Top 11 Pectus Excavatum Exercises in 2022 + Full Workout Plan

Evidence Based This post has medical citations


We shouldn’t underestimate the difficulty of improving the deformity with the help of exercises specialized for pectus excavatum. First and foremost, pectus excavatum and protruding ribs are structural deformities of the chest.

That can’t be fixed solely by relying on exercises. The purpose of the strengthening exercises is to make the indentation less noticeable. They will help you improve your posture, add muscle, and increase your overall self-confidence. It takes a lot of commitment and discipline to follow an exercise program for pectus excavatum.

Bones are moved by muscles that hold them in place. Furthermore, the rib cage section is flexible and can be modified by following the proper pectus excavatum exercises that I am going to show you.

great exercise for sunken chest deformity

Biggest Mistake You Do with Sunken Chest Exercises

Most people trying to improve pectus excavatum with exercises, tend to focus only on the chest musculature. The problem is that the muscles required for optimal posture are overlooked.

In my opinion, this is the main reason why people struggle to improve their deformity with physical exercises. A typical person who suffers from the deformity has weak upper body strength, weak back musculature, tight chest muscles, and bad posture.

This is a similar pattern that is frequent among patients with pectus excavatum. For the best results, you must build a robust and balanced physique.

Here is a scientifically proven study that shows how physical therapy can help you improve your condition without undergoing surgery. I will show you the exact exercises that helped many other sufferers worldwide, including me.

3 reasons why Bodybuilding will help You Fix Funnel Chest

Bodybuilding is not only great for improving your overall chest appearance, but also your well-being. The sport is not only for your body. It is also good for your mind and soul.

In my experience, it is the best sport when it comes to getting your body proportionally developed and muscular. Bodybuilding combines the benefits of weightlifting and aerobic exercises. There is absolutely no reason whatsoever why you wouldn’t follow a properly designed bodybuilding program while you’re on a journey of fixing pectus excavatum without an operation.

It is worth mentioning that bodybuilding is one of the safest sports in the world. For example, if you look at the physiques of famous bodybuilders with pectus excavatum, you’ll notice that their indentations aren’t obvious. You can’t even notice that they have a chest wall malformation. Not only they have muscular chests but also the rest of their body is proportional and muscular.

Great for Cardiovascular Health

cardiovascular health for patients with indented chest

Pectus excavatum can harm your cardiovascular health, especially if your deformity is more severe. One of the worst things you can do is to ignore any physical activity.

Your workout capacities will indeed be lower than those that have a healthy chest appearance. However, you shouldn’t use this as an excuse to avoid bodybuilding. Resistance training is scientifically proven to reduce the risk of heart illness.

That’s because it can decrease resting blood pressure, lower low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and triglycerides, and enhance high-density lipoprotein cholesterol. On top of that, it is beneficial for the health of your bones, joints, and muscles.

Therefore, it is highly suggested for patients with arthritis and osteoporosis. It makes the overall body structure strong and flexible at the same time.

Back when I was diagnosed with pectus excavatum, the doctor recommended me to perform the bodybuilding exercises I am about to show you below. I had a skinny frame, and the BMI (body mass index) calculation showed that I was underweight. On top of that, my posture was poor.

He told me the exercises could fix all of that, but he didn’t say that the exercises alone can repair my deformity. At first, I was sceptical because I thought bodybuilding would stunt my growth.

However, after doing an extensive research, I became aware of how beneficial it would be for my appearance. Performing the bodybuilding exercises designed for pectus excavatum can make your sunken chest less noticeable.

First of all, you’ll notice how much of a positive impact it will have on your overall self-confidence. You’ll feel much more confident around members of the opposite sex because you’ll have that self-assurance in your body that you always wanted.

You can see the effectiveness of non-surgical therapy in the following articles:

Drastically Improves Self-Confidence and Reduces Anxiety

bodybuilding improves chest appearance for pectus excavatum

Improving your body appearance will have a significant impact on your self-esteem. Bodybuilding is known for doing that. It has changed the lives of many young people over the years, including mine. It is proven to minimize tension, anxiety, and depression. The increased self-confidence is just a bonus.

However, your confidence won’t increase overnight. It happens gradually, as you lose fat, get leaner, and as you build muscle. Your sunken chest won’t be the most prominent part of your body. The aesthetic physique will make you appear much better than before.

One of the things I love the most about bodybuilding is that after each workout session, you’ll get in a better mood. You’ll reap the benefits of this instantly. That’s because working out releases a hormone called Endorphin. It is a chemical in the brain that is directly correlated to feeling good.

