Pectus excavatum exercises

Don't let a lack of gym get in the way of starting to improve the look of your pectus excavatum. This article will go over all the necessary equipment you'll need, as well as a starting list of exercises that will have you looking and feeling better in no time.

Updated on
October 6, 2022
Workout equipment to help improve pectus excavatum
Table of contents

Let's be clear - no home workout (or gym workout for that matter) is going to fix your pectus excavatum.

The goal of incorporating a workout routine into your life has much deeper benefits than just dealing with PE.

First, it's just going to make you feel better. The confidence you get after working out for a long period of time really can't be put into words. You're still going to notice your PE when looking in the mirror, but you'll feel better about the reflection overall.

Secondly, you're going to look better. This should come as no surprise for anyone that's reading this, but when it comes to "masking" your PE, building some muscle and losing fat really does make a huge difference (especially when you consider how we’re prone to the pectus pot belly).

Lastly, and one of the more hidden benefits of working out to improve pectus excavatum is the improvements in posture after a period of doing back workouts. We tend to slump forward with PE, and by improving the strength of our back, the shoulders naturally get pulled backwards, which makes us stand taller, and reduce the inward pressure on our sternum.

These workouts aren't specific to men, and women with pectus excavatum will get great benefits out of these as well.

Looking for some examples of what fitness can do for your chest? Take a look at some of these celebrities with pectus excavatum.

Gym workouts vs home workouts

When you're getting started, this shouldn't matter one bit. The key is to get in the habit of working out consistently, and if/when you're comfortable to make the transition to a gym, feel free to do so.

Pectus excavatum home workout equipment

Here's a list of items that will get you off to a great start if you're looking to get a good workout in at home.

Adjustable dumbbells

These ain't cheap, but boy are they handy. I have the 50-pound version of these dumbbells and I absolutely love them. It's very quick weights in between sets, and the barely take up any space. While you can get great results with just body weight, the added resistance and varieties of exercises you can do with dumbbells is totally worth it.

Resistance Bands

If you can’t get access to dumbbells, you could always grab a cheap set of resistance bands to at least get started with some exercises. I recommend grabbing a pair anyways, as the pull apart routine we’ll be going over is extremely helpful.

Yoga mat

While yoga isn't going to have as noticeable improvements as working out pectus excavatum, the improved flexibility is a nice little bonus. If you're thinking about vacuum bell treatment, stretching before and after is going to get you even better results, so incorporating yoga into your routine is a nice little bonus.

If you're just getting started, you don't need to spend a lot of something fancy from lululemon, just grab something cheap from Amazon instead.

Pull up bar

Don't skip out on this, trust me. These pull up bars attach to most door frames, and are easy to remove if needed. Focusing on your chest might feel like it makes the most sense with pectus excavatum, but improving your posture with back exercises is going to make a massive difference.

Ab wheel

Out of all the equipment listed, this one is probably the least necessary, but I do prefer using it over basic core exercises.  By focusing on a straight back during the decent, you get an added lower back workout as well.

Best exercises to improve Pectus Excavatum

Band pull aparts

_10-20 reps, 3 sets._‍

Not only does this exercise focus on your back, it gives your upper chest a great stretch as well. Simply grab your bands in both hands, stand up straight with both arms in front of you, then slowly pull them apart  until you’re making a t shape with your arms.
The trick here is to make sure your posture is correct by pushing your sternum towards the sky.

Bench press

8-12 reps, 3 sets

This is a staple chest workout and for good reason. It’s a great exercise because it really focuses on the chest, and there are some variations that will allow you to focus on the lower, and upper chest.

Since we’re working at home, and you might not have a bench, you could always do the floor press variation.

Dumbbell pullover

_8-12 reps, 3 sets_‍

If you don’t have a bench to be able to these at home, try using a couch or chair with a pillow on top. Out of all the exercises, experts say that this is one that people with pectus should be focusing on.

Ab wheel roll

_10 reps, 3 sets_‍

Posture, posture posture. It’ll make the difference in getting the most of this exercise while strengthening your core, and get that posture improved

Dumbbell bent over row

8-12 reps, 3 sets

This is a great exercises that really focuses in on your back. I prefer to do the single arm row as I find them a bit more comfortable, but if you’re pressed for time and want to do both arms at the same time, that’s always an option as well.

No bench needed for this, a chair or couch will do just fine. Just make sure your back is straight.

Going forward

This should be a great start to get you exercising at home to help improve your pectus excavatum. If you're looking to improve your pectus excavatum even further, check out our premium pectus body improvement guide.

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Man sitting cross legged meditating with pectus excavatum

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