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How To Fix Rib Flare: Corrective Exercises, And Healing Timelines

- Written By

DR Maheen Sohail , BDS

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Yet, many people suffer from postural issues that can lead to discomfort and even pain. One common postural problem is rib flare, where the ribcage protrudes excessively, causing the front of the ribs to flare outward. Various factors, including sedentary lifestyles, poor posture, muscle imbalances, and structural issues, can cause rib flare.


This article aims to raise awareness about rib flare, its potential impact on the body, and how specific exercises can help correct this issue. We will explore the anatomical and biomechanical factors contributing to rib flare and provide a comprehensive guide to how to fix rib flare through targeted exercises.

Before engaging in any exercise program, individuals should consult a healthcare professional or qualified fitness expert, especially if they have pre-existing medical conditions or concerns.

What is rib flare?

Rib flare is a common posture issue that many individuals unconsciously adopt, and it can lead to problems such as discomfort, back pain, and difficulty breathing. If left unaddressed, this condition may result in further health problems.

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Understanding Causes and Consequences of Rib Flare

Rib flare is characterized by an outward expansion of the lower ribcage, creating a visible arch in the midsection. It can be more pronounced in specific individuals, depending on their body composition and lifestyle habits.

One reason why flared ribs cause issues is that they can put excessive strain on the muscles and joints of the lower back and rib cage. When the lower ribs stick out, they can pull the spine and pelvis out of alignment, causing muscle imbalances and contributing to pain and discomfort in the lower back.

There are 6 possible causes of rib flare in human body please read all them carefully if you want to get rid of them.

  • Poor Posture
  • Muscle Imbalance
  • Weak Muscle
  • Tightness in Chest or Boobs
  • Join Issue of Spine
  • Structural Issue
Illustration By Trend Of Health

1) Poor posture

Slouching, hunching over desks, and other postural habits can disrupt the natural alignment of the spine and ribs. Over time, this can contribute to rib flare, as the muscles responsible for maintaining proper posture weaken.

2) Muscle imbalances

Imbalances between the anterior and posterior trunk muscles can also contribute to rib flare. The abdominal muscles’ weakness and lower back muscles overactivity may lead to ribcage misalignment.

3) Weak core muscles

Weak core muscles are a condition where the muscles at the body’s center, specifically the abdominal, lower back, and pelvic muscles, are not strong enough to provide adequate support and stability to the spine and surrounding structures.

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4) Tightness in the chest and shoulder muscles

Tightness in the chest and shoulder muscles causes tension or discomfort in these muscle groups. Several circumstances, such as poor posture, stress, anxiety, overuse of the muscles, injury, or certain medical conditions, can lead to this condition.

5) Joint dysfunction in the spine or ribs

Joint dysfunction in the spine or ribs is a condition that develops when the joints in the spine or ribs move or align abnormally. Numerous things, such as bad posture, injuries, degenerative changes, or specific medical conditions, can contribute to this.

6) Structural Issues

In some cases, flared ribs can be related to structural abnormalities, such as scoliosis or certain rib cage deformities. These issues may require medical attention and specialized interventions beyond exercise.

Identifying Rib Flare

Are your ribs flares out and causing discomfort or pain? Rib flare is a postural issue that occurs when the lower ribs protrude outward, lifting the front of the rib cage up and out. It is a common issue that affects many individuals and can cause a range of physical problems.

Source / Pinterest

Identifying rib flare in oneself or others can be a crucial first step toward addressing the issue. Here are some methods to help place flared ribs:

1) Visual Observation

Stand in front of a mirror and observe your posture. Pay attention to the alignment of your ribs, particularly the lower rib cage area. If your ribs appear to jut out prominently, especially when viewed from the side, you may have a rib flare.

2) Tactile Examination

Place your fingers along the sides of your rib cage, just below the chest. Press inward and see if you can feel a noticeable arch in the ribs. This palpation can provide insights into ribcage alignment.

 3) Movement Assessment

Perform basic movement patterns, such as bending forward, extending backward, and rotating side to side. Notice if the flaring of your ribs changes during these movements. Rib flare may become more apparent when bending back.