Endorphin will help you battle the negative and anxious feelings you got because of your condition. On top of that, participating in bodybuilding will fight psychological pressure, minimize mental and physical tiredness, and will help you get a better night’s sleep.

Reducing stress will also help you build muscle mass faster.

Builds Muscle Mass in The Upper Body

indented chest musculature

Combining muscle building and corrective pectus excavatum exercises will significantly improve your sunken chest appearance. The primary purpose of performing these exercises is to develop proper structural integrity in the joints and build muscle mass. That will help for chest wall correction.

The strengthening of your overall body, especially the upper body musculature, will yield a ton of great benefits. You can do this type of training, either bodyweight or with weights. I’ve think that combining both types of training will yield the best results.

They work exceptionally well together, especially if your pectus excavatum deformity is mild. Lifting weights won’t stunt your or your children’s growth, as many people believe. Don’t be one of those guys who is still afraid to lift because of this non-sense.

Numerous studies have proven that this is a pure myth that has been blinding people for decades. If you don’t have access to a weight room, you can still workout from home. You can do that by purchasing a simple barbell, plates, dumbbells, bench, and a power rack.

Working out in your home has a lot of advantages. You don’t have to waste a lot of time in your day, driving, and getting back home from the gym. You can even exercise in your pajamas. If you’re still a skeptic about weightlifting but want to fix your pectus excavatum deformity badly, there is still a solution for you.

You can do simple, but practical bodyweight pectus excavatum exercises. In this case, there is no need for you to spend any money on equipment. Use your body as a gym. In the text that follows, I’ll show you the specific exercise program that I used to correct my sunken chest.

Unipack Adjustable Dumbbells

You can strengthen your entire upper body with a set of simple dumbbells. The best pectus excavatum exercises like the incline bench press, flys and pullover are done with a dumbbell.

Bodybuilding Golden Era

If you look at most pectus excavatum sufferers from the side, they have a pretty narrow rib cage. That can become problematic if you’re in the process of gaining weight. The belly will come out, and it will look a lot bigger because of your inverted chest.

In my opinion, that looks terrible. However, there is a solution to this. You need to increase the size and volume of your rib cage. Let me share some ideas with you.

The Roots of Bodybuilding

Recently, I became very interested in reading books written by old school bodybuilders like Arthur Saxon “The Iron-Master”, and Eugin Sandow. I like these books because they go back to the roots of bodybuilding and what it meant to be a bodybuilder hundred years ago.

Bodybuilding in the late 19th century and early 20th century was a lot different than what bodybuilding is today. The physiques of these athletes were incredible, but what fascinated me the most was their brutal strength, that many of the “bodybuilders” today are lacking.

One of the things that I noticed is that none of them had build up pecs. They did minimal horizontal pressing. Most of the pressing they did was overhead, and their favorite exercises were in the pulling pattern. They were designed to pull the shoulder blades back.

Not only that, they proudly displayed the fact that the front of their bodies was very open and pliable, as opposed to the bodybuilders of today who close down and continually show the pectoral development.

Difference Between Bodybuilding Then and Now

One hundred years ago, the bodybuilders did a lot of scapular retraction, while keeping their shoulders down. It was always about keeping the shoulder blades down and together. The reason why I bring this up is that the muscles of the front of the body are designed to be softer.

That’s just how we’re designed as humans. However, if you plan to win a bodybuilding contest now, forget about what I am saying. Nowadays, it is all about chest development.

The suppleness of the frontal part of the body is connected with the respiratory wave. You can’t breathe correctly if you have a tight, and restricted chest musculature with rounded shoulders. Not surprisingly, this is the posture of most pectus excavatum sufferers.

The front of your body needs to be all soft and flexible, as opposed to your back. When you breathe, you should feel the breath expanding mostly in the front.

The softness of the front part of the body, that allows the respiratory wave, would be enhanced by strengthening the back musculature, while opening the front part of the body. As the respiratory wave opens, your lung capacity might improve.

In other words, the muscles of your ribcage will become more pliable, soft, and flexible. They’ll be able to open up and increase your ability to produce the respiratory wave.

The Forgotten Exercise

One of the exercises that were very popular back in the day was overhead dumbbell pullovers. You lay on the bench, grab a dumbbell, and bring that up to open the front of your body. The magic in that exercise is in your ability to open up the rib cage.

You’ll create more flexibility throughout the respiratory wave. The poses they did in the bodybuilding competitions were also a lot different than today. They did a lot of pullovers.

That was one of the essential exercises for an incredible physique in those days.

Take a Break from Horizontal Pressing

My invitation to every pectus excavatum sufferer who wants to participate in bodybuilding is to work on developing the postural muscles of the back—the scapular adductors, the muscles that force good posture.

