Fix Flared Ribs in 2022 – 7 Day Workout Plan, Braces & More

Evidence Based This post has medical citations
famous soccer player with flared ribs

Pectus Excavatum is the main cause of rib flare. It causes several ribs and the sternum to grow oddly. The problem is that it isn’t just the worsened physical appearance of the sufferer.

It may also cause you some health, and appearance problems in the long run. You can improve protruding ribs through bracing, vacuum bell therapy, stretching, exercising, breathing, or surgery.

Luckily for you, you’re in the right place. If you implement what you’ll read in this article, correcting protruding ribs can be a simpler and pain-free process.

Facts About the Rib Cage


The rib cage plays a massive part in spinal stability. The placement of the rib cage mostly determines the structural integrity (function) of The neck, shoulders, scapula, and lumbar spine. Any rib or chest disorder causes multiple problems in the upper body movement patterns and organ functioning.

Your shoulders won’t be able to operate as they should. Their function will be compensated by some other joint in your body. This can lead to irritating shoulder pain. On top of that, any rib or chest deformity isn’t attractive when you take off your shirt at the pool party.


The flared rib cage can cause pain in the neck, shoulders and can even damage the structural integrity of the whole upper body.

Don’t Ignore Your Rib Abnormality

woman with protruding ribcage

The way you keep your body daily has a direct impact on your self-confidence. If you want to achieve a proper posture, you shouldn’t neglect your flared rib cage.

The ribs are a very underrated component in the development of proper posture. Any disorder in this part of the skeletal system can cause pain in the shoulders, neck, thoracic, and lumbar spine.

Lower Self-Esteem

As I previously said, in most cases, the pectus excavatum condition comes along with flared ribs. This combination makes the visual appearance of an individual, not so pleasant.

Scientists have discovered that those who suffer from this disorder have far less self-confidence than others. Many people that suffer from rib flare have a slumped-over posture. The ability to express yourself and have a standard set of social skills requires a strong and upright posture.

If you look at people during social interactions, you’ll realize that those individuals who have rounded shoulders, hold their heads down and can’t maintain eye contact for long. These people have trouble interacting with others.


If you want to have a healthy and strong body, you must repair your protruding ribs and pectus excavatum.

4 Other Causes of Protruding Ribs

right ribs sticking out

In addition to the pectus excavatum deformity, the protruding ribs can also be caused by injury, genetic flaws, weak musculature, and scoliosis. All of these causes can be easily fixed non-surgically, by following the proper routine I’ll show you below.

However, severe rib flare can only be corrected through surgery. You probably don’t have severe flaring because that relates to consistent dizziness, shortness of breath, extreme chest pain, and heartache.

For now, let me discuss the most common rib flaring reasons in detail.


There is a high chance that your flared or uneven ribs are caused by physical injury. This may be a rib fracture or a muscle sprain.

If this rib injury was caused several years ago, then you may need to undergo surgery to fix it. However, if the damage was done in recent years, then you can repair the protruding ribs without surgery.

If this is the case, I recommend you talk with a certified medical expert to discuss the injury.


Genetics, along with pectus excavatum are the most common cause of flared ribs. If your bones were flared from birth, then this is a genetic flaw.

It is always beneficial to be diagnosed with pectus excavatum because some states provide full insurance for the Nuss procedure in people younger than 18 years old.

There is nothing to worry about congenital flared ribs. You can still bring back your bone flaring to normal shape with the therapy I will discuss in the text that follows.


If your ribs are sticking out, there is a high possibility that you also suffer from anterior pelvic tilt (hyperextended lower back). This is caused by muscle tightness and weak muscular development in the core and back.

There is also a high possibility that your muscles are asymmetrically developed. If the muscles on one side of the body are stronger, then rib flaring may occur on the weaker side.

I will discuss how to fix these imbalances and weaknesses in the “How to Fix Flared Ribs” section below.


This is directly correlated to muscular weaknesses and inequities in certain areas.

If you have scoliosis, your spine will have an unnatural curvature.

The rest of the body will change to this curve, and rib flaring may occur as a result.

I had severe scoliosis from playing video games for at least 6 hours a day, while sitting in an improper position.

This caused my rib flare to get worse day by day.

Then, I decided to do yoga daily. In my opinion, this, along with the other exercises, is the best remedy for fixing scoliosis.

Is Protruding Rib Cage on Left Side More Common?

soccer player with flared ribs

Most physiotherapists claim that left rib flaring is much more common than its right rib counterpart.

Idiopathic scoliosis plays a huge role in this.

Rib flare is also associated with uneven shoulders.

If you have a protruding left rib, your left shoulder is probably higher than the other.

This can cause painful nerve impingement.

That can lead to numbness in the entire arm and shoulder area.

How Is It Created?

Left side rib flare creates right lumbar rotation and compensatory left thoracic rotation.

In response to the thoracic rotation, the ribs will rotate externally giving you the flared ribs look.

On the other hand, the ribs on the right side will rotate internally and give you a smoother rib cage.

This rotation generates an asymmetry of the diaphragm.

It Can Compress the Heart

In some severe cases, the rotation may press the heart inside, causing both chest and heart pain.

The degree of severity is different in most cases.

Thankfully, this is rare, but it shouldn’t go untreated.

Poor Posture Can Make It Worse

It may get more severe with time if your posture gets worse or if your surrounding muscles get weaker.

