Bi-basal Expansion of your Ribcage

The bi-basal expansion of the ribcage is essential in order to facilitate lateral posterior breathing. So, the purpose of this lesson is to expand the ribcage laterally without conscious and forceful respiration, and to release it without forcefully pressing it down. Or, in other words, to make the expansion and release of the ribcage independent from any conscious urge to breathe. To effectively do this you need to be aware of what your abdominals and your clavicle area are doing while you are expanding your ribcage.

3 Ways How to Laterally Expand Your Ribcage

  1. you unconsciously breathe in to open your ribcage
  2. you use your abdominals to open your ribcage
  3. you release your abdominal and clavicle area to expand your ribcage.

The first 2 ways have an “up-feel” to it, like when you are grasping for air. The 3rd way has a “down-feel" to it, like as if the ribcage is opening from your back.

The 2 Inefficient Ways
of Bi-basal Lateral Ribcage Expansion 

The 1st way - unconsciously breathing in - is not effective, because you are forcing your breath to open a ribcage that has not been released – a ribcage that is not “giving”. This will result in the elevation of your

  • clavicle
  • upper chest and
  • shoulders

which will override the lateral expansion of your ribcage and also constrict the movement of your diaphragm.

The 2nd way - using your abdominals - is also not effective, because the blocking contraction of your abdominal muscles, especially the oblique, will inhibit the full release of your ribcage and, therefore, limit its lateral expansion. The consequences will be tensions in your

  • upper back
  • breast bone and
  • neck area

and again a constriction in the movement of your diaphragm.

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The One Valuable Way
of Bi-basal Lateral Ribcage Expansion 

The 3rd way is the only effective way of achieving a lateral expansion of your ribcage, because through the release of your abdominal muscles and your clavicle area, the urge to consciously breathe in to open your ribcage is inhibited. Therefore, the lateral mobility of your ribcage is facilitated and the restriction in the movement of your diaphragm is removed.

Efficient Bi-basal Expansion Supports 
Your Deep Muscle Corset System

The 1st and 2nd way inhibit the proper function of your deep muscle corset system (DMCS) - whereas the 3rd way facilitates its proper function – meaning its ability to provide segmental stability for your pelvis, spine and scapula (shoulder girdle). So, releasing your abdominals and your clavicle area is the only way of expanding and retracting your ribcage successfully.

Exercise 1 

Scarf is Moving the Ribcage Medially


Ribcage is Moving the Scarf Laterally

Sit on your heels or on a chair. Tie a scarf around your ribcage. Tighten it a bit until you can clearly feel the pressure of the scarf against your ribcage. Relax your abdominal muscles and the area around your clavicles. Expand your ribcage sideways as if to untie the scarf. Be careful not to inhale willfully and not to use upper abdominal force as a means to expand your ribcage. If you do this action correctly, it will cause a natural reflexive intake of air, which you might not even be aware of. Again, relax your abdominal and clavicle area to allow your ribcage to release, tie the scarf until you feel its pressure against your ribcage and explore this exercise until you are able to clearly differentiate and isolate the action of your ribcage from that of conscious breathing.

Exercise 2 

You can do the same exercise with your hands on your ribcage.

Normal Position


Lateral Posterior Breathing


Go Back to the Overwiev of our Trainingsprogramme-Excerpt.