Figure Skating with Pectus Excavatum [2023]: Dangers + Tips

Written by Mihail Veleski

Last updated on

Evidence-Based This post has medical citations

Figure skating is a sport where individuals, couples, or groups perform on ice using figure skates. It is becoming one of the most popular Winter Games sports, where you perform leaps, spins, and dancing tricks.

This sport also belongs to the group of sports that relax immeasurably, which is why I think there should be more people who love this kind of recreation. This sport is undoubtedly good for everyone, even us with pectus excavatum.

Although a lot of physical awareness is required, we can still enjoy it because there is no evidence of accidents and problems related to our sunken chests.

Required physical abilities

Figure skaters must be in good shape because it requires to:

  • Glide
  • Spin
  • Turn
  • Leap
  • Hop
  • Skip, and many other tricks,

These movements aren’t easy to perform and require a lot of stability and balance. If you recently did a Nuss procedure or any other surgical treatment, it would be harder for you to gain your strength again. Still, it is possible with proper and more prolonged recovery and exercise.

If you are new to this sport, it's essential to know that you may need proper preparation before starting to reduce the chance of an injury.

Working on skill, balance, coordination, flexibility, and speed would be best.

Contact Your Doctor

If you're already participating in figure skating as a sport and are temporarily unable to exercise due to some pectus excavatum issues, in that case, you must check with your doctor about your current condition and ask when you can resume.

How to Prepare

Suppose you have a chest deformity but still enjoy this sport. In that case, I urge you to prepare physically before to minimize potential risks that are not necessarily connected to the deformation but can nonetheless threaten your health.

Also, if you merely perform this activity for fun, please do a nice warm-up to handle ice skating more easily.

That is why you must be aware of your condition and be concerned about your abilities.

Health benefits of figure skating For Pectus

Muscle Engagement

Figure skating engages almost every muscle group in the body and necessitates coordinated leg action, which benefits joint flexibility.

It also strengthens abdominal muscles, essential to camouflage flared ribs caused by the pectus excavatum deformity.

Heart & Lungs benefits

Ice skating benefits your heart health because it keeps the blood moving and the heart rates up. As pectus excavatum patients, depending on the severity, we are more prone to possible heart and lung problems.

That is why it is good to practice such a healthy sport that is recreational, helpful, and not so intense at the same time.

Mental Health

This kind of sport is an excellent approach to reducing stress since it causes the brain to release endorphins. Learning to figure skate also improves self-confidence when learning new skills and while witnessing the endless possibilities that your body can perform.

Bringing friends to the rink or meeting new people during classes is also an excellent way to unwind after a busy week at work.

Healthy for the Joints

By gliding and synchronizing movements, the joints and muscles receive an excellent workout and become more flexible with time. Cycling and jogging can be less practical than skating. Skating engages nearly every major muscle group, including the joints.


Like in any sport, ice skating has a few potential risks.

One of the most common risks is physical injuries, but fortunately, they generally cannot affect the chest.

Acute musculoskeletal injuries are common in figure skating. The most common injuries are to the legs or lower back. Figure skaters are also more prone to medical issues such as bronchospasm and asthma, which can be a possible danger for someone with pectus excavatum.

In this case, always take your medication before starting 15-20 min to minimize the chances of risk.

Cold, dry air and odors from chemicals used in the ice might trigger this condition. Also, different symptoms can be seen in female athletes, such as:

  • Lack of energy
  • Irregular menstruation
  • Reduced bone density.


Suppose you are a pectus excavatum patient returning to sports after a longer postoperative pause. You are probably concerned about further difficulties, injuries, or chest pain in group performance. In that case, you should speak with the team so that they can be more careful with you.

However, if you practice figure skating as a kind of relaxation and want to enjoy this activity while avoiding interaction with many people, pick days when you can be more private in the rink.

How to avoid risks

Warming up your body lightly with moderate activity will provide additional safety since the body creates substances that defend against health issues and injury. That will lead to a better experience for these winter activities.

This sport is worth trying if you have pectus excavatum. But please, be aware of any possible risks and do your best to minimize them.

Article by:

Mihail Veleski

I am Mihail Veleski, the person behind this website. Established in 2015, Pectus Excavatum Fix has helped thousands of people improve their sunken chest deformity, both physically and mentally. I pride myself on ensuring the information and methods I share are tried by me and backed by research. I improved my concave chest and rib flare deformities non-surgically.

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