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Pectus Excavatum Exercises

author image Fabio Giorno
Fabio Giorno began writing professionally in 2010 for various websites. Giorno attends McMaster University and will be receiving his Bachelor of Arts with Honours in communications studies in 2013. He has a passion for professional sports with an expertise in soccer. Giorno was also a goalkeeper for McMaster's varsity soccer team for two years.
Pectus Excavatum Exercises
Performing chest exercises can help with treating pectus excavatum. Photo Credit Dynamic Graphics Group/Dynamic Graphics Group/Getty Images

Pectus excavatum is a deformity of the chest that causes a depression of your sternum into your chest and makes your chest appear sunken or pulled in. The condition can worsen over time as your posture weakens, and some people require surgery to repair long-term damage. Chest and back strengthening exercises can help correct poor posture that contributes to the condition.

Back Straightening Exercise

A back straightening exercise works to help correct your posture by pulling your shoulders back and straightening your spine. Stand up straight with your feet hip-width distance apart, and place both hands behind your head, interlocking your fingers. Pull your elbows back until you feel muscle tension, and keep your back and neck straight. Avoid pushing your chest up and out -- it will do this naturally.

Drop you buttocks as you bend at your hips until you feel muscle tension in your lower back. Hold this position for two to three seconds, and return to your starting position. Perform this exercises 25 times in the morning and the evening.


Pushups work the muscles that surround your sternum and use your deltoids as muscle stabilizers. Kneel on an exercise mat and bring your feet together, balancing on your toes and positioning your feet behind your body. Slowly bend forward and place your palms on the floor, positioning them shoulder-width distance apart. Shift your weight forward until your shoulder are aligned with your hands, and engage your core to stabilize your spine.

Lower your chest downward until it is 1 to 2 inches from the floor and both elbows bend at a 90-degree angle. Press your body upward until your arms are straight. Do one set of 25 repetitions each day, and avoid slouching your hips or arching your back.

Chest Expansion

The chest expansion exercise is a breathing technique done as you keep your back straight. Sit on a soft surface, and inhale deeply through your nose, pulling your shoulders back simultaneously. Hold your breath for as long as possible, and slowly exhale through your mouth, bringing your shoulders back to their usual position. Do this exercise 20 times throughout the day, and avoid arching your back


The University of Wisconsin-Madison recommends that total pectus excavatum exercise time should not exceed 10 minutes and that you perform other low-impact aerobic activities such as walking throughout the day. Avoid arching your back and placing excessive stress on your spine, because this could worsen your condition and further damage your posture. Stop exercising and consult your doctor if you experience any sharp or intense pain before, during or after exercise.

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