10 Gymnastic Exercises for Pectus Excavatum: [2024] Guide

Written by Mihail Veleski

Last updated on: April 25, 2023

Training gymnastics is a fantastic way to improve your pectus excavatum condition. It is excellent full-body training for optimizing health and well-being. 

Multiple studies have confirmed the benefits of gymnastics for bone healthmuscle growth, and cognitive well-being.  

Gymnastics improve muscle strength, mass, flexibility, and self-esteem. Most gymnasts have a healthy lifestyle and make quick and intelligent decisions.

Can Get You Rid of Anxiety and Depression

The mind is connected with the body. To feel happy and comfortable in your skin, you must involve physical activity.

However, getting rid of pectus excavatum-related anxiety and depression through gymnastics requires an intense and consistent workout plan. That will help you boost your cognitive capacities and emotional well-being. 

When people suffering from sunken chests try to improve their appearance, they always lean on bodybuilding. Even though that is a proven way to improve your physique, it isn't the only path you can choose.

6 Ways Gymnastics Can Help Mentally

I will list seven proven ways to benefit from gymnastics as a pectus excavatum and flared ribs sufferer.

  • Optimism
  • Courage
  • Motivation
  • Social skills
  • Sleep quality 
  • Battles depression and anxiety 

That is of massive benefit for any person struggling with deformity.

Building muscle mass isn't the only way to improve pectus excavatum and its psychological symptoms

Gymnastics Target Every Large Muscle Group

Gymnastics can be very beneficial for any kid with hereditary predispositions of attaining or worsening the pectus excavatum deformity in puberty from a young age. It targets the largest muscle groups in the human body.

The balance will strengthen the core musculature and the weak stabilizers due to a sedentary lifestyle and using only machines for bodybuilding in the weight room.

It is never too late to start with gymnastics. It is fantastic for people of all ages. 

Increases Mobility and Flexibility

You'll rarely stumble upon a gymnast that isn't flexible. The sport requires a lot of stunting, twisting, and turning. That is a fantastic way to improve your flexibility. The motions made in gymnastics relieve any muscular and joint tightness. 


Flexibility helps eliminate muscular imbalances such as pectus pot belly and pectus posture.

Gymnasts can do miraculous movements with their bodies. If done correctly, the injury rates are pretty low, according to this article.

If you start gymnastics from a young age, you'll have stronger muscles, ligaments, tendons, and joints. That will develop your overall flexibility and prevent growth defects, tiredness, and pectus posture.

To be a great gymnast, you need a great awareness of your body in space. That requires optimal posture, so it will be easier for you to balance on poles and narrow balance beams.

8 Common Gymnast Tricks

  • Front kicks
  • Forward roll
  • Handstands
  • Tap swings
  • Cartwheel
  • Jumps
  • Splits
  • Lateral kicks

Even though the exercises mentioned above are pretty advanced, it is good to know how regularly these movements will improve your flexibility and mobility. Stretching will help you loosen up the muscles and prevent serious injuries.

More flexible people are less likely to injure themselves when practicing gymnastics than those with stiff muscles and joints. 

Gymnastics Will Help You in the Gym

Increased flexibility will help you improve the pectus excavatum deformity faster. Gymnastics will help you get rid of poor posture. The flexibility you'll attain will help you perform every bodybuilding exercise flawlessly while lowering the chances of injury.

Why I Love Gymnast's Physique

Gymnasts have an athletic look, fabulous physiques, and a V-back shape; they are also solid. 

Whatever type of workout and muscular effort you do will dictate the kind of physique you eventually have. To strive for the gymnastic-type look, you must do gymnastic-type exercises. 

Mixing Gymnast Exercises With Bodybuilding

Suppose you lift weights to improve your pectus excavatum deformity but strive for that gymnast physique. In that case, you should incorporate and understand the gymnast movements and transfer to the gym. Mimicking those types of exercises will help you with that.

For example, take one of the staple exercises in gymnastics, the handstand dip. Proper body alignment is critical when it comes to executing this exercise correctly. While performing this exercise, you will probably do multiple corrections with your body to avoid falling over.

Your body must use the small stabilizer muscles simultaneously with the larger muscle groups to keep the body upright. 

The exercise will cause your muscles to create a particular physique. 

How to Mimic This Exercise

To mimic the exercise in the gym, you need to grab two dumbbells, and while standing, put your arms in the same position you would place yourself on a dip bar.