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Muscles That Correct Rib Flare

Correcting rib flare involves engaging and strengthening specific muscle groups that are pivotal in supporting the ribcage and promoting better alignment. The key muscles responsible for fixing rib flare are:

Transverse abdominis: The deepest layer of abdominal muscles, the transverse abdominis, acts like a corset around the waist, providing stability and support to the ribcage.

Obliques: The internal and external obliques are abdominal muscles responsible for rotating and side-bending the torso. Strengthening these muscles helps maintain proper ribcage alignment and improves core stability.

Rectus Abdominis: The rectus abdominis, commonly known as the “six-pack” muscles, contributes to core strength and helps support the lower ribs, aiding in ribcage alignment.

Erector Spinae: The erector spinae muscles, located along the spine, play a role in maintaining upright posture and supporting the back.

Hip Flexors: The hip flexor muscles connect the spine to the legs and help support the lower back and pelvis, influencing ribcage alignment.

Individuals can correct rib flare, improve overall posture, and reduce discomfort associated with this postural issue by performing targeted exercises that engage and strengthen these muscle groups.

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How to fix rib flare in just 8 easy steps?

There are several exercises and techniques you can use to fix rib flare and restore balance to your body. Here are some strategies you can try.

Improve your posture: One of the leading causes of rib flare is poor posture, so it’s essential to improve your alignment. Sit and stand straight with your shoulders back and down, and engage your core muscles to support your spine.

Strengthen your core: Engage in exercises that target your core muscles, such as planks, sit-ups, and crunches. Strengthening your core will help support your spine and prevent your ribs from flaring out.

Stretch your hip flexors: Tight hip flexors can contribute to rib flare by pulling your pelvis forward and arching your lower back. Stretching your hip flexors regularly can help alleviate tension and improve your posture.

Engage your back muscles: Exercises that target your back muscles, such as rows and let pulldowns, can help to strengthen and stabilize the muscles that support your spine.

Practice diaphragmatic breathing: Breathing from your diaphragm can help to alleviate the strain on your ribcage and improve your breathing. To do this, lie on your back and place your hands on your belly. Breathe in deeply, feeling your belly rise, and exhale slowly.

You can correct rib flare, relieve pain and discomfort, and improve your overall physical health and well-being by implementing these strategies and making simple lifestyle changes. If you have ongoing pain or discomfort, it is always best to consult with a healthcare professional to determine the best course of treatment for your specific needs.

1) Diaphragmatic Breathing

Diaphragmatic breathing, also known as belly breathing or deep breathing, is a fundamental exercise that helps engage the diaphragm and promotes the fixation of flared ribs. Practice the following steps:

  • Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor, or place one hand on your chest and the other on your abdomen.
  • Inhale deeply through your nose, allowing your abdomen to rise and expand. Focus on developing the lower ribs outward.
  • Exhale slowly through your mouth, feeling your abdomen fall as you release your breath.
  • Repeat this breathing pattern for a few minutes daily to develop better breathing habits and improve ribcage mobility.
Source / UC Health

2) Pelvic Tilts

Pelvic tilts help engage the core and strengthen the muscles around the pelvis and lower back. They also encourage better alignment of the spine and ribcage. Perform the exercise as follows to fix flared ribs:

  • Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
  • Slowly tilt your pelvis backward, pressing your lower back into the floor.
  • Hold the position for a few seconds, engaging your core muscles.
  • Return to the starting position and repeat the movement for several repetitions.
Source / OrthoIndy Northwest

3) Side-lying windmill

  • Begin by lying on your side, legs straight, and head resting on your arm.
  • Lift your upper leg gently and place your foot in front of you on the floor.
  • Next, raise your upper arm towards the ceiling while keeping your shoulder blades down and away from your ears.
  • Exhale by rotating your torso and reaching your arm across your body to the floor.
  • As you come across your body, allow your ribs to open.
  • Return to the starting position and do the opposite side.
Source / Champion Physical Therapy
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4) Scissor kick

If you’re looking for a simple exercise to help correct rib flare, try the scissor kick. This exercise targets your abdominal muscles and can help improve your posture.

To perform the scissor kick.

