you will do are intended to make the chest protrusion less obvious.

Practicing the proper exercises will help you improve your posture, gain muscular mass, and boost your self-esteem. Self-esteem is a huge thing for everyone, especially someone who struggles with deformity.

Being in a good state of mental health can be your best friend during the corrective process. Following a working-out routine for pectus carinatum requires a high level of commitment and discipline.

Motivation and discipline is the key to better and noticeable results. This aspect of the corrective process is underrated and neglected.

It will move you forward to your goal faster than anything else. I know it from my personal story. Every time I feel less motivated, I always remind myself about the desired outcomes.

Dealing with your deformation in the right way will make you proud of yourself. I understand that many of us, sometimes, are stuck in the dark zone.

The easiest and most unproductive way is lying in bed and waiting for the problem to go by itself. You have to stand up, get out of your comfort zone and strive to become the best version of yourself.

Keep in mind that muscles hold bones in place move them. Depending on your age, the rib cage region is usually flexible and can be modified by performing the pectus carinatum movements I will explain in this article.

Know that our whole body is connected from every nerve to every bone and muscle. Simply, our bodies are perfect machines, and they need our help for optimal performance.

Common workout mistakes

I’ve been physically active for as long as I can remember. I realized that beginners must prepare and practice good form for the exercises initially.

With this step, you will avoid any injuries and damage. If you’re someone who struggles with the problems associated with your pectus carinatum deformity and you’ve decided that you want to work out, this article is for you.

Regularly, people who practice workouts to improve their pectus carinatum focus only on developing the chest muscle. The issue is that they ignore the muscles required for having a proper posture.

That’s the reason why patients find it difficult to modify, even slightly, their deformity with physical therapy. I’ve seen plenty of cases where patients even worsen their cases of pectus excavatum and carinatum deformities because of improper exercising.

Typical physique of a person

A person with the protruding chest condition often has:

  • weak upper body
  • weak back musculature
  • tight chest muscles
  • poor posture.

Nevertheless, all of the muscles in our bodies connect with every other tissue in our body. To achieve the desired results, you must have a well-balanced physique and total body strength.

Another big mistake is improper breathing while performing a specific exercise. Breathing is a crucial part of exercising. Before performing a new exercise, always make sure to try a few attempts to determine the correct breathing dynamics of the movement.

Biggest mistake you can make

The next big mistake of every beginner is irregular exercising. The first few days after a hard workout, you may feel extreme soreness in your muscles, but please, don’t stop there. Try to shift your mindset about working out. Convert it from a tedious routine into a hobby.

When it’s the hardest, try not to quit in the middle of a workout and finish the designated program for the day. This will transform you into a reliable person, ready to tackle any challenge in life.

Look at physical exercising as a way to develop a more mature and disciplined character. My pectus excavatum deformity introduced me to the weight room, and the weights transformed me into a completely new, better person.

I want you to add working out into your daily routine, regardless of correcting pectus carinatum. I guarantee you will feel much better both mentally and physically.

I want to share with you the biggest mistakes I made when I was starting. Learn from my mistakes, and you will improve the deformity way faster and safer.

  1. Warm-up before exercise.
    Warming up your circulatory system increases blood flow to your muscles and raises your body temperature. With that, you are sending to your body information that it is time for a workout and preparing it for the best performance.
    Warming up helps with muscular pain and injury prevention, and for you as someone who has to be very careful, please do the proper warm-up. Beginners with pectus carinatum are at risk of extreme muscular tightness, poor flexibility, and bad posture. If you do not warm up properly, increasing the blood flow into muscle groups will be very long. Warm-up is required for oxygen and nutrient delivery in the muscles.
  2. Cool down after work out.
    Cool down after your workout and let your heart rate and blood pressure gradually return to their pre-workout levels.
    More study is needed to see if cooling down helps in lessening muscular stiffness and pain after exercise. However, please do it so you will be fixing your breathing problems.
    Your muscles will stop contracting if you quit exercising without cooling down, and you may be much stiffer the next day.

How to properly warm-up and cool-down

Do at least 10 min warm-up and cool down. The routine does not have to be anything special or require any specific equipment.
You can easily do everything with your body weight.


I prefer warming up for 5 to 10 minutes with simple, easy movements. To get your muscles heated and your heart pounding, do fast walking on a treadmill, mild jog, cycling on a stationary bike, or do jumping jacks for a few minutes.

After the workout routine, do full-body stretching for a while. Gentle moves that will trigger your muscles properly would be okay.

