Top 11 Pectus Excavatum Exercises in 2019

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

Drastically Improves Self-Confidence and Reduces Anxiety

Builds Muscle Mass in The Upper Body

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.

4.0 of 5 Stars

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.

4.5 of 5 Stars

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.

4 of 5 Stars

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. 

5 of 5 Stars

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.


Dumbbell Pullover


Iron Chest Master Pushups

Weighted Dips

Seated Machine Chest Press

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.


Dumbbell Rows


Inverted Row

Resistance band Face Pulls

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.