How to get rid of a bird chest

Being called bird chested is a pretty common and embarrassing thing for skinny men, in this post, we are looking at what this is and how you can get rid of it.

Medically speaking, a bird chest or Pectus carinatum is a deformity in the human body which causes the ribs and the sternum in men to protrude out, that gives him a bird-like appearance – more info on this page (university of california in san francisco).

drawing of a man with a bird chest condition

Image source : University of california – san francisco

Colloquially speaking, a bird chest is a term commonly used for people who are way too skinny and whose ribs are visible and can be counted. Another name for bird chest is pigeon chest and many people use this term pretty often as well.

Why people get the “pigeon chest”?

The condition of Pectus carinatum or pigeon chest is primarily caused by the overgrowth of the costal cartilage of the body, which makes the sternum or the breastbone to protrude out.

teenager with a pigeon chest

Seen mostly in adolescent men, this is not a very common deformity that is faced by women. Another reason for developing pigeon chest is a deficiency of Vitamin D levels in the body.

If an individual undergoes an open heart surgery, that could also lead to the protrusion of the sternum.

While there are surgical and external bracing techniques to get rid of this problem, one of the most common ways to get rid of bird chest is by means of bodybuilding.

With exercises, the chest and shoulder muscles get developed and not only hide the pigeon chest, but also give an attractive physique to the individual.

Exercises that can help in getting rid of bird chest

To give a fuller look to the upper part of the body, the pectoralis muscle (the chest muscle) and the deltoids (shoulder muscle) needs to be worked out.

A well-developed pectoralis and deltoid will camouflage the protruding sternum and it will draw the attention of the onlooker towards them.

To develop the chest muscles, the best exercises include the following.

Chest exercises

 

  • Barbell bench press
  • Dumbbell fly
  • Inclined press
  • Pushups

 

man using a bench press machine

The bench press is the king of all exercises to hide a bird chest

Shoulder Exercises

 

Some of the best exercises to work out the shoulder muscles include the following.

  • Dumbbell shoulder press
  • One arm side laterals
  • Front plate raise
  • Reverse Fly
  • Side lateral raise
drawing of the shoulder press exercise with dumbbell

The shoulder press can help to build bigger shoulders and draw attention out of the pigeon chest

You would need to check out with your gym instructor on how many sets of each exercise is to be done at what frequency.

The number of sets and frequency of these exercises would vary from person to person, and your fitness goals; hence it is best to get them prescribed by a certified physical trainer.

Here is an excellent video on how to do a bench press, this will help get rid of your bird chest

Diet for a bigger chest

No matter how much time you spend doing the exercises mentioned above, until and unless you take the proper diet, you cannot expect a fuller upper chest. Your diet plays a major role in the building the mass around the chest muscles.

You need to remember that to build the mass, your body will require calories and that will be supplied only when you eat enough. Studies show that one pound of muscle mass gets built after consuming 3,500 extra calories in a week.

Needless to say, the food that you take has to be nutritious and high in carbohydrates as that is the key to mass building in the human body. You will have to ensure that your diet is a balanced one, which contains whole grains, proteins, fiber and a lot of carbs.

The thumb rule about protein intake is that 1 gram of protein has to be taken per pound of body weight.

Good sources of protein include eggs, fish, chicken meat, etc.

You would need to add a lot of vegetables in your diet as well as that will provide the necessary nutrients required for building the masculine mass in the body.

Don’t forget to drink a lot of water, your body needs water to function properly, and to build more mass.

You can try out some added supplements to the diet which will accelerate the rate of muscle building.

However, do not fall into the trap of those anabolic steroids which will have a ripple effect on your health in the longer run.

You will have to bid goodbye to sugary drinks, processed foods, junk foods, caffeinated drinks. In lieu, you can take as much water as you want to. As a matter of fact, you would need to drink minimum 8 to 10 glasses of water every day as that will keep the body hydrated and aid in the protein synthesis process.

Don’t ignore the rest of the body

While your main motto is to hide the bird chest and working out the upper body is just fine for that, yet you should not be ignoring the rest of the body as well. Imagine how ridiculous would you look with strongly built chest and shoulders, but with feebly developed arms and abs muscles.

While you hit the gym for working out the shoulder and the chest muscles, do not forget about the abdominal muscles, leg muscles, and the back muscles as well. Full-body training makes the individual more fit and flexible.

A full body workout boosts the testosterone levels in the body, which helps the muscles to grow.

A full body workout also helps in maximizing the workout efficiency, which means that you can expect better results at a comparatively lesser time.

While working out, you would need to remember that extra workouts may burn out the muscles and reverse the effects actually. You need to do intense workouts, not extended ones, and that is when the muscles of the body will develop in a way to hide the embarrassing bird chest. It would be better, if you take the help of an expert or instructor.

Conclusion

If you had been bullied since your childhood for being bird chested, it is now time to wake up and get rid of that annoying tag. With a proper workout routine followed by a nutritional diet plan, you can start looking great.

With those flat chest muscles to flaunt, you would no longer need to be scared of getting seen without your shirt.

You would actually want to appear in public without a shirt and show off your hard-earned chest muscles which will hide the pigeon chest in them forever. Should you feel the need, do check out a nutritionist and a physical trainer to get the right diet and set of exercises and you should be good to go.

1 Comment
  1. Reply
    Alexis March 25, 2017 at 10:35 am

    Thanks, useful article. I think that a bird chest is more visible on a skinny body, maybe putting on some fat along with growing bigger chest muscles may help, but depending on how visible it is some people can never really get rid of it.

    Personally i’v learned to accept it as part of my body and even grew to like it. I used to feel very bad about my ‘pigeon chest’ as a teenager, but not anymore. Everyone is different and a bird chest is not so bad if you think about it.

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