T Nation

Regarding Rib Cage Expansion After Maturity

Hi Dr Darden,

I hope you’re well.

Your article on rib cage expansion is great and I genuinely feel people should be be more open minded and partake in a rib cage expansion program. Many don’t realise that a larger rib cage not only results in a larger chest measurement but it also means there will be more space for your heart, lungs and other vital organs to do their functions optimally and more space to pack on muscle size on your chest and back. In a nutshell, it greatly benefits an individuals health too. I’ve benefited greatly from rib cage expansion exercises when I was 20 years old. My chest measurement went from 39 to 42.5 inches in just 3 months of doing only dumbbell pullovers with deep breathing.

It is commonly accepted that the rib cage cannot be enlarged after your early or mid twenties but I humbly and respectfully disagree with this stance and would like to provide some interesting studies and my own anecdotal findings.

The following study is of a middle age adult woman with idiopathic scoliosis who increased her resting chest measurement by almost 3 inches after several years without any weight gain. Her chest depth improvement and especially the dramatic change in her shoulder structure width will shock you Dr Darden. Postural improvement cannot account for such a large increase in chest circumference and shoulder breadth.
This is the study: https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/a73c/d4f169393440614e91bbdf3d8446b2112bbd.pdf?_ga=2.84720665.1834157130.1609602612-1693761147.1609602612

In addition to this, scientific research has now found that the pelvic girdle widens for both men and women long after skeletal maturity. Between the ages of 20 to 80 years old, the pelvis widens by around 1 inch resulting in a 3 inch increase in waist circumference.
This is the study:
https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/jor.21469

In regards to my personal anecdotal findings, I am 26 years of age (will be 27 soon) and have returned to the dumbbell breathing pullover I did in my early 20s. I am practising the exercise everyday. 7 weeks in, I found it greatly difficult to wear my shirts or coats. My bodily framework looked noticeably larger. My chest once again looked noticeably deeper and my shoulder girdle looked wider. I only used a 5 kg dumbbell, so there is no way muscular hypertrophy played any role in this. There is no way I can prove this but this is my personal anecdotal finding based on my own experience practising the deep breathing dumbbell pullover a second time.

In conclusion, based on those two studies it seems quite reasonable to expect that the rib cage can be deepened and broadened, the shoulder structure can be widened even after skeletal maturity. If for example, the pelvic girdle widens after skeletal maturity, why can’t the rib cage and associated shoulder girdle be enlarged at an advanced age?

Many thanks for taking the time to read this Dr Darden and I hope my post was of benefit to you. I look forward to hear from you.

Thank you for your attached studies.

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My pleasure Dr Darden. I am glad to contribute. Per chance you could also show these findings to Dr.Madaera too. These are quite interesting studies.