Tips for how to start the journey


Regular exercising is beneficial for you and will help you both mentally and physically. However, If you have a busy day schedule or haven’t adjusted your exercise habits still, please know it’s never too late to start.

You can begin softly and gradually, adding more physical exercise into your daily routine, week by week. When it comes to your workout, adjust it depending on your desires, and always make it the most individual as you can.

If you are trying to improve pectus carinatum with exercise and are new to the weight room, I recommend starting with a full-body program three times a week. Pay more attention to the form of each exercise.

Master the basic barbell exercises like the deadlift, squat, overhead press, barbell row, and bench press. Add pull-ups and face pulls into the mix.

At first, I recommend you focus on improving the overall appearance of your physique. When you’ve learned the basic gym exercises, you can focus on separating the muscle groups you want to enhance, into “split” type of workouts like PPL (push, pull, legs).

I’ve seen the best results when I followed this type of routine. That’s the way old school bodybuilders in the Golden Era used to train. Make a schedule for your workout days.

Know the time in your day when you have to work out. Having a planner can help you minimize your excuses for not working out.
If you create your exercise program with a personal trainer or do it by yourself, make sure to know which equipments you can include.

The biggest enemy is quitting. Always try to change things up a bit in your routine so you won’t get bored quickly. Defining your finish result in the gym is your guide to the goal.

Calculating how much time you have to exercise will make you mentally ready to hit your goal. Record in your calendar when you started, and please keep evidence of your progress.

Pectus carinatum deformity treatment can take extra time, but consistency will do its work. Start slowly, do not strain too much in the beginning, and you’ll make excellent progress with time.

Make every needed adjustment to your program so you can be satisfied anytime with the routine. Make exercising more enjoyable. While exercising, try to listen to music. Maybe listen to some motivational workout playlists.

You may be more inclined to enjoy exercising if you have a workout partner. Join an exercise group or class, such as a yoga class, hiking club, or swim team, or simply go to the gym and meet new gym buddies. The options are endless.

How working out can help

Any sort of exercise is beneficial when you are having pectus carinatum. Whether it is bodybuilding, yoga, swimming, breathing exercises, or simply long walking sessions, you are doing it right. All of these ways of moving your body are beneficial, not just to your physical look but also to your general health.

Every kind of movement you choose is beneficial to your mind, spirit, and your body. Inner peace and self-satisfaction are essential for a high-quality life for everyone, not only for people with chest deformation.

But, I found out that I love bodybuilding the most. It is a form of exercise that improves the visual aspect of chest deformities.

Looking on the Internet pages, you can find countless stories from people with chest wall deformities who improved their problem by religiously following weighting workouts. I am a part of this group.

In my opinion, it is the ideal sport for developing a proportionately developed and powerful body physique. Bodybuilding includes weightlifting, as well as aerobic activities, which gives visible results if appropriately combined.

If you are someone who wants to fix their pectus carinatum without surgery, try a custom-made bodybuilding program. If you follow the basic rules of weightlifting, your physique will noticeably improve.

Bodybuilding is statistically one of the world’s safest sports. This sport helped people reach astonishing results when it comes to treating their pectus carinatum deformity.

They gain muscle to their skinny frame and improve their body image, generating self-love in the process. Knowing how visibly impactful the pigeon chest deformity is, even in clothes, many motivated sufferers of pectus carinatum successfully managed the deformation appearance with bodybuilding.

Overall, health improvement is scientifically guaranteed. You will feel better, and you’ll be able to avoid or control numerous diseases and most likely increase your life span.

How work out benefits us

Reduce your chances of developing heart disease.

Exercise can highly improve circulation and strengthen the heart muscle. It helps with increased blood flow and boosts your body’s oxygen levels.

All of that is very important for patients with pectus carinatum because of the common heart and breathing problems. An active lifestyle can help you avoid heart illnesses, including excessive cholesterol, coronary artery disease, and heart attacks.

Exercises help with losing weight and reduce your blood pressure and lipid levels.

Improve controlling of blood sugar and insulin levels.

Exercise can help your insulin function better and reduce your blood sugar levels. Exercise can lower your chances of developing metabolic syndrome and type of diabetes.

But, if you already have any other health issues besides pectus carinatum, working out can help.

Make your bones and muscles stronger.

Regular exercise aids in the development of strong bones in children and teenagers who are diagnosed with chest deformation. Usually, chest bones grow abnormally during the teenage years.

That’s why I highly recommend you advise your kid on the benefits of working out as a preventative. Do that in practice.