Take a break from doing a lot of horizontal pressing and dumbbell flyes, and work to open up the rib cage with the pullover exercise. I am looking at athletes who displayed their ability to open up their chest.

That is the way they trained. In my opinion, this is very cool, and I decided to give it a try. After a couple of weeks, I noticed how my posture instantly improved, and my shoulders were back and down even while I was doing my daily activities.

However, I missed bench pressing a lot. I noticed how my pecs were becoming weaker. Then, I decided to mix the old-school bodybuilding style with the new-school. What I do now is a mixture of both.

I think that is the best bodybuilding style if you want to make the pectus excavatum indentation less noticeable while having an athletic body with perfect posture.

7 Day Pectus Excavatum Exercise Program

The workout plan below is the exact pectus excavatum workout plan that I practiced for five months. It helped me improve my deformity without undergoing painful surgery.

The people in the “pectus excavatum before and after exercise” section, improved their appearance following this exact routine. You need to follow this workout for no less than eight weeks. There are four days where you will perform weighted and bodyweight exercises.

You will do a push/pull split that yields the best results when it comes to correcting pectus excavatum. The other two days, you will do a full-body yoga routine. Yoga will help you improve your poor posture, strengthen neglected muscles that cause muscular imbalances, and help you with proper breathing pattern.

On the seventh day, you will rest completely. This day will allow your muscles and mind to recover fully. Use this time for social activities. You will notice how much your confidence levels will increase, only after a week of working out.

pectus excavatum exercises

*AMRAP – As many reps as possible

You don’t need any fancy equipment to do this workout. I purchased everything I needed online, from That allowed me to follow this routine from the comfort of my house. I saved a lot of time and nerves doing that.

I became more disciplined and stuck to the routine without taking a day off because I had everything I needed in my house. The equipment doesn’t take a lot of space. Also, I felt more comfortable improving my body without worrying about what the judgemental people at the gym think of me.

Health is wealth. I never regretted deciding to purchase the workout equipment. It is one of the smartest investments that I did for myself.

Most people won’t hesitate to buy the latest iPhone but will be hesitant about whether to purchase equipment that will improve their body appearance. If you don’t take care of your body, where are you going to live?

Below, I’ll list the exact products that I used to follow this program. Amazon will take care of the shipping and delivery. You’ll receive the items in 2-3 days, and you can immediately start reshaping your body.

4 Products you need to follow the pectus excavatum program

Reliancer Power Tower Dip & Pull Up Station 

This is a multi-function tower on which you can perform pull-ups, dips, incline dumbbell press, flat bench press, push-ups and knee raises. You will save a lot of money because you won’t have to buy a pull-up bar, dip station and bench. You have everything you need to fix pectus excavatum in this product.

Unipack Adjustable Dumbbells (2 X 52.5 Lbs)

This dumbbell set offers the best bang for your buck. The plates are made of Durable Cast Iron, while the handle is Chrome. You can adjust each dumbbell from 5 lbs up to 52.5 lbs. These are requried for incline press, flys, pullovers, rows and weighted dips.

Step Fitness 4-Weight Deluxe Barbell Set

This is a great beginner barbell set with weights. With this, you can do flat bench press, deadlift and rows. It comes with 2 collars and 8 different size plates. Place the barbell on the Reliancer Tower pins to perform a bench press. You can also put it on the floor for deadlifts.

UPOWEX Resistance Bands Set

5 colorful bands are made of a high-quality latex material that cannot be snapped. They are double-layered and crafted carefully to give maximal resistance. Each color provides different resistance level. To do face-pulls, just tie a band to the Reliancer Power Tower.

Top 11 Bodybuilding Exercises for Caved in Chest

Above, I discussed the most common health benefits of bodybuilding for an indented chest. They are too good to be ignored. After I started weightlifting, my whole perspective on life has changed.

I realized that pushing weights at the gym is the same thing as going through hard times in life. The heavier weight you can push, the more essential life challenges you can handle.

That is extremely helpful to your mental health while you’re dealing with pectus excavatum. Let me present to you my top 10 favorite pectus excavatum bodybuilding exercises that had the most significant impact on my upper body appearance.

I will divide them into two sections: Chest and back exercises.

As I said above, it is equally important to work both chest and back muscles while correcting sunken chest. Never do only chest exercises.

This will lead to shoulder and elbow injuries and will prolong the process of correcting pectus excavatum. You don’t want this to happen to you. Bodybuilding and building mass works for both males and females.

arnold pectus excavatum workout

6 Greatest Pectus Excavatum Chest Exercises

After you pack on some dense muscles, your concave chest won’t be so visible. The good thing about these exercises is that they also work your core musculature. Building up the upper abdominals will make rib flaring less obvious.

