Flared ribs


  • How to Fix Flared Ribs
  • Rib Flare: Why it Sucks and Why You Should Care
  • What is rib flare? And why does it matter?
  • How to deal with flared ribs
  • How to Keep Those Lower Ribs in Check – Draw in Your Ribs
  • How to Fix Flared Ribs

    What is rib flare? And why does it matter? Your challenge today is to investigate your ribs…. This is because having your ribcage stacked over your pelvis allows your diaphragm and pelvic floor to better interact with each other and move through their full range of motion. The second relates to the actual angle between the two sides of your rib cage. Pregnancy regularly results in the rib cage moving up and out so creating a wider rib angle that resembles permanent inhalation to allow room for the growing baby.

    Think about how you likely needed a wider bra fitting in pregnancy. Interestingly, pelvic floor tension can also create a similar effect as it can stop the diaphragm from descending down as it ideally should. If any of this is resonating with you… 1 next time I cue ribs down, neutral spine or anything else posture related, put some real focus on moving towards a more aligned posture with your ribcage over your pelvis wherever possible.

    This will invariably take time and require body awareness, regular readjustment, releasing muscles that feel tight and strengthening muscles that are weak. Unless you have a pelvic floor with too much tension in that is, in which case just focus on the release 3 And if you have a wide infrasternal angle so more than 90 degrees between the two sides of your ribs where they meet in the middle of your chest , have a go at putting your hands on your ribs when practicing this better breathing and gently compressing them down towards your midline as you exhale to encourage that movement downwards.

    Let me know how you get on! Share this:.

    Rib Flare: Why it Sucks and Why You Should Care

    So why do some people get the shaft with rib flare? Genetics common mom! Okay I know. When your ribs are flared, there is no integration between your diaphragm and the abdominal muscles.

    When you have good rib positioning, the overlap of your diaphragm and abdominal muscles is called a ZOA, or zone of apposition. When your ribs are flared, the ZOA is lost, causing poor diaphragmatic pressure aka not so great breathing and poor activation of your abdominals.

    Try this: Inhale all the way, flare your ribs and hold your breathe. Now imagine being stuck in this state on a regular basis. Sounds pretty horrible, right? When your ribs are pulled into flare at the front, your upper back, or thoracic spine gets pulled forward into extension.

    Your shoulder blades glide best on a nice kyphotic curve of the spine. This posture can cause muscles like your lower trapezius and the serratus anterior to weaken; which is less than ideal as both muscles are essential to your shoulder health. Read THIS post if you want to learn more about how you can improve your shoulder mobility.

    When your ribs are flared, your lumbar spine is pulled forward into an excessive extension and your pelvis goes into anterior tilt.

    I could write an entire post about why excessive lordosis and anterior pelvic tilt APT are the devil. But in short, they can cause your hip flexors and back extensors to tighten, while your abdominals, glutes and hamstrings weaken; which eventually will wreak havoc on your back.

    The Coles Notes version: Everything is connected. Now for the important part, how you can fix rib flare! First and foremost, you MUST have the ability to breathe well. Check out this video for some helpful breathing tips. After that, try the exercise below.

    Choose the right core and stability exercises. Destroying your abs with endless crunches every workout will likely not fix your rib flare or improve your ZOA. Instead, try the two exercises below with lower, controlled reps to reinforce good rib positioning and pelvic tilt. For more info on how to engage your core effectively, checkout this article. This will cause your ribs to naturally depress. After that try your best to continue with a normal breathing cadence and keep them there.

    Watch your posture. Make sure you stick with the latter.

    What is rib flare? And why does it matter?

    Think about how you likely needed a wider bra fitting in pregnancy. Interestingly, pelvic floor tension can also create a similar effect as it can stop the diaphragm from descending down as it ideally should. If any of this is resonating with you… 1 next time I cue ribs down, neutral spine or anything else posture related, put some real focus on moving towards a more aligned posture with your ribcage over your pelvis wherever possible.

    This will invariably take time and require body awareness, regular readjustment, releasing muscles that feel tight and strengthening muscles that are weak. For people who live in a constant state of stress whether that is emotional or physicalit is common to see that they rely mostly on the accessory muscles of the neck and chest like the sternocleidomastoids, scalenes, pecs, and upper traps. These individuals also gravitate towards breathing through their mouths rather than through their noses.