You will want to stop the process that worsens your posture through exercising and stretching.

In most cases, it is correctable without painful and dangerous surgery.

However, we mustn’t overlook the fact that this is a bone deformity.

It Can’t Be Fixed Overnight

You need to stay consistent and dedicated if you want to get it repaired.

Don’t get discouraged by individuals who claim that bones are entirely reliant on genetics and that they can’t be reshaped or changed.

According to Wolff’s law, bones can be remodeled over time, if external pressure is applied on them.

Wearing pectus excavatum braces that put adequate amount of external pressure will be extremely beneficial for correcting rib flare.

Bones are also moved by muscles that hold them in place.

Correspondingly, the rib cage area is enormously flexible and can be changed through corrective stretching and posture improvement exercises.


Physiotherapists say that rib flare on the left side is more common. This can make your shoulders uneven, and eventually lead to numbness. You can correct this non-surgically by following a proven routine.

My Devastating Protruding Ribs Experience

my rib flare transformation

Back in the days, I had a severe case of protruding ribs that was worsened by bad posture, weak back musculature, and poor core strength.

I didn’t treat my pectus excavatum and rib flare, because I thought that it would get better by itself.

I neglected this nagging problem for years.

I tried to hide my flaring ribs by keeping my shirt on, even on 100 Fahrenheit summer pool party days.

I was constantly asked by my friends, and even by girls about why I always wore a shirt.

I had a ritual to think of stupid excuses to say to them in order to earn their approval.

I Felt Anxious and Devastated

One day I got tired of my sticking out ribs as my anxiety increased, my posture degraded, and as my confidence got shattered by the constant thoughts of what people think of me.

On top of that, I started to get some irritating chest and shoulder pains.

I felt awful about my rib flare, mainly because I believed that it was a very rare deformity.

I know how you feel deep inside because I went through the exact same situation in my teenage years.

I always felt embarrassed and got terrible social anxiety.

Information About Rib Flare Was Scarce

A few years ago, the only thing that I could possibly do was go to the doctor.

Information on how to fix sticking out ribs without surgery was scarce, both in libraries and on the Internet.

I was very confused because of the lack of materials about the condition.

What made it worse was the seemingly non-interested doctor who told me that the only way to correct a protruding rib cage is through surgery.

I couldn’t get Health Insurance to cover my surgery costs, because my Haller Index was lower than 3.25.

In addition, if I opted for the surgery, I couldn’t participate in any sports or do any activity that raises the heart rate to a certain point.

This wasn’t what I was looking for!

I went to every single great cardiothoracic surgeon in my country.

Specialist Appointment that Changed My Life

Luckily, I stumbled upon a specialist that claimed rib flaring could be fixed without surgery.

I was utterly excited about the news.

All my hard work to find a solution for rib flare without getting 2 titanium bars under my chest, finally paid off!

After discussing the issue with my cardiothoracic surgeon, I was told to follow a non-surgical physical therapy program on a daily basis.

My rib flaring decreased, and my nagging chest pains went away. The results are permanent.

I could finally take off my shirt with confidence and have a comfortable interaction with everyone!

I am eager to share my experience and knowledge with you to help you repair your funnel chest and flared ribs abnormalities forever!

You can see more photos of my pectus excavatum here.

Notice how less noticeable my protruding ribs are, after I strengthened my core and overall body musculature.

flared ribs improvement with building muscles

Notice how less noticeable my protruding ribs are, after I strengthened my core and overall body musculature.


A few years ago, I had a poor posture, sunken chest and protruding ribs. That lowered my self-confidence to the point that I had a very bad social life. After an appointment to the specialist, my whole thought process changed.

Top 5 Rib Flare Posture Exercises

bad posture worsens flared ribs

In most cases, patients with protruding ribs and pectus excavatum or carinatum have a very bad posture.This is bad as it makes the appearance of their chest worse.

Besides that, if the posture gets worsened, the ribs will stick out more than before.

Postural Problems & Exercises

Most common symptoms of those who have rib flaring, tend to be tight and uneven chest muscles, fragile back musculature, forward slouching shoulders, a forward head posture, hole in the chest and a belly that sticks out.

Even if you have a mild spreading of the ribs, bad posture will make it look a lot worse.

In the text that follows, I’ll list you 5 exercises that will not only improve your posture, but also reduce rib flare.


Don’t be scared! You won’t dislocate your shoulders. It is just the name of this powerful exercise!

If you do it correctly, it will put your shoulders in the right place, stretch your tight pecs (chest muscles) and strengthen your upper back.

All of this is critical for proper posture. It is a perfectly safe exercise that will help the flared ribs get back into place.

I followed my doctor’s advice and made this exercise a part of my daily routine (you should too!).

In just a week span, I noticed a significant improvement in my overall posture.

Just a word of caution: If you’ve never done this exercise before, please don’t rush it.

All you need is a simple stretch band. I recommend that over a PVC pipe.

greatest resistance bands to correct rib flare

Leekey Resistance Band Set

The band will drastically improve the quality of this exercise.When you reach the band overhead, it will adapt to your flexibility standards.This customization will greatly strengthen and contract the muscles in the back that are required for an optimal posture.

The way you perform this awesome exercise for correcting flared ribs is as following:

Shoulder Dislocations Step-by-Step


First of all, you have to stand up straight with your feet shoulder-width apart.