That will make your body much more aesthetic and proportional. I suggest you perform four sets of 10 reps of each of the following exercises.

Do 90 seconds rest between sets.

This is the perfect bodybuilding tempo, which has been proven to be most effective for hypertrophy (muscle building). As of now, don’t worry about program structuring. All you need to learn is how these chest bodybuilding exercises will help you in improving your funnel chest.


hollow chest exercise

In my opinion, the flat bench press is the most effective pectus excavatum exercise out there. It is the king of all upper body exercises, which is by far the most frequently used movement in the gym.

It is the foundation of many bodybuilding programs, whose primary focus is building muscle mass and strength in the entire chest. The primary musculature used in this exercise is the entire chest, shoulders, triceps, and core.

It’s the most effective mass and strength builder in the upper body. It has the potential to fill the muscles around the hole made by pectus excavatum.

This should be a big enough reason to include the barbell or dumbbell bench press in your workout sessions. Most people who suffer from sunken chest conditions have a very weak lower chest musculature.

This worsens their appearance and makes the dent much more noticeable. In that case, the decline bench press can be more effective than the flat bench press.

Also, it takes away the involvement of the shoulders in the movement. Your chest muscles will get isolated much more.

Your chest will get “pumped” after you do four sets of 10 reps. The decline bench press is essential for you if you notice that you have imbalanced chest musculature development.

Adding this bodybuilding exercise will balance your muscles and will make your body appearance much better. However, the main disadvantage of this bench press variation is that it is much harder to perform.

Also, you can get dizzy because of the positioning on the bench. That is why the flat bench press is still my go-to chest exercise for correcting pectus excavatum.

Flat Bench Press Step-by-Step
  1. Begin the exercise by lying down on the bench. Use a wide grip on the barbell so that the chest musculature is more activated in the movement.
  2. After the weights are in a straight line above your chest, lower the barbell slowly for 2 seconds and let it touch your lower chest. Use mind-muscle-connection, and focus on the musculature that surrounds your chest indentation. That’s how you achieve a better contraction.
  3.  Exhale and push the barbell until it reaches the starting position. Repeat.

Do this exercise 2 times a week for four sets of 10, with moderate weights. Don’t’ forget to warm up. You can also use dumbbells if you prefer using them over a barbell.

Dumbbell Pullover

The straight arm dumbbell pullover has been Arnold Schwarzenegger’s favorite chest exercise. He famously said:

“The pain in the sternum you’ll get from performing the dumbbell pullover is unbelievable! It literally tears the chest apart and pushes it into incredible growth”.

Arnold Schwarzenegger

This says a lot about the exercise, coming from the owner of the best-developed chest of all time. The dumbbell pullover has been trendy in the bodybuilding Golden Era. It was a beloved chest exercise among bodybuilding legends like Francis Benfatto, Bob Paris, and Reg Park.

The best thing about this exercise is that it targets the lats, stretches the sternum, intercoastal, serratus interior and anterior (these are also known as muscles in the rib cage). The intercostal muscles move the ribs.

Developing these muscles will give your chest and rib cage a great physical appearance and expansion. They will look bigger and stronger. It is the ideal pectus excavatum exercise that toughens your chest muscles.

Simultaneously, it expands your rib cage and pushes the breastbone out.

dumbbell pullover exercise

Dumbbell Pullover Step-by-Step
  1. Begin by laying on a simple bench or on the floor. If you do lay on the floor, I recommend you place a pillow under your shoulder blades so that you can arch your upper back. This is done to stretch the chest muscles during the movement, and pull out the sternum.
  2.  Hold the dumbbell over your chest with a slight bend in your elbows. Lower the dumbbell slowly until your arms are parallel with the ground. Then, take a deep breath and expand your rib cage.
  3. Using the same curving motion, finish the movement to your starting position while exhaling. Repeat.

Do this exercise 2 times a week, by performing four sets until you reach failure. Use moderate weights. All you’ll need is a cheap simple set of adjustable dumbbells and a bench. If you have these two inexpensive items, you can perform this exercise from the comfort of your house.

Fitness Reality Super Bench

I bought the Fitness Reality bench a year ago, and it still feels like new. It is the perfect product to perform dumbbell pullovers on.

Unipack Adjustable Dumbbells

Purchasing a set of dumbbells is probably the wisest decision you can do when it comes to fixing pectus excavatum. Check the video below to see how the exercise should be performed.


dumbbell fly great funnel chest movement

The dumbbell fly is the best bodybuilding exercise you can do for your inner chest.

It is a chest isolation exercise, which means that it is a single-joint movement.An example of a multi-joint movement is the bench press.