Show the kid how happy you are while working out, show the results, and the kid will most likely mimic you and acquire positive health benefits from a young age. It can also help to reduce the loss of bone density that happens with aging later in life.

That is a solution for older patients to keep a normal function of their body. Muscular-strengthening exercises can help in the growth or maintenance of muscle mass and strength. (Bodybuilding is the fastest route for muscle growth)


Strong muscles for older people with pigeon chests are the prevention of future possible bone problems. Strong musculature can reduce your chances of falling and breaking bones.

Balance and muscle-strengthening exercises (yoga is a good option for older people. It is easier and recommended by doctors worldwide to improve or maintain brain function) have been shown to minimize the risk of falling in older people.

Improve your mental health and mood

To be happy with yourself depends on your ideal body image and the perfect mindset and mental strength. Our bodies, while exercising, releases chemicals that can improve your mood and make you feel more relaxed.

They are called endorphins. Endorphins work by interacting with pain receptors in the brain to lessen pain perception. Endorphins also provide a pleasurable sensation in the body.

That helps you deal with stress and reduce your risk of depression. Depression and low self-esteem are ubiquitous in society nowadays. So, preventing it may be the best option.

Exercise helps you with your brain functions as well

Keep your thinking, learning, and perception skills sharp and decisive. A regular active lifestyle stimulates your body to release proteins and other chemicals that improve the structure and function of your brain.


Many people struggle with confidence around the opposite sex, and I know it can stop you from living your best life. I discovered that many young boys tend to shrug their shoulders forward and move them forward, making their chest protrusion deformity less visible to girls.

Doing that makes them have abnormal posture, further worsening the problem. Because of these problems, I encourage you to be patient and believe that you can change your self-image by working out.

But, know that results do not come overnight. It takes time and sacrifice sometimes, but it is worth it.

Anxiety killer

Whenever you feel that something is off with your mood or thoughts, just put on your clothes and go out. Go to the gym, go for a short run or walk.

It’s that simple. Through exercising, you will waste all of your negative energy and release it away from your body. After that, you will feel lighter and much calmer.

Tips for parents

When a kid is diagnosed with a chest anomaly, corrective gymnastics is genuinely an effective physical activity for them. The practice consists of breathing exercises, shoulder strengthening exercises, strengthening the front of the chest muscles, and whole-body workouts.

Also, the kid needs to find non-judgemental friends and feel that there’s nothing wrong with them. Professionals in the field always guide gymnastics workouts, so you do not have to worry about your kids’ safety during exercising.

They need to be supervised by coaches. I would also recommend talking to the coach. Tell your child about his condition and ask him to be more careful with them.

Specific exercises

Safety tip
If you have done any surgery for pectus carinatum, please consult your doctor before you start working out. Be very careful. Your body will need rest and some time to reset and come back to a normal lifestyle.

For the following four months, someone who has done any surgeries is told to minimize his physical activity, particularly any twisting motions or quick raising of arms above his head.

The patient is given a list of lower extremity exercises to undertake for the following two weeks. Doctors advise that modest weights are used for upper extremities, but patients cannot lift or carry anything heavier than 25 pounds.

Seven most effective exercises for pectus carinatum

As previously mentioned, many men and women use bodybuilding to improve their physical appearance. Some females discover that if their breasts are large enough, they may cover the protruding breastbone.

  • (Some females choose breast augmentation. That’s a procedure that some plastic surgeons use to cover mild to moderate instances in women.)
    But usually, people with symmetrical pectus carinatum choose bodybuilding.
    Remember to exercise both the chest and back, alternating several times a week. It is equally essential to engage both chest and back muscles for maximum result. Doing only chest workouts is never a good idea. The same and monotonous exercises will result in shoulder and elbow problems. It may cause a longer recovery time and a longer repairing process of pectus carinatum. Also, don’t forget the core workouts. If training the core is a burden to you, like it is to me, a good tip is to do only a few sets of core exercises after every workout routine. Stong abs muscles will give you a flatter look to your chest.
    Both males and females benefit from bodybuilding and muscle gain.

-First and foremost, you should master proper form. ( It’s critical to -obtain the perfect exercise form before doing anything in bodybuilding.)
-Between workouts, take a day off.
-Have a goal in mind.
-Eat before and after your workout for better and faster results.
-Aim for eight to twelve reps.
-Keep your focus and keep your composure.

1 Standing Shoulder Horizontal Abduction with Resistance

For the starting point, lift your arms in front of you and move your arms out to the sides. Begin by standing with your arms straight in front of you and your fists facing the floor.