Then, pick up the rubber band with a wide grip (the wider you grip it, the less flexibility you will need).


Extend the band over your head and rotate your shoulder until the band hits your lower back.

Repeat this for 4 sets of 8.

Make this exercise a part of your daily routine.

There is nothing complicated about it. All you need is consistency.

That is critical for fixing your posture and reducing rib flare.


practice great posture throughout the day

This habit will revolutionize your confidence and your posture during the day.

Doing it is extremely simple. The hard part is making it a routine.

All you need to do is keep your chest up and shoulders back and down.

You will feel uncomfortable at first, but you must step out of your comfort zone in order to fix your posture and flared ribs.

This is what I did to hold a picture-perfect posture during the day.

Alarm Clock Trick

The alarm clock trick is the easiest way you can develop this habit.I highly recommend setting an alarm clock to go off every 10 minutes.When it buzzes, it should remind you to sit or stand properly.If you aren’t holding a proper posture when the alarm goes off, then make sure you do that the next time!


Performing shoulder dislocations and practicing proper posture during the day is a great start to your journey of correcting protruding ribs.

After you aquire that as a habit, I recommend you implement yoga in your routine.

Yes, you heard me right.

I don’t care how masculine you feel, or how muscular you are.

You must do yoga if your ribs poke out of your shirt.

All you need to do is purchase a yoga mat and follow the movements of the yoga experts on YouTube.

You can do this from the comfort of your household.

Yoga for flared ribs will greatly increase your mood, remove tension and tightness in your chest, abdominals, and neck while strengthening the muscles in the back.

This is a perfect recipe for improving your posture.

Performing yoga for 30 minutes, 3 times a week, worked like a cheat code for my rib flaring.


If you suffer from a poor posture, your latissimus dorsi muscle (also known as lats) is probably extremely tight.

Yoga is probably one of the best ways to stretch this muscle.

The downward facing dog is great chest expander and latissimus dorsi stretcher.

However, I still recommend you do the standing doorway lat stretch on a daily basis.

You’ll see a significant improvement in your posture, and your shoulder pain will be greatly reduced because of it.

The best thing is that it will pull the ribcage in your normal position and stretch the exact muscles that are worsening the rib flare.

You don’ need any expensive equipment for this stretch.

All you need is a doorway, and I guarantee that you can do this even at school.

For each arm, I advise you to hold the stretch for 1 minute.

See the video below for a full demonstration.


Most people that suffer from rib flare, tend to have extremely poor chest muscle flexibility.

This hinders them from performing back strengthening exercises effectively.

Because of this blockage, you won’t have the ability to fully contract the back musculature.

This leads to contracting the muscles in the shoulders, which will do all the work while doing back exercises.

This will worsen your posture, and you will never develop that V-shaped back that you always wanted.

While performing the pectoralis major stretch, always keep your ribcage down.

This will increase the intensity of the stretch and put the rib flare back in the correct position.

You’ll sense a better stretch.

Stretching the lats and the pecs is critically important because their lack of flexibility translates to holding back some important overhead motions.

Just like the lat stretch video I showed you above, you can do the pectoralis stretch on your doorway.

Hold the stretch for 1 minute, for each hand (with the ribs down).

For top results, repeat this stretch 3 times every day.

Buy a Rib Flare Brace

bad posture worsens flared ribs

The simplest, and scientifically proven way you can improve your posture and correct your rib flaring is by investing in a brace that causes external compression on the abnormal rib structure.

Bracing, along with yoga, and vacuum bell therapy, was the beginning that gave me hope in my battle of fixing the protruding ribs and pectus excavatum condition.

It was also one of the best decisions I’ve ever made, regarding my physical and overall health.

The main goal of using braces for protruded ribs is to make your posture picture perfect, while modifying the malformed bones, even while you’re sleeping.

This will drastically improve your appearance, confidence, and basically take your whole life to a whole new level.


LaceIT PE Brace

The LaceIT Pectus Excavatum brace is the best solution for your rib flare deformity.

It has a special magnet technology that pulls your ribs and uneven chest to normal positioning.


Neo G Pectus Brace

I highly recommend you purchase the Neo G Pectus Excavatum brace.

It will help you get your lost confidence back, by improving your posture in just a couple of weeks.

Investing in a Brace Is Smart

If you have a poor posture and serious rib spreading, bracing will do wonders for you.

All you need is a little investment on your part.

Don’t be terrified!

This won’t break your bank!

Purchasing a high-quality brace is the best investment you can do.

You won’t ever regret making this decision.

The only thing you’ll regret is when you realize that you should’ve invested in a rib flare brace years ago.

As I stated before, the deformity can get worse.

Ideally, you should buy one when your rib flaring isn’t that serious.

Don’t be one of those guys who spend a lot of money on stupid items, just to realize that you should’ve purchased the brace a long time ago.


The external pressure of a proper brace has the power to reshape the malformed bone structure of the protruding ribs.

Strengthen Your Core

The second key element for fixing rib flaring is building a strong core musculature.

There is a common misconception about core muscles and abs.

Most people with protruding ribs and intended chest search the Internet for a quick fix and only work the transverse abdominals muscles.

These are also known as six-pack abs.

That’s the reason why they fail to fix the protruded rib cage.

There are much more muscles in the core, other than the abs.

In the text that follows, I’ll do a quick review of all muscles that make up the core.

If you strengthen them the right way, rib flaring won’t be so noticeable.

