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Can Push-Ups Fix Pectus Excavatum? (Solved!)

Pectus excavatum is a condition where a person’s breastbone is sunken into their chest.

While surgery is available to correct the condition, it isn’t usually offered unless severe symptoms are displayed.

(In the very worst cases, the breastbone is so sunken that it can interfere with the heart and lungs functioning which is obviously something to avoid!)

Many people with pectus excavatum don’t need too much in the way of specific treatment and their condition is mostly managed through exercise and physiotherapy.

In this article, we look at whether push-ups can be used to fix pectus excavatum.

In it, we discuss whether push-ups are good for the condition, whether they can be used to “fix” it, as well as thinking about which push-up variations can be most helpful.

Woman doing a push up in a crossfit gym

Are Push-Ups Good For Pectus Excavatum?

Yes, push-ups are generally considered good for pectus excavatum.

Push-ups strengthen your chest muscles (among others) so they can be very useful in helping to manage pectus excavatum.

Having stronger chest muscles is a key component of managing the condition as much as possible.

The fact that push-ups are relatively safe, low impact, and are reasonably easy to perform makes them an ideal exercise for keeping symptoms of pectus excavatum under control.

Can Push-Ups Fix Pectus Excavatum?

No exercise, push-ups or otherwise, can completely fix pectus excavatum.

The only way to fix it entirely is to undergo surgery, which unless your condition is severe, probably won’t even be an option for you.

Push-ups can help manage the condition by helping to improve posture, strengthen your chest muscles, and keep you in overall better shape.

All of these things can help you feel more comfortable and can prevent your condition from getting worse, but they won’t actually fix or cure it.

Best Push-Ups Variations For Pectus Excavatum

Regular Push-Ups

Regular push-ups go a long way in helping with pectus excavatum.

This standard variation of the exercise is challenging to the working muscles and joints but not too challenging where excessive stress and pressure are placed on them.

Push-ups have been a popular exercise for a long time and they do a great job of building upper body strength which is beneficial whether you have pectus excavatum or not.

Incline Push-Ups

If standard push-ups are proving to be a little too challenging at the moment, then incline push-ups can be of use.

As your hands will be elevated, less of your body weight will need to be lifted during the movement.

This will make things easier while still developing your upper body muscles in a way that can improve posture and help manage pectus excavatum.

Decline Push-Ups

A slightly more challenging push-up variation, decline push-ups can help develop your upper body muscles even further resulting in some great benefits for managing your pectus excavatum.

How Many Push-Ups Should You Do For Pectus Excavatum?

This will depend on how comfortable you feel doing push-ups.

As a rough guide, doing somewhere between 1 and 3 sets of 10 – 20 push-ups can be a good range for helping pectus excavatum.

That being said, even if you can only do a few push-ups to begin with, this can still help develop your upper body muscles and improve your posture which are both beneficial for pectus excavatum.

Other Exercises For Pectus Excavatum

Bench Press

Topless man doing a bench press in the gym

Like push-ups, bench press is a great exercise for increasing the strength of your chest muscles.

Strengthening this part of your body is an important element of managing pectus excavatum.

Core Exercises

Any exercise that can strengthen your core muscles is usually very beneficial for pectus excavatum.

Strengthening your core will help improve your posture and keep your body in a much better position as you go about your activities.

As good posture is important when trying to manage pectus excavatum, most core exercises will be of good use.