What is a Flared Rib Cage?
When the bottom half of the rib cage is in neutral alignment with the spine, it is positioned inwards and downwards. However, if the core muscles are weak, there can be excessive curvature of the lower spine (lordosis) which can pull the rib cage outwards and forwards. This movement distortion is called a flared rib cage.
How Does This Happen?
The flaring of the rib cage can happen because of weak abdominal muscles, breathing difficulties, restricted movement in the shoulders, and bad posture (especially due to sedentary lifestyles). This is because the muscles (the obliques and abdominals) which are responsible for stabilizing the rib cage are weak. Thus, the body relies on the posterior trunk muscles to compensate for the weak abdominals. The resulting tightness of the trunk muscles pull the rib cage out of alignment.
Signs of Flaring Rib Cage
- Lower portion of the rib cage is jutting out
- Excessive curvature of the lower spine
- Restricted in the shoulders, especially in overhead movements
- Weak abdominals
- Breathing difficulties
- Pain and tightness in the ribs and back
How Do You Fix A Flared Rib Cage?
To address this muscular distortion, it is important to relax the trunk muscles and stabilize the core. We would recommend the following exercises:
- Release – Rectus femoris & back erectors 60 sec each
- Activate – external oblique- band rotation 2 x 20
- Integrate- 4-point rotation 2 x 20
- Strengthen – Single leg marching 2 x 20