People will be amazed by your physique because you improved your posture and strengthened the core musculature.

You can also finally take off your shirt during social gatherings.

​Core Muscles Anatomy

The musculature in the core is a complex system of muscles which includes the transverse abdominals, internal and external obliques, rectus abdominis, spinal erectors, and more.

If you focus only on your six-pack abs muscles, you will get a muscular imbalance. Your back muscles will be a lot weaker than your abs, which can lead to lower back pain.

The stability in your spinal area will get worse.

All this will worsen your rib flaring.

Developing your core musculature, as a whole, is a must when it comes to correcting this protrusion.

In the following text, I am going to show you how to simply and effectively strengthen your core musculature and fix your protruding ribs as a side-effect of pectus excavatum.


The external pressure of a proper brace has the power to reshape the malformed bone structure of the protruding ribs.

Top 5 Core Exercises for Protruding Ribs


best core exercise to correct protruding ribs

This exercise is key for the development of a functional and robust core (it works every single muscle in the core section if done correctly).

It is an extremely safe exercise that may seem hard at first, but with time you’ll get it mastered.

If you’re having balance and stabilization issues that is great.

That means that your core musculature is fragile and need strengthening.

Ab Rollouts Step-by-Step


To perform this exercise, you must hold the Ab Wheel with both hands.


Take it to the floor, and while you’re on your knees, breathe in and slowly. Roll forward while squeezing your abdominals.


After you are in a fully stretched position, exhale and roll yourself up to the starting position. Repeat.

What this will do is strengthen your core muscles while stretching and expanding your rib cage (which is essential for fixing your protruding ribs).

Perform 4 sets of 10 repetitions, three times a week.

Below is a video where a perfect Ab Rollout is demonstrated.

It is exactly how you should perform this core exercise, safely, while working every single minor and major muscle.


The plank is a must do core exercise when it comes to correcting rib flare.

Never be satisfied with anything other than a perfect form.

You don’t need any fancy equipment to perform this exercise.

All you need is a small amount of room to comfortably perform it.

If you have elbow pain while you’re doing this exercise, because of a rough floor, I recommend you get a cheap fitness mat.

The best thing about the plank is that it is a total body exercise.

You must take the most out of the exercise by adding full body tension to it.

Plank Exercise Step-by-Step


You should keep your shoulders tight.


Next thing is to keep the upper arms and elbow at an angle of 90 degrees to the ground.

After you do that, squeeze your quads and glutes to have perfectly straight knees.


The last, and most important thing is to keep your back straight while keeping constant tension in your core.

Your back should be straight to the point of being able to let someone eat lunch off of your back.

If you want the plank to be harder and more effective for minimizing rib flaring, then flex the abs as hard as you can.

Keep the rib cage locked.

This will be one sure way to keep the whole core involved during the movement.

Keep in mind that it is always more effective to hold a 1-minute plank with perfect form, than 3 minutes with improper form.

Hold for as long as you can. Do 3 sets of this exercise every day for optimal results.

You can progress quickly with this exercise.

The first time you try it you may only be able to hold 30 seconds.

After each workout, you can slightly increase the duration of the exercise.


This is an advanced core exercise combo that is extremely effective when it comes to fixing rib flare.

In order to perform this exercise, you need a BOSU ball and a dumbbell.


URBNFit Stability Half Ball

The URBNFit Balance trainer stability ball is ideal for all fitness levels.

It can be used for plenty of pectus excavatum exercises.

Most importantly, you can effectively perform the Bosu Ball crunch on it.


PowerBlock Elite Dumbbells

The PowerBlock Elite Dummbells are designed and manufactured in the US.

They are completely adjustable, durable and target the muscles more effectively than traditional dumbbells.

You need to invest in this equipment, but one thing is for sure.

The return of investment will be very high.

Ever since I did this exercise, my overall upper body and core appearance improved, and my ribcage appearance was finally normal.

While performing the BOSU ball pullover crunch, you do two exercises simultaneously.

The pullover is the best chest expanding exercise you can do.

This is vital when it comes to correcting rib flare and pectus excavatum, without an operation.

The crunch is known as one of the best upper abdominal activating exercises that exist.

It was one of Arnold Schwarzenegger favorite core exercises for a reason.

If it worked great for one of the greatest bodybuilders in human existence, then it will surely work amazingly for you.

For best results, perform 3 sets of 10 repetitions, three times a week.


This is a very underrated exercise that requires a huge amount of stability and core strength to perform.

It activates the deep abdominal muscles, lower back, and abs.

Also, you’ll get a great shoulder stretch after you perform each repetition.

Posture will be improved as well.

To perform it, all you need is an exercise ball.

Perform 20 rollouts, for 3 sets, three times a week.

Aim to achieve a perfect form with every single repetition.

Dead Bug

This is a very cool exercise that is very underestimated and improperly performed.

There are tons of reasons why you may want to do this exercise if you suffer from rib flare.

This exercise is a very simple way to correct anterior pelvic tilt (which is extremely common in people with pectus excavatum and rib flaring).

Use this as a cue to achieve better bracing through the rib cage.

While performing the exercise, you’ll be able to properly brace through the trunk in the anterior.

While performing this exercise, you need to be extremely patient with the movements.

That’s the only way how you can correctly brace your rib cage and activate your deep core muscles.

