Weekend Challenge: Rib Cage Extender - Save Our Bones

Get ready to stretch and expand your rib cage this weekend! As its name implies, the Rib Cage Extender is a gentle but expansive stretch that not only feels fantastic, but also promotes better posture, healthful breathing, and counteracts rib cage compression.

Your ribs can get compressed when you sit in a slouched position, or even when you sit for prolonged periods of time. That’s quite common nowadays, since most jobs require sitting throughout the workday. Our leisure time involves sitting, too – in front of the home computer or laptop, hunched over a phone screen and watching television.

The good news is that this postural problem can be easily corrected with exercises that counterpoise forward slouching, and the Rib Cage Extender is one such exercise.


In addition to compromising good posture, compressed ribs greatly hamper breathing. That may not seem like a big deal until you realize the importance of deep breathing for your bones and your overall health.

Deep breaths help your bones by alkalizing your serum pH. Without enough oxygen, lactic acid and carbon dioxide build up and create a bone-destroying case of acidosis. Deep breaths draw in plenty of alkalizing oxygen and also expel acidifying carbon dioxide thoroughly.

The second way deep breathing deeply benefits your bones is by inducing a sense of calm and reducing stress. Extensive research has been dedicated to exploring and revealing the many ways in which stress impacts your health, including the health of your bones. As is the case with shallow breathing, stress acidifies your pH by stimulating the production of the hormone cortisol.

To learn more about how stress damages bone and ways to reduce it, please read the following article:

Don’t Let Stress Destroy Your Bones – Relax With These 5 Proven Stress-Busters.

Deep breathing also promotes all-around good health, by improving digestion and circulation, and also helping to cleanse the body of toxins, which also helps to rebuild your bones.

Keep in mind that you should avoid shallow breathing, and that means you need to involve the diaphragm as well, not only the chest area. But in order to reap all of the benefits of deep breathing, your ribs and lungs need to be able to expand freely, and the muscles between your ribs need to be strong to draw in plenty of oxygen and hold the ribs in an expanded position.

That’s where targeted exercise comes in. When you stretch and strengthen the muscles in and around your ribs, it lifts your chest, allows for deep breaths, and improves your posture.


A Yoga mat or carpet is a good idea for this exercise.

  1. Get down on the floor, sitting down with your feet tucked under your bottom, one knee facing forward and the other to the side, as in the visual demonstration.
  2. Place one hand on the floor beside you (we’ll say the right hand for clarity) and lean on your right hand. Inhale slowly and deeply and lift your left arm up over your head. Your left palm should be facing to the right, and your fingers straight. Bend your right elbow a bit to make sure your ribs are getting a good stretch and you’re bending as far to the right as you can.
  3. Look up toward the ceiling, face forward, or look down toward the hand that’s on the floor. Just make sure your neck is comfortable and the shoulder of your lifted arm is not pressing against the side of your face or your ear.
  4. Bring your left arm down again and exhale slowly. Switch sides and repeat the same motions with your left hand on the floor.
  5. Repeat five to eight times on each side, doing more or fewer repetitions as your comfort level allows.

And here’s another move to help you reap the benefits of expanding your rib cage:

Weekend Challenge: Spine And Rib Cage Extender

Proper Breathing Adds Efficiency To Your Bone-Building Workouts

In the introduction of the Densercise™ Epidensity Training System, you’ll find that the importance of proper breathing is emphasized:

“Breathing Goes Hand-In-Hand With Good Form… when you breathe and exhale deeply, blood circulation improves, so cells get the proper amount of oxygen and nutrients, and your brain releases endorphins and neuropeptides, which make you feel good after a workout.”

As you can see, deep breathing is an integral part of effective, bone-building exercise, in addition to targeted moves. That’s why it’s specifically mentioned in Densercise™, where you’ll find 52 exercises designed to increase bone density, strengthen your muscles, and improve your balance and posture.

Take Exercising For Your Bones to the Next Level!

Learn the 52 exercise moves that jumpstart bone-building – all backed by the latest in epigenetics research.

Learn More Now →

Have a great weekend!

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Comments on this article are closed.

  1. Annie

    Although I can certainly see the benefit of this week’s “challenge” I am pretty sure that like many other “savers”
    I am unable to carry it and many other of your recommend exercises, due to arthritis in my knees and lower back. Would it please be possible for you to devise alternative movements for those of us who are no longer unable to do such things as sit on our heels? Thanks.

  2. Susan

    I tried it this morning and the stretch felt really good. Will do it every morning. Thankful for this!

  3. Carla

    This is a very good exercise, Vivian. I often find myself slouching forward and my ribs feel crushed. Very much appreciated!

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      So glad you’ll benefit from this move, Carla!

  4. Ety

    I love the weekend challenges! My daughter visits every saturday afternoon, and we pick 4 or 5 exercises and we do them together. Thank you Vivian!

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      You’re very welcome, Ety! Keep exercising for your bones 🙂

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