Push the dumbbells up while you focus on attaining a picture-perfect upright posture. Find the same position as you would in a handstand. Don't grab heavy dumbbells because the exercise focuses on achieving perfect posture.

Do this exercise while standing. That way, you will activate your core more and find the exercise more challenging while sitting. If you execute the exercise correctly, it is time to increase the weights. 

You can do the exercise while sitting; however, if you strive to achieve that gymnastic physique, you need to execute the movements that mimic gymnastics the most. 

Gymnastic Rings

Gymnastic rings are an excellent way to build an aesthetic chest musculature that will make pectus excavatum less noticeable. Take a look at any gymnast or calisthenic aficionado. 

Gym rings are very underrated in calisthenics. They provide a lot of training opportunities. Initially, gymnasts used them, but now everybody loves the benefits training on rings brings.  

The shakiness of the gymnastic rings requires the small stabilizer muscles to engage to keep the body balanced. That engages the musculature far better than pressing exercises on a fixed surface like dips. You can build serious muscle and a developed chest using gymnast movements in your workout routine. 

Top 10 Gymnastic Ring Exercises for Pectus Excavatum

I will share my top 5 gymnastic ring chest exercises to help you build muscles around the sunken chest deformity.

Simple Chest Press

You can do this exercise even if you're new to gymnastic workouts. Set up the gymnast rings where you can put yourself on them with both feet on the ground. The lower the rings are, the more complex the exercise will be. 

Grab the rings with both hands; you would grab a dumbbell. Lean forward using the strength in your arms, chest, and shoulders to stabilize. With an upright posture, slightly lower yourself ahead and keep your shoulders back and down.

Slowly bend your arms on your sides, like you would do a push-up. At the point when you can't lower yourself any further, press on the rings and return to starting position. 

You will risk injury if you do the presses incorrectly. Keep your shoulders at a natural angle of 45 degrees to your sides to avoid this. 

 Gymnast Ring Push-Ups

This is a more intermediate version of the basic chest press. First and foremost, you need to adjust the rings to hang off the ground for a few inches. Get into a push-up position and grab both rings with your palms facing down.

Hold your body weight using your arm and shoulder strength. Straighten and fully extend your legs, and position your chest above the rings. Keep your back straight. 

Then, slowly lower yourself to the ground while keeping your core tight and elbows at 45 degrees to your body. When you can't go any lower, press the chest, shoulders, and arm muscles and get back into starting position.

The benefit of ring push-ups compared to regular push-ups is that the rings allow a natural movement of the hands. Twisting the hands during the exercise will activate more muscle fibers than a standard push-up.

Try to rotate your grip inward when you lower yourself down and rotate the grip back when you press.  

You can elevate your feet on a platform if you need to target the upper chest muscles more. The movement is the same as with the regular push-up. However, your body will be at an angle, from the feet to your head.

This exercise variation will challenge your core even more. Remind yourself to keep the center tight. 

Pelican Push-ups

This advanced exercise requires you to proceed with caution if you don't have any experience with calisthenics or gymnastics. Improperly executing this exercise can lead to a shoulder injury. 

If you can do this exercise correctly, it is one of my favorite bodyweight gymnastics exercises to improve pectus excavatum and flared ribs. 

You need to elevate your feet just like you would in an incline ring push-up to perform it. Adjust the straps of the rings so they are at the same height as the platform you elevate your feet on. Start in a standard push-up position with your back straight.

Gently lower your body while keeping your core stable, like in a push-up. The difference here is that you should lower yourself as much as possible if you're willing to touch the ground with your chest. Lower yourself until your hands are outstretched behind your back.

Then, pull your body back up, contracting your chest muscles just like you're executing a dumbbell fly on the bench. Pull completely back up to the initial position. This exercise will engage the entire chest, shoulders, triceps, and core musculature. 

Dips

To perform dips on a gymnastic ring, you must adjust the straps so your feet won't touch the ground when you exercise.

Performing dips on gymnast rings is more complicated than doing push-ups, mainly because the arms are the only thing holding your weight on the rings. To get into position:

  • Place both hands tightly on the rings, and jump until both arms are fully locked.
  • Keep them close to your body to avoid unnecessary pressure on your shoulders and elbows.
  • Squeeze the core to stabilize and keep an upright posture while in the air. 
  • Align your body to lean slightly forward, then lower yourself down while bending your arms at the elbows.
  • Keep the elbows tight to your body. Lower slowly until your upper arm is parallel to the ground.
  • Then, press your chest, shoulder, and triceps muscles and get back into the initial position. Repeat the entire movement for as many repetitions as you can.