Your number one focus during this exercise is to remain sturdy while you are bracing through the trunk.

Aim to perform 10 repetitions with each leg, for 3 sets.

Do this at least twice a week. If it is too easy for you, you can also grab some weight in your hands.

Expand Your Chest Through Breathing

Breathing exercises are an excellent way to increase your lung capacity.

Most people who suffer from pectus excavatum and rib flare, seem to have a very tight frontal musculature.

Rib flaring can cause trouble in your natural breathing patterns.

That is what is blocking you from the ability to have a deep and grounded breath.

I personally find breathing exercises to be an amazing way to help me in correcting my protruding ribs.

I am really surprised that no one is talking about this.

This is such a critical component in your existence as a human being.

The fitness expert, Elliott Hulse, who I previously mentioned, is a huge believer in breaking down muscular tension in order to have a smooth, natural breath.

That is achieved by what he says, bioenergetics. Click below to see how to do bioenergetics.

Bioenergetics for Rib Flare

At first, I was skeptical about how performing these tribal set of exercises will help me with my rib flaring.

But I decided to give them a try.

Surprisingly, the very first try was enough to convince me that I should perform these deep breathing exercises on a daily basis.

I felt that all of my muscular tension in the chest and abdomen was gone.

At first, you will vibrate a lot during these breaths.

Don’t be scared. That is trauma and tension leaving your body.

Preferably, you should perform these breathing exercises in the morning or in the evening.

They are very simple to perform, and all you need is five minutes in your day.

The exercise I recommend the most is called the bow.

Bioenergetics Step-by-Step


First set your feet at shoulder-width apart.

With your knees slightly bent, take both of your fists back behind you and jab them in your lower back or upper part of your hips.


Pinch your shoulder blades together, open your mouth and eyes as wide as you can, and breathe deep inside your abdominal wall.

At first, you may experience some pectus excavatum pain and shortness of breath, but this is normal.

If it is severe, stop immediately.


Open the front of your body by bowing back and keep on taking deep breaths.

Aim for about 20 a day to maximize the effects of the exercise.

After just a couple of weeks of constant deep breathing, you can notice that the rib flaring is not that noticeable anymore.

You won’t lose anything if you try them.

See how great you feel after each session.


Rib flare and pectus excavatum can hinder natural breathing patterns. Re-learning how to breathe deeply through bioenergetics will be beneficial for you.

7 Day Workout Plan

This workout plan was originally designed by a certified physiotherapist.

I followed this exact plan for 3 months, and saw an enormous improvement in my rib flare condition.

I am willing to share the exact plan, so you’ll get a better perspective on what should be done on daily basis to repair the rib flaring.

I discussed every single exercise that is listed in this plan, and how it’ll benefit you, in the text above.

The only exercise I added was the bioenergetics.

3 month workout plan to correct rib flare

Workout Explanation

The bioenergetics warm-up is extremely important for you to perform, because it will correct improper breathing patterns that are caused by pectus excavatum and ribs that protrude.

Shoulder dislocations will increase your shoulder mobility, and strengthen the muscles in the back that are required for holding an upright posture.

After the warm-up you’ll be prepared to perform a set of core strengthening exercises.

These will build the deep abdominal musculature, which will help you with pulling the rib cage back to its normal positioning.

On top of that, you’ll strengthen the upper abdominals and obliques, which will make the rib flare far less noticeable.

The final stage is the cool down. That is where you perform the best lat and pectoral stretches.

They are vital in correcting your posture and removing tightness.

Yoga Movements are Essential

On Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, you should be performing yoga.

I find yoga to be the most beneficial way to fix your rib flaring, because it stabilizes the rib cage, improves breathing capacity, improves your posture and strengthens your core.

It is a mixture of everything you need to correct the rib flare condition.

Additionally, all you need is a yoga mat and a device that has access to YouTube.


The 3-Month Rib Flare Correction Program combines posture exercises, core strengthening exercises, breathing work and yoga movements. I followed it personally and noticed amazing correction in my flared ribs.

How to Deal with Rib Flare During Pregnancy

Ribs that poke out during pregnancy are more common than you think.

There is nothing to panic about, as the rib cage will get back to normal after birth.

Pregnancy causes a lot of change in woman bodies.

As the uterus expands, it starts to press on the low coastal rib edges.

The movement and growth of the fetus also increase the force to the rib cage.

The woman’s body fights this pressure with ribs expansion. The rib flare may happen on both sides, but usually, it only affects the ribs on the right.

This condition occurs mainly during the third trimester.

When to Seek for Help

It may seem frightening at first, but there is absolutely nothing to worry about. Most women look at rib flare in pregnancy as an appearance issue.

However, some may experience severe chest and rib pain on a daily basis.

If this happens, you should check the doctor and see whether Tietze syndrome or Pectus Exavatum plays a part in this.

For those who suffer from rib flare pain during pregnancy, I have a couple of tips for you.


Avoid sitting in short chairs that force you to bring your flared rib cage to the pelvis.

Doing this will apply pressure to the rib area and may worsen the pain to a great extent.

I’d recommend you switch sitting and laying positions as often as possible, as soon as you feel pressing pain.


If you want an instant relief as soon as you feel some pain in the protruding ribs during pregnancy, do the following two things:

Pain Relief Step-by-Step


Bend the arm sideways.

Lift the arm on the side where the pain occurs, and bend it sideways, away from the discomfort. If this doesn’t decrease the pain, do the following.