It works not only the pectoralis muscles but also the deltoids in the shoulders, rhomboids (muscles between your shoulder and your spine), the rotator cuff muscles, and your serratus anterior.

If you do them correctly, most of the pressure will be put on your inner pectoralis muscles.

Dumbbell Fly Step-by-Step Guide
  1. Lie down on a flat bench with a dumbbell in each hand. Your dumbbells should be touching each other. Keep them resting on top of your quadriceps.
  2. Lift the dumbbells up, just like when you’re doing the dumbbell bench press. Put them above your chest. This is your starting position. You need a 10-degree bend in the elbows throughout the entire movement. Keep the elbows fixed for more muscle gains.
  3. While you’re performing the dumbbell fly, your arms shouldn’t be completely straight. This can cause elbow tendonitis. Also, you don’t want them to be bent, because it takes off the movement from the chest muscles.
  4. Lower both arms laterally, so you will feel a gentle stretch and pressure on your chest muscles. Stop as soon as your arms are parallel to the ground.
  5. After that, bring the dumbbells at the starting position while keeping your elbows fixed. Keep a contraction for at least 1 second before lowering the dumbbells again. Then, slowly repeat the whole movement, until you’ve done three sets of 12 repetitions.

Check the video below to see how to perform a picture-perfect dumbbell fly to help you correct your pectus excavatum condition.

Iron Chest Master Pushups

The Iron Chest Master Push-Ups is one of my favorite pectus excavatum exercises you can do at home, for numerous reasons. It works the same muscles as the pushups but adds a slight variation that makes it a better exercise.

While you’re performing this exercise, the pelvic rotation will be perfect for activating your core. Furthermore, the contraction of your upper chest muscles will cause the rib cage to be fully stretched.

This will cause blood to rush in your back muscles. This leads to an improvement of the kyphosis of your spine, which is closely linked to pectus excavatum.

This exercise will cause growth in your chest and shoulder muscles. It will normalize the chest appearance. If your children suffer from the concave chest, this is the best bodyweight exercise for them to do.

Do five sets of 10 repetitions. All you need to do is invest in an Iron Chest Master workout system.

Iron Chest Master Push Up Machine

The iron Chest Master push ups are awesome for developing your upper body musculature. It has been scientifically proven to activate the chest muscles better than some of the famous bodybuilding exercises.

Check the video below for a full body workout using this product.

Weighted Dips

how to perform weighted dip

Weighted dips combine the advantages of calisthenics and weightlifting into one exercise. This is one of the best upper body exercises you can do to correct your pectus excavatum condition.

It works the pectoralis major muscles, pectoralis minor, anterior delts and rhomboids in the shoulders, lats in the back, triceps, and the core. The trapezius works as a stabilizing muscle during this movement.

If you can’t do them weighted, feel free to do them only with your bodyweight. As I previously said, people with pectus excavatum are generally ectomorphs (people with a lean and delicate body shape).

The problem here is that you can’t add too much muscle and strength if you do them relying only on your bodyweight. Adding weight will increase the intensity of the exercise and make it much more superior.

However, adding weight can cause injury to your shoulders. If you feel any pain in your sternum or shoulders, stop adding weight. Take your time and learn the proper way to do this exercise.

Weighted Dips Step-by-Step
  1. Maintain a good posture. Keep your shoulders back and down. Then, lift yourself up on a dip bar with straight arms.
  2. Lower yourself to the point where your shoulders are parallel to your elbows. Feel the contraction on your lower chest muscles.
  3. After you reach this point, raise yourself back up, and repeat the whole movement again.

Another benefit of the dips is that it significantly helps with developing strength in the bench press. Both are similar push movements that put pressure on your chest, shoulders, triceps, and help you build muscle in those areas.

If you can’t do them weighted, aim to perform five sets of as many repetitions as you can. Rest 60 seconds between sets.

If you add weight, shoot for four sets of 6-12 repetitions, with 60 seconds rest between sets. Do these three times a week.

Seated Machine Chest Press

This is a beginner-friendly chest exercise that is an excellent alternative to the flat bench press. However, in no possible way, it can replace it. Just because it is performed on a machine, it doesn’t activate the stabilizer muscles as well as the dumbbell or bench press.

Add this to your routine, nearly at the end of the workout. It helps you get a nice pump in your pectorals. The chest press works the pectoralis major, arms, delts, and lat muscles.

It is a great overall upper body exercise, great for hypertrophy (muscle building). When I perform the machine chest press, I aim for 4 sets of 12 repetitions.

