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So, do pectus improvement exercises really work?
In a nutshell, YES! But only if you do them correctly. There are two key principles to think about when exercising to improve pectus.
Firstly, try to improve posture (if needed), and, secondly, open up and expand the ribcage. The key word here is “improvement” and not perfect correction.
Another key phrase to think about is “delayed gratification.” When doing any kind of exercise for the body, be it muscle-building, agility training, long-distance running and so on, the body needs a certain amount of time to adapt to the stimulus placed on it.
We now live in a society where we want instant everything! Well, that might work with instant coffee and microwave foods, but not when it comes to changing and improving body shape.
For example, research has shown it takes at least four weeks for a hypertrophy (muscle-building) response to take place in the body when beginning a bodybuilding training programme. This only happens when there has been regular “good” stress placed on the body. In other words, training at least three to four times a week!
You also need to keep in mind that ligaments can take up to five times longer to adapt to exercise (or to repair from an injury) than muscles do.
Why am I saying this?
Because ligaments are made from collagen and so is cartilage (although a different type of collagen). It is cartilage that connects the sternum (breast bone) to the ribs.
Think about it – if it takes a minimum of four weeks to see a (small) muscle building response in the muscles and it takes five times that long to see changes in ligaments and cartilage, you are looking at about 20 weeks (five months) to see any type of change in the ribcage from doing pectus improvement exercises – consistently! You are also making changes in the sternum which is made from bone.
Plus, you may need to stretch out any tight muscles over the ribcage.
If you go to my pectus article page, there are a few articles and videos on here that will help you to get going RIGHT NOW! But it does take time to see some changes and you MUST WANT IT!
As I say in the book:
“Before you start reading through this book, I would like to point out that the title of this book is not literal. I chose the title “Pectus Free without Surgery” as it’s a catchy title. The pectus free part of the title is dependant from person to person. But you can improve the look of your chest by following the exercises in this book. To what degree your chest improves, only time will tell – plus other factors come into play that will be explained to you later on. I know, because I have improved my chest, posture and my body shape in general with these exercises. My chest is still not perfectly flat, and I still have a slight sideways curve in my lower spine, but I have improved both to such a degree that I am happy and comfortable with the way my chest and body looks, but I am always open to improvement, as anyone should be. This book is a useful tool for pectus excavatum improvement with or without surgery and / or bracing support.
The most important thing you can do is to learn to love yourself, work hard, and always try to better yourself in all areas of life, be it physically, mentally, or intellectually.”
Best of luck!