Sit in a cross-legged position, just like you would when you’re meditating.

Put your hands overhead just like you’re praying.

Hold that position for 1 minute to eliminate any pain.

If you’re a fan of meditation, you can also do that for as long as you’re comfortable in a sitting position.

Sharply focus on the pain, and as soon as you do that, it will go away.

These two exercises are a great alternative to taking painkillers, which can be harmful to your body during, and even after pregnancy.


How to Perform the Stretch, Step-by-Step


Stand in front of a wall, with your feet set at shoulder-width apart. Stay no further than 60 cm away from it.


Extend both of your arms and put your palms on the wall at a 90-degree angle.


Stretch your shoulder joints as much as you possibly can.

You should hold this position until you feel uncomfortable.

Do this as often as you want, as there aren’t any side effects from this exercise.

What this does is it raises the thoracic diaphragm and flared ribs away from the uterus.

This stretch represents the downward facing dog in yoga.

It is one of the best stretches to improve shoulder mobility, improves your posture and relieves rib pain during pregnancy.

But, doing yoga in the third trimester of the pregnancy can be quite uncomfortable.

This is where this exercise comes into play.

It mimics the very best yoga pose, without putting your body under any pressure.

If you do these exercises at the moment you feel pain in your rib cage, you’ll instantly feel relieved from any discomfort.

My advice is to do them as often as you can.

This will bring your flared ribs back into their spot quickly, shortly after giving birth.


Protruding ribs during pregnancy is sometimes just cosmetic. However, if you feel sharp pain in the ribs and chest, you should seek medical help.

Is Rib Flare Dangerous?

The most common problem that occurs because of moderate-to-severe rib protruding is improper breathing patterns, poor posture, and decrease of confidence.

However, these are just a few. There are lots of hidden problems that make rib flaring a dangerous condition.

If you don’t do anything about it, your life expectancy can be lowered.

These secreted complications are the following:


Reduced connection between the thoracic diaphragm and the rectus abdominis (also known as abs).

People who have natural rib structure, have a connection between the abs and the diaphragm.

This connection is called “Zone of Apposition” or ZOA.

If your ribs are flared, this ZOA is gone.

This leads to improper breathing patterns because of poor diaphragmic compression.

Also, this can be a cause for decreased ability to contract the abdominals when needed.


The pelvis is prone to getting into an anterior pelvic tilt.

This is caused by rib flaring, which pulls your lumbar spine into an awkward extension.

A small amount of anterior pelvic tilt is natural.

However, the excessive type, which is caused by rib flaring leads to a ton of issues.

Just to name a few: increased risk of a knee injury, lower back pain, shortening of hip flexors and lots of other musculoskeletal disorders.

Your abs, hamstrings, and glutes get weaker, the hips and lower back extensors get tighter.

This is a simple, yet devastating recipe for your lower back’s well-being.

As you can see, the body works as one unit.

Imbalance in one part will lead to devastation in other parts.


The inverted chest and rib flare conditions prevent your body to have the ability to exhale completely.

There is some “old” air in your lungs that contains a high amount of CO2 and other toxins.

This makes it hard for your body to achieve a Zone of Apposition.

What’s worse, your body will have a hard time getting into a parasympathetic state.

This can lead to increased heart speed rate, decreased intestinal and gland activation.

It Can Be Very Serious

To conclude, improper rib cage placing will be disastrous for your shoulders and lower back.

These are very delicate parts of the human body.

If they suffer from an injury, it can take forever to heal.

Your breathing will never reach its potential.

All of this is caused by flared ribs.


Please, don’t oversee the issue with your rib flare. It can cause problems that harm your overall health. Please don’t let it destroy your potential as a complete human being.

How Does Rib Flare Affect Breathing Patterns?

A proper breathing pattern is achieved by the right working of the diaphragm muscle.

When you inhale, the diaphragm shrinks and provides more room for lung expansion.

While you’re doing some of the exercises above (the bioenergetics), the surrounding stabilizing muscles work to increase the chest extension.

The main job of the neck muscles while breathing, is to lift the rib cage upward.

The issue here is that when you’re suffering from rib flare, your abdominal muscles are weak.

They need to pull the rib cage down while exhaling.

However, muscular imbalance here causes improper breathing patterns.

Exhaling Problems & False Breathing

If the neck muscles are stronger than your abs (which is true in most cases of pectus excavatum and flared ribs), then you may be able to inhale more air, but have trouble with exhaling it.

Prolonged repetitions of false breathing pattern can lead to tons of muscular disproportions and issues, which is bad for your well-being.

That is why I find practicing proper breathing, through yoga and bioenergetics, to be a must when it comes to correcting rib flare and concave chest.


Flared ribs can cause muscular imbalances. They create false breathing patterns that can be harmful to you.

Should I Undergo Rib Flare Surgery?

man with protruding ribcage

Treatment of flared ribs can be done in two ways:

  • Physical therapy
  • Surgery

The surgery is also proven to drastically reduce the amount of flare.

However, a scientific article published in 2010 revealed that rib flare can even be worsened after a Nuss procedure.

Nevertheless, a Nuss procedure can correct breathing problems or heart murmurs (unfamiliar noises heard between heartbeats) if no permanent damage has been done to the chest.

People that have a very severe protruding rib cage are good applicants for a surgery.

