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Chest Expansion Excercises

Discussion in 'Weight Training/Bulking' started by Phish, Jan 13, 2006.

  1. Phish

    Phish Well-Known Member

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    I'm 34 and have mild PE (Pectus Excavatum), which makes my ribcage very flat and thin in profile (imagine how your ribcage would look having a large heavy flat metal plate laying on top of your chest while you're laying on the ground.. that's how my ribcage looks all the time).. This thin profile ribcage causes my what would otherwise be flat stomach to look "potbellied", which is really starting to anger me. The more I work out, the more defined my abs get, yet it still looks distended. I'm now starting to sport a potbellied six pack, which isn't quite what I was hoping to achieve. Anyway, I'm using a posture support strap to pull my shoulders back in the hopes that it will help reshape my ribcage somewhat, but I also need to start utilizing rib expansion exercises to force things along.

    I've been doing incline, decline and flat bench presses, cable flies, pushups, and any other chest exercise I can think of. They've helped somewhat, probably more due to the increase in pec muscle size than in ribcage expansion. Does anyone know of any specific chest/back exercises that are really good for expanding the ribcage?

    Thanks in advance
     
  2. YardleyBill

    YardleyBill Well-Known Member

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    Not to hijack your thread ... but can you tell me more information about that?

    I really need something to keep my shoulders back...
     
  3. doordude42

    doordude42 Senior Member

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    To the best of my knowledge, you cannot expand the ribs.
     
  4. Phish

    Phish Well-Known Member

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    Do a search on Google for "Posture Support". This is the one that I have. Basically nothing more than a figure 8 wrapped around the shoulders to prevent or limit forward movement.
     
  5. 1FastGTX

    1FastGTX Elite Member
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    Seems like we did this a few days ago... :D

    Arnold said dumbbell pullovers expanded the rip cage. Take that for what it's worth, I have no proof. :)
     
  6. Glaive

    Glaive Well-Known Member

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    Hmm, I read that, too, but I just interpreted it as really meaning "pullovers make the ribcage look bigger." Just like if I do a bunch of deltoid exercises I'm not really making my shoulders bigger, since they're a joint, just the muscles around them.
     
  7. Morten

    Morten Well-Known Member

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    How does wearing a posture support like that affect your muscles? I've always wondered if the support would make the back muscles lazy or weaker by taking some of the load of them and thus make the posture problems worse when not wearing the support?
     
  8. 4horsemen

    4horsemen Well-Known Member

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    Most people will tell you that it is not possible, especially for someone fully grown. But, others believe that the frame of the body will adapt to carrying heavy weight around if you were to add a lot of mass.

    The closest I've found to exercises that may help with this are the extreme stretches by Dante. Just do a google search for: dante "extreme stretches" and click the first link. You will see the chest stretch which I use (not for ribcage expansion but for other reasons).
     
  9. HevyMetal

    HevyMetal Well-Known Member

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    When performing the Pullovers and also the Bench inhale to the max when:-

    Bench..... While bar is on the way down and just momentarily while it's stopped above your chest. BUT..start exhaling on the way up!!

    Pullovers......Inhale to max while bar or dumbells are going over your shoulders all the way. BUT....start exhaling right away when coming back!!
     
  10. Phish

    Phish Well-Known Member

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    Well, in my case, I'm wearing the support just tight enough to remind me to keep my shoulders back and back straight. It's not forcing anything, just adding gentle pressure on my shoulder when I start to hunch over too far. If you wore it so tightly that it was doing all the work, then I would agree that it would be counter productive in that it would allow the very muscles you're trying to train to instead become lazy and weaken, making the problem worse.
     
  11. zenpharaohs

    zenpharaohs Elite Member
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    Rows. Barbell rows, dumbell rows, inverted rows, seated machine rows, machine high rows, machine low rows. Cable rows, lots of kinds of cable rows.

    It's done wonders for my posture. I got almost an inch taller, too.
     