I love this exercise because I can control the repetitions more. For treating pectus excavatum, I do a 3-1 tempo, meaning 3 seconds on the eccentric (lowering), and 1 second on the concentric (pushing).

This is great for getting an outstanding blood flow in your chest muscles, which significantly helps in muscle building. Don’t focus on lifting heavy weights. I recommend you set up a weight that you can push 12 repetitions without being exhausted at the end.

You need to focus more on control and tempo. If you realize that, nothing will stop you in your process of filling up the gap in your chest. Another great thing about the machine chest press is that you can integrate drop-sets in your routine.

At the end of the 3rd set, as you are finishing the 12th rep, lower the weight by 20% and do another 6 reps. After you’ve done 6 reps, drop the weight by another 20%, and do as many repetitions as your body can handle.

The drop-set will help you build up your chest musculature like no other technique. Adjust your seat and handles, so they feel comfortable for you.

Get to know the machine, and it will serve you as best as it can.

5 Best Back Exercises for Concave Chest

Great posture is more than just looking good. It serves as a foundation for strength, flexibility, and balance in your physique.

Good posture leads to more energy, confidence, and painless life. Incorrect posture causes your deformity to get worse, day by day. On the other hand, attaining proper posture should be a top priority when performing sunken chest exercises.

Below I’ll list the top 5 pectus excavatum exercises for your back.


The pull up is one of the best bodyweight exercises you can do for pectus excavatum. This exercise was recommended by my doctor, who told me to get a pull-up bar in my house.

He told me to do a couple of reps of pull-ups every time I stumbled upon it. When I first started, I followed his tip and performed wide grip pull-ups daily.

He told me that I needed to improve my posture and strengthen the musculature in my back. My dad set-up a pull-up bar in our house.

We purchased it online and got it assembled in just a couple of minutes. I recommend you do the same thing. It improves your overall back strength like no other exercise.

It is perfectly safe to perform, as the chance of injury is very minimal. There aren’t any disadvantages to doing pull-ups daily. Some bodybuilders are even known to perform up to 300 strict pull-ups throughout their workouts.

The best variation of this exercise is the wide-grip pull-ups. It is the ultimate developer for the latissimus dorsi (lats), rhomboids (located in your upper back), forearms, biceps, and core. The upper back musculature is a vital player in the journey of correcting pectus excavatum.

Pull-Ups Step-by-Step
  1. To begin, grab the pull up bar with an overhand grip. I recommend you go more extensive than shoulder-width apart, so you can target the upper back better.
  2. Contract your core musculature, and pull yourself up until your chin is above the bar. Try to squeeze your shoulder blades until you reach the top.
  3. After that, slowly lower yourself until your hands are straight. Don’t fear to lock out your arms completely. It isn’t dangerous, as many people say. In fact, this is very healthy for your shoulders.
  4. Repeat the whole movement again, until there are no reps left in your tank. Perform as many repetitions as you can for five sets, seven times a week.

To perform full grip pull-ups, all you need is a bar. There isn’t any excuse for not doing pull-ups. You can even do them outdoors. All you need to do is find a monkey bar in the local park.

Iron Gym Total Upper Body Workout Bar

This pull-up bar can be installed on your doorway in a matter of seconds. The grip of the bar is extremely comfortable because it is made of foam.

You can do chin-ups, wide pull-ups, underhand pull-ups, and plenty of other variations. Place it on a doorway that you frequently stumble upon during the day.

In just a couple of weeks, your back musculature will have that V-shape, and you will notice your posture improving. All that is done by investing in an inexpensive doorway pull up bar.

Dumbbell Rows

great back exercise for correcting sunken chest

Any form of row is a great exercise when it comes to building thicker and stronger back muscles. One of the most popular types of a row is the single-arm dumbbell row.

I recommend it over the standard barbell row because it allows you to focus on your lats intensely. Performing the exercise with dumbbells, instead of a barbell, prevents you from letting one side of your body do more rowing.

This prevents imbalances that may worsen your posture. The range of motion by using dumbbells is much more superior than using a barbell.

This will activate more muscles in the back, traps, forearms, core, and biceps. You can still use a barbell, but in my honest opinion, it puts a lot of pressure on your lower back.

Your back should be perfectly straight throughout the whole movement. However, this is hard to maintain when you reach the final set of the exercise.

As the weight gets heavier, your lower back can round, causing you unwanted injuries. That can be stopped just by performing dumbbell rows.

Everything you’ll need is a simple set of dumbbells and a bench.