In their cases, the benefits of pectus excavatum exercises, stretches and breathing can improve the condition, but only to a certain extent.

Rib flaring will still be visible, and if left untreated, it can lead to heart and respiratory problems.


Doctors run a couple of tests to see what should be done during the operation.

Every single patient that has a rib flaring has a unique bone structure.

They check how severe the rib flaring of the patient is and make a surgery plan accordingly.

Doing the following procedure is great to minimize surgery risk.

The three-step process is standard in every case of rib flaring operation:

 Rib Flare Surgery Three-Step Process


The first thing they run is a CT (computed tomography) scan on the rib cage.

This is done to see how the chest is structured without cutting the patient open.

Back in the days, the mortality rate of rib flaring surgery was high, because of lack of technology and sterilization.

Operation complications were a very common thing.


The second step is running a heart ultrasound, also known as an echocardiogram.

This is used to check the health of the patient’s heart and surrounding blood vessels.

This test is usually done by a cardiologist or a qualified expert termed cardiac physiologist.


The final step is a respiration test, also known as pulmonary function examination.

This is done to see how much air the patient is capable to exhale, and how fast is that done.

You do this breathing into a mouthpiece that is linked to another device called spirometer.

This records the air statistics and shows whether you have some lung illnesses or not.

After you run all these tests, a review is done to see whether your rib flare is severe and causes some serious health issues.

Doctors will schedule an appointment to discuss these results and tell you whether you’ll benefit from surgery or not.


name of rib flare surgery

The protruding rib surgery is called the Nuss procedure.

It is the most suitable type of surgery for most patients who suffer from pectus excavatum and rib flare.

Also, it is the most effective one that yielded the greatest results, with a lower amount of pain and recovery time.

The Nuss procedure is done in around 6 hours period.

Patients won’t lose too much blood if the operation is done perfectly.

However, sometimes the bar placement isn’t so precise, and doctors cut some gentle blood vessels, which can lead to a severe loss of blood.

Rib Flare Operation Step-by-Step


This is a very complicated surgery that needs a small camera to be placed inside your right chest.

Some doctors put the camera in the left chest, depending on which side the rib protrudes are more severe.

It helps the doctors navigate the settlement of the 2 titanium bars under your sternum.


Then the surgeon cuts the sides of your chest and insert these bars.

It takes an immense amount of precision to not cut your sensitive organs like the heart while putting these heavy bars in place.


After the procedure is done, they stitch the cuts on the sides of your chest.

The bars are remodeling the sternum bone to become flattered.

It takes up to 3 years for the chest to get into normal positioning and the rib flaring to be gone.


Just like other types of surgeries, this varies a lot.

It greatly depends on the severity of the rib flaring that was corrected, the amount of blood lost during the surgery, the level of post-surgical pain you feel, etc.

Usually, patients are sent home after about a week.

You need to feel well because the Nuss procedure causes a lot of dizziness after surgery.

After the pain is regulated by mouth-taken medications, you are ready to leave the hospital.

Follow up appointments are arranged by your surgeon 1 or 2 weeks after you leave the clinic.


The Nuss procedure for rib flare is extremely painful, and that is the reason why anesthetics are used.

Before the operation begins, an anesthesiologist puts a thin tube inside your lower back.

That is done to regulate the pain after the surgical process is finished.

If you have unmanageable pain in the chest area, other medications will be used to keep you relaxed during the recovery process.

You will feel severe pain while you’re coughing, breathing and inhaling after the whole procedure is done.

Occasionally, doctors will keep a tiny drainage pipe inside your chest for a week after surgery.

This is done to drain some dangerous liquids and air from your chest, while you stay in the clinic.

Before they send you home, they remove this tube.

The pectus bar removal procedure is just as painful as the surgery.

However, this is usually done after 2-3 years after the operation.

Protruding Ribs Surgery Cost     

The rib flare surgery cost varies from state to state, and also from patient to patient.

There isn’t an exact estimate of how much it will cost.

I can confidently say that the Nuss and Ravitch procedures for rib flaring cost somewhere between $20.000 to $100.000, without insurance.I found some useful information about how much patients paid in total, for the procedure.

The information was posted in 2016, but it is still relevant as of today.

M. Philipps Rib Flaring Operation Cost

I stumbled upon a guy, called M. Phillips (he didn’t want me to insert his full name, because of obvious privacy reasons) who underwent a full Nuss procedure to fix his rib flare.

I asked him about how much it costed him in total.

Below is the exact, final bill from his operation:

  • Drugstore: $8,753 (he experienced serious pains 5 months after his operation, and was in constant need for pain-regulation medications)
  • Lung Function Tests: $600
  • EKG / ECG (Electrocardiography) – $120
  • Hospital Stay: $14.652
  • Operation: $25,000
  • Anesthetic: $2.925
  • Laboratory: $186
  • X-Rays: $1,100
  • Materials & Goods: $6.752
  • Rehabilitation: $1,340
  • Final Bill: $61,428

* This is the total price without an insurance

It is up to you to decide whether your budget can afford to undergo this complicated rib protrudes surgery.


Pectus excavatum surgeries like the Nuss and Ravitch are proven to decrease amount of rib flare. However, they can be very expensive. You can still correct the bone malformation non-surgically through the exercises I’ve shown above.

Rib Flare Before and After Pictures

The rib flare before and after images I will share with you, represent hope, dedication, and resilience.