  12. glenn_001

    glenn_001 Well-Known Member

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    I agree with this, start concentrating on hitting the muscles in your back more, this will help pull your shoulders back a bit.
     
  13. zenpharaohs

    zenpharaohs Elite Member
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    I think that one comes down to surgery, but I don't know how that comes out at your age. My son has mild PE so I'm thinking about that condition, but he's four, so we have a decade of growth to see how it comes out.

    The chest and back exercises are probably helping though. I would keep doing them. If anything, I would go heavier on the rowing side of things because pulling the shoulders back is sort of in the same direction as the sternum-spreading surgical solution.

    Don't neglect your big compound (squats and/or deads) just because you have a reason to focus on the chest. Heavy squats and/or deads tend to encourage muscle growth in the whole body.
     
  14. Andrew

    Andrew Well-Known Member

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    This isn't really related, but I just noticed you've been labeled an "Official JSF Post Whore" :lol:

    How did that happen lmao:lol: :lol:
     
  15. Jon Skee

    Jon Skee Well-Known Member

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    I have got PE aswell have a look on media part on my thread and you will see.

    potbelly is what comes with PE im afraid, and unless you have surgery it wont go, thats what my speicalist told me.

    Gaining muscle mass on top of chest, putting on weight will cover up the condition but it wont go unless surgery, and surgery isnt the way to go in my eyes its alot of trouble to just get a normal looking chest.

    Posture is the main thing that makes PE worse, people who have it hunch to cover it up which actually makes it worse.

    There are some exercises for PE that people have said to work like pulling shoulder blades together pushing the chest out aparently makes it better.

    I dont believe that though, and im sure trying to expand your chest may make things worse depending on how bad it is, and you probably wont get anywhere depending on your age.

    Ive been told to correct my posture and ive done it without a tape, i know the tape your talking about because my dad had it to correct his.

    speak to your doctor or specialist before you start trying out exercises because remember depending on how severe it is it may affect your organs, like mine has pushed my heart to the left, and ive lost lung capacity.

    Just make sure before you do something :tu:
     
  16. RTE

    RTE Well-Known Member

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    Breathing Squats 15-20 reps followed without rest by pullovers across bench if you don't have a nautilus or hammer pullover machine. 3 supersets.

    This works best on teens and early 20s.
     
  17. Phish

    Phish Well-Known Member

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    You know, I've been looking all over the net for a description of a "breather squat" and I haven't found, well, squat ;)

    Could you describe the movement for me?
     
  18. YardleyBill

    YardleyBill Well-Known Member

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    I just recently added some back exercises (all rows) to my workout. So hopefully that will make a difference.

    Too many years of being fat and ashamed of it. :(

    But, there's always today and tomorrow to fix the problems of the past! :tu:
     
  19. RTE

    RTE Well-Known Member

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    If you had googled "breathing squats", you would have gotten over a 100 mentions of them. Below is resident trainer Jeremy Likeness' way of doing them. I basically took 3 deep breaths between reps for 15-20 with fairly heavy weights followed by an across bench pullover with about 30-35 lbs DBs.

    Breathing Squat


    Squats can be incorporated into mega-sets that will not only induce muscle growth and burn a tremendous amount of calories, but will improve your cardiovascular health as well. These squats are known as "breathing squats." You perform about 10 rhythmic repetitions, exhaling as you ascend and inhaling as you descend. After the 10th rep, you take an extra breath between reps (i.e. down + breathe in, up + breathe out, breathe in, breathe out, down + breathe in, etc.)

    After about 5 more reps like this, take two breaths between reps, etc. It is important not to perform breathing squats with a light weight - these are only to be employed when required to obtain extra repetitions. If you use this technique without sufficient weight, you can actually hyperventilate and become dizzy or pass out!
     
    #19 RTE, Jan 17, 2006
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2006
  20. Phish

    Phish Well-Known Member

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    Makes sense.. I was googling "Breather Squats" not "Breathing Squats"

    I will try to incorporate these into my workout. Thanks for the tip!
     

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