Dumbbell Row Step-by-Step Guide
  1. To start this enjoyable pectus excavatum exercise, get a bench to support yourself while doing the movement. Put your right leg, and right arm on the bench, so your body will get parallel to the ground. Grab the dumbbell with your left hand with a neutral grip.
  2. Bring the dumbbell up to your chest. Focus on squeezing your back muscles while performing this movement. Keep your chest up throughout the whole set.
  3. Then, lower down the dumbbell until your arm is straight, and then repeat the entire movement.
  4. After that, do the same process using your right hand.

For optimal back muscle gains, perform 4 sets of 10 repetitions with each hand. Rest 60 seconds between sets.

In the video below, you can see how to perform this marvelous exercise to treat your funnel chest condition.


king of all exercises deadlift

The deadlift is known as the king of all exercises for adults. No other exercise activates more muscles simultaneously than the deadlift if you perform it correctly.

A lot of people stay away from doing this exercise because they fear that it will result in an injury. This is the most misunderstood exercise out of all.

Your pectus excavatum condition will significantly improve as soon as you integrate this movement into your workouts. This exercise is very important in the sunken chest workout plan.

To pull the weight off the floor, you need a healthy body foundation. It works the whole core musculature, grip strength, lower back, glutes, hamstrings, traps, and the full back musculature.

I can discuss the benefits of doing this movement for days, but here, we care about how it will help you with your pectus excavatum condition. Like I said above, pectus excavatum can get more severe if your posture is terrible.

This is mainly caused by muscular imbalances and weak back musculature. The deadlift is known as the best posture improving exercise, as it strengthens the spine.

This manifests to improved posture and can help in preventing pectus excavatum from worsening.

Deadlift Step-by-Step Guide
  1. Performing the movement isn’t complicated at all. Put the barbell in front of you and set your feet at shoulder-width apart. Then, grip the barbell just outside your legs. Bring the hips back, until your back reaches a 45-degree angle to the ground.
  2. Keep the chest up, contract the abdominals, and pull the bar off the floor. Squeeze the glutes when you stand upright to protect your lower back. Then focus on bringing the shoulder blades together. This is an essential part of the lift because it helps improve your posture.
  3. Lower the bar back to the ground and repeat the whole movement again. For best results, perform 4 sets of 8 repetitions twice a week.

Rest 120 seconds between sets. Proper deadlift form needs to be practiced with lower weight first. When starting out, focus on technique first.

Don’t add too much weight. After you mastered the form, you can safely pull big numbers off the floor.

Inverted Row

The inverted row is one of the best pectus excavatum exercises for the back. It balances the overly developed chest muscles resulting from doing a lot of bench pressing.

This exercise will help you if you struggle to do pull-ups or barbell rows. It is a bodyweight movement like the pull-up, but it isn’t near as taxing.

Don’t believe the myth that you can’t build muscles or improve your posture with bodyweight exercises. Numerous studies have proven that bodyweight exercises activate small stabilization muscles that can’t be activated through barbell, dumbbell, or machine training.

As stated by the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, the inverted row activates the upper back and lats better the barbell and dumbbell bent-over row.

Also, it puts less amount of stress on the lumbar spine. The inverted row is a perfect back exercise if you have a lower back pain or if you suffer from any kind of injury. This makes it a safe exercise to improve your posture, build mass in the back, and correct your pectus excavatum.

As you master this movement, you’ll notice how that your lats are growing into wings. Moreover, it works the rhomboids, shoulders, traps, forearms, biceps, and core.

Inverted Row Step-by-Step Guide
  1. Performing this exercise is extremely simple. All you need is a parallel bar. You can use a barbell, smith machine, TRX ropes, or a simple bike rack in the streets.
  2. After you find one, lay underneath it and grab it with an overhand grip. Contract your core musculature and form a straight line from the heels to your head.
  3. Then, pull yourself up until your chest muscles hit the bar. Maintain the straight line throughout the whole movement. Maintain the straight line throughout the whole movement. After doing so, repeat the entire movement.

Aim to perform 5 sets of 12 repetitions, 2 times a week. Rest 60 seconds between sets. See the video below to see how to execute the exercise correctly.

Resistance band Face Pulls

This is one of the most underrated pectus excavatum exercises out there. A healthy body requires strong muscles in the back and rear delts.

These muscle groups are very delicate to train because of tightness restriction in the frontal body muscles. Too many people end up with shoulder injuries because their backs and rear delts aren’t as developed as their chest and shoulder muscles.

My advice is to always work hard and smart. Improving pectus excavatum with the help of physical exercises is a long process that requires a lot of patience.

The face pull is an exercise that many people neglect to do in the gym. Everybody is interested in getting big and flashy muscles.

I approve all of that, buy your body needs to be fully functional in the first place. What is the point of lifting 225 lb. on the bench press, if you suffer from extreme shoulder and elbow pain?