Grab a resistance band in each hand. Hold them tight to avoid band slippage or other accidents with the bands. Move your hands’ side to side.

Back to the beginning posture and continue by pulling your hands apart until they are squarely at your sides. As you pull the band, maintain your arms level and imagine pressing your shoulder blades together like you have a little ball between them.

During the exercise, keep an upright posture and avoid shrugging your shoulders, which may cause extra tension in your neck and upper back. I am recommending you to perform at least ten reps per set. Do at least three sets on every workout for the best effects.

2 Shoulder Extension with Resistance – Palms Forward

Begin by standing tall, with your arms straight ahead and your palms facing up; grab the ends of a resistance band secured above in front of you. After you learn the form, squeeze your shoulder blades together as you pull your arms down to your sides.

Then return them to the beginning position and repeat the process. During the exercise, maintain your elbows and back straight and avoid shrugging your shoulders.

Also, tighten the muscles of the abdomen, buttocks, and legs for a stable form of the body. Do three sets with ten repetitions without interruption.

3 Standing Scapular Retraction

Start standing with your arms at your sides. Squeeze your shoulder blades together gently, then relax and do it again. During the exercise, maintain your back relaxed and avoid shrugging your shoulders in an upward motion.

Remind yourself during each set of this exercise to hold your shoulders away from your ears. Try to do three sets at least and ten reps each.

4 Scapular Retraction with Resistance

Begin by standing tall, elbows bent and tucked at your sides, and grasping the ends of a resistance band fixed in front of you. Pull against the resistance band by squeezing your shoulder blades together and downward.

Hold this posture for 2-3 seconds, relax and do it again. Do this exercise slowly. During the exercise, maintain your back straight and don’t shrug your shoulders. Do at least ten repetitions.

5 Plank

Aim to hold in a plank position for at least 30 seconds. If you want to build a solid overall posture, do it for up to 1 minute at least.
Start like you’re ready to do a push-up place your hands precisely under the shoulders (slightly wider than shoulder-width).

Look at a point on the floor and neutralize your neck and spine. Your back should be parallel to your head. During the exercise, always keep your back straight and maintain a little chin tuck.

6 Bird dog

Start on the ground with hands and knees, and arms directly under your shoulders and knees under your hips. Next, straighten one arm and the opposite leg until they are both parallel to the floor.

Go back to the starting position after a brief hold of a few seconds. And then do it with the opposite hand and leg.
During the workout, make sure your abs are tight. Tight abs will protect your beck from unwanted stiffness or injury.

Do at least ten repetitions on each side. Do a break between sets ( 90sec) and perform three sets.
This exercise is an example of how our brain and body can be trained simultaneously.

7 Kneeling Push Up

Go down on your knees and place your hands on the floor, slightly wider than shoulder-width apart and in line with the shoulders.
Bend the elbows to lower your body until your chest nearly reaches the floor.

Keep your elbows to the sides of the torso for better control. Push yourself back to the starting posture after a brief pause. While doing the exercise, keep your back straight and maintain a little chin tuck.

People who exercise regularly can do at least 15 reps of this exercise. Total beginners have weaker arm muscles, and because of that, I recommend you to do at least 6 – 8 reps.

Note
All of the exercises above are very effective but still safe for everyone and every body type. It fits a different range of body conditions.

This example of a workout you can do at home, and all you need is a band and yoga mat or blanket.
If you follow this simple program for pectus carinatum workout, I am sure that you will see benefits very soon. Do every exercise in one workout day.

Repeat each exercise for at least three sets, and every group should include ten repetitions. If you feel that you can do more, do it. Remember that limit is only in our heads. Every set should consist of ten reps.

Best 5 shoulder and chest exercises

1. Barbell Shoulder Press

The barbell shoulder press works both your front and lateral (side) deltoids, giving you a rounder, more significant appearance. The overhead press also strengthens your upper back and triceps.


In the front-rack position, hold a barbell. The bar should be positioned such that it rests against your collarbone. Maintain a firm grasp on the bar with your elbows pointing forward.


Press the barbell overhead while bracing your core and planting your feet. Your elbows should be completely extended and your palms facing forward at the top. To complete one rep, lower the barbell back to the starting position.

Arnold Press

The Arnold press’s rotating feature means your shoulders work in many planes of motion, which adds to the muscle-building potential. In the front-rack posture, hold two dumbbells.

One dumbbell head should be resting on your shoulders, while the other should be supported with a full grip and your elbows pointed forward. The dumbbells should be by your side and parallel to the ground.