  • Lie down on your back, feet flat on the ground.
  • Inhale slowly as you raise your head and shoulders off the ground. To keep your ribs from flaring out, keep them pulled down.
  • Exhale as you scissor your legs up and down, stretching and holding each portion with your hands. Throughout the exercise, keep your head and shoulders lifted off the ground.
  • Inhale as you return your legs to the first position, and exhale as you return your head and shoulders to the ground.
  • Repeat 10-15 times.

The scissor kick can help to strengthen your core and improve your posture by engaging the muscles that support your spine. Additionally, it can stretch your hip flexors, which can help alleviate tension and improve your alignment.

Source / XHIT Daily

5) Bird dog

The Bird Dog exercise targets the core muscles and promotes stability in the spine and ribcage. Follow these steps for the correction of flared ribs:

  • Start on your hands and knees, with your wrists directly under your shoulders and your knees under your hips.
  • Extend your right arm forward and your left leg backward, maintaining a flat back.
  • Hold the position for a few seconds, engaging your core for stability.
  • Return to the starting position and repeat the movement on the opposite side.
  • Perform several repetitions on each side.

The bird dog is an excellent exercise for rib flare correction because it strengthens the muscles that support your spine and improves your posture. You can improve your core strength and stability by performing this exercise regularly, which can help prevent back pain and other postural issues.

Source / Howcast

6) Cat-Cow Stretch

The Cat-Cow stretch is an excellent exercise to improve spinal flexibility and correct flared ribs. Practice it as follows:

  • Start on your hands and knees, with your wrists directly under your shoulders and your knees under your hips.
  • Inhale as you arch your back and lift your head and tailbone upward (Cow position).
  • Exhale as you round your back and tuck your chin toward your chest (Cat position).
  • Flow smoothly between the Cat and Cow positions, coordinating your breath with the movement.
  • Repeat the sequence for several rounds.
Source / DR. Dawn

7) Pilates Roll-Up

The Pilates Roll-Up targets the abdominal muscles and promotes spinal articulation, helping to correct rib flare. Follow these steps:

  • Lie on your back with your legs extended and arms reaching overhead.
  • Inhale as you engage your core and roll up one vertebra at a time, getting your hands toward your feet.
  • Exhale as you continue the movement in the future with your fingertips and articulating your spine.
  • Inhale again at the top, maintaining a lengthened spine.
  • Exhale as you reverse the trend, rolling back down one vertebra at a time.
  • Repeat the exercise several times, focusing on controlled activity and core engagement.
Source / Rosewell Park

8) Super man

The Superman exercise can help correct rib flare and improve your overall posture by strengthening your lower back and core. Here’s how to go about it.

  • Lie face down on the ground; arms extended in front of you, legs straight.
  • Lift your arms and legs slowly off the ground while pressing your hips and lower back into the floor.
  • Hold this position for 6-9 seconds before gradually lowering back to the starting position.
  • Repeat 12-18 times.

Remember to move slowly and deliberately and avoid jerking or bouncing. Throughout the exercise, you should also focus on keeping your core engaged and breathing steady.

Source / CORE Chiropractic

9) Plank

  • To begin the plank, get into a push-up position.
  • Then, lower yourself until your forearms rest on the ground. Check that your body is in a straight line from head to heels.
  • Maintain this position for 30 to 1 minute. If you want to increase the difficulty, try raising one leg off the ground or holding the place for a more extended period.
Source / 7 Dakika

10) Squeeze the abs

In addition to targeted exercises, incorporating core stability into your daily routine is critical for rib flare correction. While many people understand the value of physical activity for overall health and well-being, some may overlook the importance of core exercises.

The core muscles, which include those in the abdominal and lower back regions, are essential for spinal stability and proper posture. Engaging your abs throughout the day is an effective way to strengthen these muscles.

This can be as simple as contracting and holding your stomach muscles for a few seconds and repeating several times throughout the day.

11) Ab Exercises

To correct flared ribs, focus on exercises that strengthen the core and promote proper ribcage alignment. Perform the following ab exercises:

Pelvic Tilts: Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat. Tilt your pelvis backward, engaging your core and pressing your lower back into the floor. Hold briefly, then release.

Leg Raises: Lie on your back and lift both legs off the floor, engaging your lower abs. Lower them slowly, maintaining core engagement.