Adding the face pulls can change your whole perspective of training. This simple exercise can bulletproof your shoulders, improve your posture, and correct the sunken chest because it stretches the sternum and chest muscles while you’re contracting the scapula.

Not only that, but the face pull can also be a good mass builder in your traps, rear deltoids in the shoulders, mid-back muscles, rotator cuffs and forearms. It balances all the pushing movements with a pull movement.

If you’ve never done this exercise before, I’d advise you to start with very low weight. Practice proper posture and perfect the form, before adding weight.

This is done so you’ll activate the right muscles that are required to execute this movement. A lot of people do this exercise improperly and say that it targets their arms only. This is because they are doing it completely wrong.

For this exercise, you’ll need a row attachment to a cable machine.

Face Pulls Step-by-Step Guide
  1. Take the rope in your hands with an overhand grip. Make sure that your thumbs are up.
  2. Then, take a few steps back and retract your core and glutes. Maintain an upright posture.
  3. Pull the rope until it reaches your face and squeeze the shoulder blades together. Hold this squeeze for a good 2 seconds.
  4. Return to starting position and repeat the whole movement.

For a full demonstration of the exercise, make sure you check the video below.

Pectus Excavatum Exercises Before and After Transformations

Improving pectus excavatum through physical therapy exercises can often feel like an uphill fight. However, the rewards of correcting this condition without surgery can be life-changing.

Tough periods, busy agendas, and everyday anxiety can be all used as excuses to procrastinate in taking the first steps to fix the pectus excavatum deformity.

If you manage to keep up with the exercise program I showed you above, it isn’t very complicated to correct your funnel chest. All you need is discipline, consistency, and congratulating yourself after each small win, no matter if it is physique improvement or progressing with the weights you’re lifting.

Almost every single person who suffers from congenital pectus excavatum states that their primary goal is to fix the condition without undergoing painful surgery. I understand how hard it can get to keep a pace with the pectus excavatum exercise plan.

I followed Mihail’s pectus excavatum exercise template religiously for 3 months. It takes a lot of hard work, sacrifice and dedication. However, it was all worth it, because my pectus excavatum condition is less noticeable.

S. Matej, Night Club VOX, Skopje

In high-school I had a terrible anxiety because of my pectus excavatum deformity. I wore necklace to cover the “hole in my chest” whenever I took my shirt off. Thank god I found the pectus excavatum exercise plan in your article. I worked out for 6 months with some time-off. However, I couldn’t be happier with the results!

Eric M. Loggins, Steve & Barry’s, Nashville TN

The doctor in France told me that my pectus excavatum wasn’t so severe and that it could be fixed thorugh physical therapy. He recommended me the exercises you showed in this article. After working out for 8 months, I saw a tremendous improvement in my upper body musculature.

M. Corentin, University of Paris, France

I though that my Pectus Excavatum and flared ribs condition could be fixed only through surgery. I never believed that  bodybuilding exercises and stretches could fix the condition. Damn, I was wrong! After finding out, and putting your tips and techniques into the real world, my confidence is back!

S. Jake, Dublin, CA, Funk’s Auto Works

These people fought through any adversity, shed blood, sweat and tears to stick with the workout plan. In the end, you can see that it was all worth it.

In the pictures, you can see the transformations in their body, but what cannot be seen is how much their confidence increased. All of them mentioned that their social anxiety is gone forever and that they can finally show their best version of themselves to the world.

bodybuilder with well developed pectoralis musculature


These are the best 11 pectus excavatum exercises you can follow to fix your pectus excavatum deformity. It combines bodyweight training with weightlifting. If you’re a fan of bodyweight exercises, then you can just perform those.

However, science has proven that combining weightlifting and bodyweight training yields the best results when it comes to pectus excavatum correction. I’ve tried the above-mentioned pectus excavatum workout template on my clients and saw a tremendous improvement in their overall chest wall development.

You must stay disciplined and dedicated to the pectus excavatum workout plan I’ve shown above. Follow the program consistently for a month, and you’ll be motivated to continue doing it because you’ll see how the hole in your chest is becoming less noticeable.

You will look more attractive, and you’ll get your confidence back. To perform the exercises, all you need is an investment of about $500.

Doing that, you can fix your pectus excavatum from the comfort of your house, without an aching surgery. Don’t procrastinate! Start doing these exercises, because if left untreated the life expectancy of people with pectus excavatum is shortened.

This is because of the heart problems and chest wall complications that come with the condition. It isn’t just a cosmetic problem.

Physical therapy, yoga, stretches, chest brace, vacuum bell, and breathing exercises are the safest, cheapest, and easiest way to deal with pectoralis excavatum.

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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