Dumbbells should be held over your head. Rotate your arms so that the dumbbells face outward as you do so. When your elbows are fully extended, your palms should face front.


You are returning to the front rack position by lowering the dumbbells to the beginning position and turning your arms inward, which brings us to the end of one rep.

Lateral raise

The slower you go, the more painful these rises will be – and the more muscle mass you will add to the shoulders. With a pair of dumbbells, stand up with your hands facing your body with them by your sides.

Push back your shoulders and down and activate your core. You are maintaining a straight spine and a motionless upper body. With a slight bend in your elbows, try to lift the dumbbells out to your side, keeping the weights higher than your forearms.

Raise your arms. They need to be parallel to the floor, then gently return to the starting position.

Dumbbell Squeeze Press

While performing this exercise, squeezing the dumbbells together shifts the action to your pecs. This motion gives a whole range of movement, crucial for maximum muscle building.


Lie down on a flat bench with a dumbbell in each hand. Start with your arms straight and squarely above you, maintaining a neutral grip. Bend your arms to the side of your body and slowly lower them so the dumbbells are just over your chest.

Repeat by pausing and lifting your arms.

Incline barbell bench press

Lift a barbell to shoulder height and your palms facing away from you while lying back on an incline bench. While you press up with both arms, exhale before carefully returning to the starting posture, lockout your arms, and compress your chest.

Core exercises

Strong core muscles help in making the protruding breastbone less obvious. A strong core is a basis for so many other things.

Most importantly, excellent posture may help you avoid lower back discomfort and improve your mobility and strength.

Forming a powerful midsection will also help you perform better in the gym when doing other exercises for pigeon chest treatment.

Mountain climber

Start with one knee up between your elbows and the other foot on the floor. Jump the foot off the floor and swap it with the front foot. Throughout the exercise, focus on bringing your stomach muscles in to protect your spine and provide more incredible energy.

That is an excellent workout for both burning calories and toning your abdomen. Begin with 30 seconds of mountain climbers and gradually increase to 60.

Abs roll-out

Begin the exercise with your knees and ab-roller on the floor. Slide the barbell or ab-roller away from your knees gently. Your hips must be forward for your knees, hips, and shoulders to all be straightened.

Once you’ve mastered rolling out, keep your hips and spine in a neutral position as you rollback. On the way back, avoid thrusting your hips in the air since this negates the aim of the exercise.


It’s an excellent way to improve core strength immediately. Begin with five reps and work your way up to 15.

Bicycle crunches

The simpler, the better. This exercise has been declared one of the most effective exercises for solid abdominal muscles.


Start laying on your back on the ground, with your lower back flat against the floor and your head and shoulders lifted slightly above it. Place your hands on the sides of your head, not behind your ears, and don’t knit your fingers.

During the workout, avoid pulling your head with your hands at any moment. Raise one leg and stretch it out to the side. Raise the opposite leg and bring the knee to your chest.

You can do this exercise any time of the day, at the same time, while watching the TV, for example, or resting on your sofa. It’s that simple. Do as many repetitions as you can.

*It would be nice If you had a yoga mat as equipment at home. If you have it in front of you, I think that you’ll be more motivated to do a set of abs exercises more often.

Conclusion

No matter how hard it is at the start, remember that once you begin to work out, you will never feel sorry for it. Good health requires sacrifices and a lot of motivation.

Do not wait for something to get worse and then try to fix it. Start when it is still early and hold some space for changes. Pectus carinatum exercises are simple, easy, and effective.

Many people changed their lives with workouts; I am one of them. A consistent routine is a guarantee for less noticeable pectus carinatum outwarded bone.

Combining it with bracing will produce fantastic results. However, aside from all of the visible effects, health benefits are much more critical. Having an active lifestyle can improve everything in our immune system, so don’t waste time on procrastination.


If you can’t recognize yourself doing bodybuilding workouts, there are always other solutions. Yoga, swimming, Pilates, and other physical therapy are equally good in treating pectus carinatum deformity and additional problems.

Breathing exercises are the key in every activity, so be careful and mindful when inhaling and exhaling while training. When you find yourself in the finish zone, when your deformity is at least reduced, you’ll be very proud of yourself.

That will give you extra motivation and confidence. You will enjoy your next workout.

There is no better feeling than when you see your physique improvements in the mirror. It’s like a new start and the beginning of a new story for your life.

Article by:

Mihail Veleski

My name is Mihail Veleski. I used to suffer from the pectus excavatum deformity during my teenage years.

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