Gymnast Rings Chest Fly

Adjust the gymnast ring strings to hang a few inches off the ground. Grab both rings while the palms are facing each other. Start pulling your arms to the sides while slightly bending your elbows.

The chest will come closer to the ground as you do the exercise. When the arms are almost fully extended, and you can't bring them any further, pull the rings so you will get back into starting position.

At the top, squeeze the rings together to get a maximal contraction on your inner chest muscles. The flies are one of my favorite exercises for improving the appearance of the chest wall and making pectus excavatum less noticeable.

If you're a beginner, this exercise may be challenging for you. Try to do the exercise while you're on your knees. The resistance will be lowered, allowing you to do the exercise correctly and safely.

Ring Rows

Doing rows on gymnast rings is similar to traditional barbell or dumbbell rowing. This is an accessible introductory exercise to gymnast ring workouts. You do this compound exercise by setting up the straps on a pull-up bar.

Grab the rings with your hands, and keep your body parallel to the ground with only the heels touching the ground. When your body is more horizontal with the ground, the more complex the exercise is.

Fully extend your arms, and slowly row yourself up to the rings while stabilizing the body. Then slowly lower yourself, and start the movement over. Perform as many repetitions as you can. 

Ring Pull-Ups

This exercise is more strenuous to perform than ring rows. Pull-ups are among the best bodyweight exercises to correct pectus posture and build mass in the back muscles. Traditionally, this exercise is done on a pull-up bar.

However, this exercise will stimulate the muscles, making them more intermediate. If you find it easy, you can always add more weight using a dip belt or a heavy backpack. 

Single Arm Rows

Set up the gymnast ring straps at shoulder level. The lower you set the straps, the more complex the exercise. Grip one ring with one hand and keep your chest pointed forward.

Lean back as far as your arm allows, and with your feet firmly on the ground, start pulling yourself to the straps just like you would in a regular dumbbell row.

Squeeze your back muscles hard and pause for a second before lowering yourself back to the initial position. This exercise is harder to execute than the traditional ring rows with two hands.

Muscle Ups

Set the rings at a height just like you would do pull-ups to start this exercise. Prepare yourself to lift yourself off the ground, unlike a normal pull-up where you do each repetition steadily and explosively. 

In one motion, pull yourself as high as you possibly can. At the very peak you will reach, try to get your torso over the top of the rings into a chest dip position. Then, press yourself up just like you would do a ring dip.

Do this exercise in one fluid motion. At first, you will feel shaky on the rings. However, you will get used to the movement once you build the stabilizer muscles and core strength. This exercise is perfect if you're trying to improve pectus excavatum.

It strengthens the posture muscles of the back, builds muscle mass, strengthens the entire core so the rib flare won't be as visible, and strengthens the whole chest musculature when you perform the dip. If you're looking for the best for your buck, this is the exercise to master.

Gymnastics Improve Poor Pectus Posture

Posture strength is significant for every pectus excavatum sufferer. Good posture means that the bones and joints are accurately aligned and the muscles work optimally. This is very important for gymnastics.  

Sitting at a desk all day causes people to develop poor postural habits. If you don't have the necessary strength to hold your frame for a prolonged time, you will slouch and put stress on the weak areas of your back.

This can lead to back pain and injuries later in life. In the meantime, you can attain a pectus excavatum pot belly due to posterior pelvic tilt. This is directly caused by poor posture.

High-performing athletes work on their posture daily. You probably don't see it in their workout highlights because it is far more interesting to bench 300 pounds than watching a gymnast doing the shoulder dislocation exercise with a band. 

Gymnastics Improve Self Confidence

A person with confidence isn't phased by being laughed at or criticized. A lot of people mistakenly judge a person based only on appearance. If you suffer from an inverted chest, there is a high chance that somebody made fun of you, striking your confidence. The good news is that you can always practice self-esteem. 

Most gymnastic coaches give helpful criticism about how a gymnast can master a new collection of skills. The gymnast learns how to acquire that information and eventually becomes comfortable by being told that you can't get everything right from the start. 

Gymnasts don't think of criticism as a bad thing. That plays a big part in accomplishing your goals and dreams. Learning that criticism is a valuable tool for growth is one of the most beneficial things you can ever learn. 

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Article by:

Mihail Veleski

I am Mihail Veleski, the person behind this website. Established in 2015, Pectus Excavatum Fix (Now Mr. Pectus), 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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