If you combine these three factors, then you’re ready to conquer the rib flaring condition as fast as humanly possible, without a surgery.

They all used the tips I wrote in this article and worked hard to make them a part of their daily habit.

The result was a decrease in the amount of rib flare as it is seen in the pictures below.

I had an awesome time performing all awesome core exercises, stretches and deep breaths to fix my protruding ribs.

I want to thank Michael for sharing the greatest workout plan I’ve ever followed for my rib flare.

M. Fullen, Spire Night Club Houston

When I was a kid, I used to suffer from a slight rib protruding. Even though it wasn’t anything too serious, I had awful confidence issues about my appearance.

3 months ago I stumbled upon your workout plan on how to correct rib protruding. After following it for 90-days, without any day off, my rib flaring is not longer noticeable.

F. Bianchi, Poste Italiane, Italy

flared ribs before and after

I never believed that Pectus Excavatum and flared ribs could be fixed through exercising and stretching.

Boy I was wrong! After discovering your website, and implementing your techniques, I gained all my lost confidence back!

J. Bailey, University of Texas at Austin

I really enjoyed following Michael’s workout plans. The best thing about them is that you don’t really need any fancy equipment to do them.

All you need is 30 minutes of your day. I highly recommend you try the 7 day workout plan if you struggle with rib flare!

F. Jaimes, Dive Bar, Sacramento CA

I first published this article in 2015.

Ever since then, I’ve received a lot of motivating messages on my e-mail and social media, on how I helped people with concave chest and flared ribs, fix their condition.

I asked whether I could share the images they sent me, in this article.

They pleasurably agreed with that.

This gave me hope to rewrite this article in detail and show you that this disorder can be fixed without undergoing an expensive and painful surgery for ribs that stick out.

I listed a few other exercises and braces that people who corrected their rib flare used on daily basis to fix their conditions.

I personally suffered from flare ribs and did everything I could possibly do to reduce the amount of flare, so I could take off my shirt with confidence.

happy patient after correcting protruding ribs


As you can see, correcting rib flare isn’t very complicated.

You don’t need any fancy gym equipment or advanced physical therapy.

All you need is a smart, cheap and straightforward investment that will cost you around $50.

If you perform these exercises for protruding ribs on a daily basis, you will correct your flared ribs and sunken chest without undergoing surgery.

A rib flare operation will cost you nearly $40000, and will result with two heavy titanium bars to be placed beneath your sternum.

The bars will remain in your chest for at least 3 years.

I can guarantee that living with them won’t be pleasurable at all.

It will feel like forever until you’re fully recovered.

I am glad that I didn’t underwent a Nuss procedure to fix my deformity. I explored and tried the non-surgical correction method, and it was effective in my case.In addition, there are also noticeable psychological benefits that you’ll get, just by following these exercises.At first, obtaining a routine may be difficult, but all you have to do is perform these set of exercises even on the days that you don’t feel like doing them.After 30 days, this will become a habit and you will feel more motivated than ever before in your process of repairing the ribs that stick out.

Article by:

Mihail Veleski

My name is Mihail Veleski. I used to suffer from the pectus excavatum deformity during my teenage years.

28 thoughts on “Fix Flared Ribs in 2022 – 7 Day Workout Plan, Braces & More”

  1. Thank you I went though the same experience as you. Im acting like a old guy I’m only 12 years old going to puberty. Playing games and sitting a bad posture got me involved in this situation. I need to do yoga and these steps. THANK YOU! SENPAI! IM GOING TO GET BETTER SOON!

  2. im a 17 yrs old girl. i have the same thing but me i only have one sided flaring on my left and really make me self concious,im afraid if i would try this exercises it will worsen my flared and make it more like uneven.

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  8. Thank you for the great post. I am 34,and allready gave up on fixing this problem,especially in a country where the only solution is an oldfashioned surgery. I will for sure try this exercises, but it would be very motivating to see the results on you or somebody who tried it. Is it a severe improvement or just a tiny one…maybe some pictures,if it’s not to much to ask. Thank you anyway.

  9. Hey bro…thanks for this article..its very informative..i wanted to tell you my story..i never had this rib flare or pectus excavatum…..but when i was 17 i realised my posture wasn’t correct and i started experiencing problems when trying to sit straight…slowly i noticed that my left rib had started pointing outwatds and my left rib had started pointing inwards…although my chest was fine…but my fib flare got severe day by day…its been 3 years since then and i am still suffering with this problem….i want to get it fixed even if it takes me an year or so….please help…

  10. I really hope this will work. I’m a dancer, and because of my flared rib I can’t do all of the stretches correctly. Also, when you have a tight leotard, flared ribs look even stupider.

  11. You are so gracious as to provide this information without charging for it. Bless you for that. I have birth defects that I lived with knowing something was wrong with me, but radiologist literally overlooked time and time again. The worst being spina bifida, a tethered spinal cord and flared rib cage. I have always been very sway back and being younger was very athletic. Over the years these birth defects took their toll in my 60s I struggle to breathe. Having physical therapy for the flared rib cage helped, but I stopped doing the exercises. I was looking for a binder to tighten my lower rib cage so I could breathe better because my air gets trapped inside my lower lungs so I can’t expel my air and I am short of breath now. You’re right that this has affected my heart my digestive system and my health. Your article has prompted me to start exercising again and following your suggestions. Can’t thank you enough.


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