Planks: Assume a push-up position, resting on forearms and toes, maintaining a straight line from head to heels. Hold for a set time, focusing on core stability.

Bicycle Crunches: Lie on your back, hands behind your head. Bring the opposite elbow to the knee while extending the other leg.

Source / Chris Heria

12) Arm blasters for flared ribs

An arm blaster can be used to repair rib flare. An arm blaster is a piece of exercise equipment that assists you in keeping your arms in the proper position while exercising. It allows you to concentrate on using the correct muscles and achieving a good range of motion. The arm blaster also prevents you from swinging the weight with momentum, which can result in injury.

The DMoose arm blaster is a straightforward piece of equipment that consists of a strap that wraps around the chest and another that attaches to the arms. It is an excellent tool for improving upper body strength and correcting rib flare.

Source / Gym Reapers

How Long Does It Take for a Rib Flare to Heal?

For some individuals, mild rib flare cases may improve within a few weeks to a couple of months with consistent exercise and proper postural awareness. However, more severe or long-standing cases of rib flare may take several months to even a year or more to show significant progress.

Factors that can influence the healing timeline include:

Consistency: Regular practice of exercises and techniques to correct rib flare is essential. Those who commit to a consistent exercise routine will likely progress faster.

Severity: The extent of rib flare and associated muscle imbalances will influence the time required to correct the issue.

Individual Differences: People’s bodies respond differently to exercises and corrective measures. Some individuals may experience faster healing due to their body’s adaptability.

Adherence to Lifestyle Changes: Improving posture during exercises and daily activities can contribute to faster healing.

It is essential to remember that healing rib flare is not just about aesthetic improvements but also about promoting better posture, core strength, and overall well-being. For those dealing with rib flare, it is advisable to work with a qualified fitness professional or healthcare provider to develop a personalized plan that addresses their specific needs and ensures safe and effective progress.


Flared ribs can be corrected through targeted exercises, posture correction, and muscle strengthening. With consistent effort and proper guidance, individuals can improve ribcage alignment and reduce the appearance and discomfort associated with flared ribs.

Yes, seeing a doctor for a rib flare is advisable, especially if you experience persistent pain and discomfort or have concerns about your condition. While exercises can help correct mild cases of rib flare, it’s essential to rule out any underlying medical issues or structural abnormalities that may require specific interventions.

A doctor can conduct a thorough examination, diagnose accurately, and recommend appropriate treatment options. Additionally, if you have pre-existing medical conditions or are unsure about the cause of your rib flare, seeking medical guidance ensures you receive personalized advice and appropriate care.

An out-of-place rib may appear visibly elevated or, more prominently, on one side of the ribcage, causing asymmetry. This can create a noticeable bulge or lump, and individuals may experience localized pain or discomfort in the affected area.

A chiropractor may help address rib flare by utilizing spinal adjustments and manipulations to improve the alignment of the spine and ribcage. They can also advise on posture correction, exercises, and stretches to target the muscles involved in rib flare.

However, the effectiveness of chiropractic care for rib flare may vary depending on the individual’s specific condition and the underlying causes. It is essential to consult with a qualified chiropractor to determine if their approach aligns with your needs and goals for correcting rib flare.

Waist trainers do not correct rib flare. They may temporarily compress the waist area but do not address underlying muscle imbalances or posture issues that cause rib flare. Targeted exercises, proper posture, and core strengthening are more effective methods to correct rib flare.

Rib flare is not considered rare. It is a relatively common postural issue due to various factors such as sedentary lifestyles, poor posture, muscle imbalances, and structural problems. Many individuals experience some degree of rib flare during their lifetime.

The bottom line

Rib flare is a common postural issue that can adversely affect the body’s alignment, core stability, and breathing. However, through increased awareness and targeted exercises, individuals can work to correct rib flare and improve their overall posture and well-being.

The exercises outlined in this article can serve as a foundation for addressing rib flare. Remember that consistency is critical to seeing progress, and listening to your body and progress in recovery is essential

How we reviewed this article

Trend Of Health has strict sourcing guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We avoid using tertiary references. You can learn more about how we ensure our content is accurate and current by reading our editorial policy

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