One of the ways to improve the strength and deformation characteristics of reinforced concrete structures is the use of indirect reinforcement. Such reinforcement, located perpendicular to the compressive force, by limiting transverse deformations creates a volumetric stress state and increases the efficiency of concrete in compression. The article presents a method for assessing the stress-strain state of structures, which allows to take into account the reserves of bearing capacity and apply more economical design solutions. The calculation of strength is considered and the diagram of concrete deformation reinforced by indirect reinforcement is obtained. It is shown that the relative deformations at the apex of the compression diagram depend mainly on the relative level of lateral reduction and concrete strength. It is shown that the lower the concrete class, the less indirect reinforcement affects its strength characteristics, but the limiting deformations increase more strongly, and therefore an almost horizontal section appears near the top of the diagram, the longer the concrete class and the higher the reinforcement percentage. © 2019 Trans Tech Publications Ltd, Switzerland.