    Fix Your Rib Flare Now that you know you or your client has a rib-flaring problem, the next step is to figure out an action plan. With my clients, I take a three-pronged approach: Address breathing Focus on alignment Strengthen the core musculature Improving breathing mechanics, in my opinion, takes precedence over any other type of corrective or postural exercise with a client regardless of their individual issue.

    The system cannot function properly if the breath, and thus, the central nervous system, is out of whack. I want to get my clients to return to the parasympathetic nervous system after a bout of intense exercise, and using diaphragmatic breathing is the best way to do that.

    How to deal with flared ribs

    As I mentioned before, in order for the body to function optimally, we want to think about head-to-toe alignment. We want the ribs to be stacked directly over the pelvis.

    Initially, it is typically quite difficult for a client to understand how to properly do this. Over time, their thoracic awareness will improve with proper strengthening and breathing. If you notice that your client cannot maintain their braced rib position during this drill, then you know that they lack proper recruitment strategies.

    I prefer to use isometric core exercises as opposed to flexion-type movements like sit-upsas we are teaching the person to maintain the proper position for an extended period of time. Some of my favorite exercises for this include the dumbbell pull-over, the barbell roll-out, and the hollow hold.

    For the dumbbell pull-over, you might notice that your natural inclination is to lift your ribs up as you reach back overhead, but the goal is to stay rigid in the torso. Really ensure that you get the full stretch in the lats as you lower the weight down. Next, the hollow hold is a foundational gymnastics movement that encourages total body tension. The goal is to feel stiffness from your fingertips down to your toes. The next step is to strengthen the weak muscles, which in the case of rib flare, is going to be the abdominal muscles.

    These two points are the most important steps to fixing rib flare caused by muscle imbalances. However, If you feel that your rib flare is also caused by poor shoulder mobility I have included an exercise that may help.

    In addition, Healthline also suggests a range of breathing exercises to improve your posture which are also included below. Before we get into these physical activities, remember that if your condition is as a result of pregnancy, trauma or congenital issues I do not suggest engaging in these exercises— unless otherwise permitted by your doctor. Release Techniques Certain massage tools can prove helpful in treating the symptoms of flared ribs as they allow you to loosen up chronic tightness in the muscles and remove any trigger points You can perform these release techniques using basic myofascial release tools such as a massage ball or foam roller.

    Related: Best foam rollers Release the Lats The first step is to release the lats using a foam roller. The lats are large muscles on your back that run from the top of your back all the way down. Make sure to roll out both sides.

    Watch the video above to learn how to do this effectively. Low Back Release This video shows you how to foam roll out your entire back, however, you want to focus on the techniques which are aimed at foam rolling the lower back. You may still find it helpful to foam roll the upper back too as you may once again hit the lat area. If you find a foam roller is too big and ineffective, you may find a massage ball to be more effective.

    Related: Best massage balls 2. Stretches This section focuses on performing stretches on the same groups of muscles that were just released to help stretch and create length in those muscles. For best results perform these stretches daily. Lat Stretches Included in the video above are two standing lat stretches that you can do from anywhere. If you find these stretches ineffective or troublesome to hold, the stretch included in the video below may be the one for you.

    To do this stretch you would you will need a desk or bench of some kind. If you want to go a little more on how the lats work and therefore how to stretch them in the most effective way, the video above is well recommended. Lower Back Stretches Once the lats are stretched out you can now focus on the lower back. Strengthening Exercises This section includes exercises aimed at strengthening the abdominal muscles and core.

    How to Keep Those Lower Ribs in Check – Draw in Your Ribs

    However, good form is crucial if you are to reap any benefits of planking exercises. The video above shows you how to do a plank with correct form. Get into a normal plank position, making sure that your pelvis and shoulders are at the same level.

    Tuck the pelvis underneath, and ensure you are not rounding your upper back. If you suffer from rib flare it is imperative that you do not allow your low back to arch during a plank as this is the position you should be trying to avoid. Hold this move for about 30 seconds, and complete 5 sets. Planking can help to improve balance and posture, and it also helps to reduce back pain by strengthening your core. Dead Bug Exercise Another simple core strengthening exercise is the dead bug.

    Start by lying flat on your back with both feet, and both hands in the air —replicating the posture of a dead bug. Reach your right arm back behind your head, while extending your left foot out and lowered to the floor.

    Your foot should not actually touch the floor; it should hover above the floor.


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