Fix Your Rib Flare and Improve a Variety of Chronic Problems


If you were in a Pilates class and the instructor asked you to close your ribs, what would you do? 

Not sure? Try closing your ribs right now and see what happens. 

I’m not psychic, but I’m guessing you just cinched or squeezed your upper abs, trying to bring your ribs together in the front.

“Close your ribs” is a popular cue in Pilates, but are the ribs really open? And do they need to be closed?

It might look like it sometimes, but what’s often called a “rib flare” is more of a rib thrust, and it’s a super common strategy for creating good posture if you don’t know there’s a better option.

In today’s video, we’ll look at what happens when it appears the ribs are flaring (opening) and what to do instead of trying to close them.

What you’ll learn may seem counterintuitive at first, but I encourage you to give it a try.

If you suffer from chronic neck and shoulder tension, abdominal issues (like hernias or diastasis recti), pelvic floor problems, or shoulder issues (winging scapulae or rotator cuff imbalance), this adjustment is a game changer.

Thrusting the ribs to correct posture is a common blind spot that, once addressed, can have huge positive effects on body function and the problems listed above. 

I’ve seen powerful results for people over and over and over again!

I’m curious to know how this one feels for you. Let me know in the comments below.

Forever dropping my ribs,


P.S. If you’d love to learn more about alignment and how to apply what you learned in this video so you can feel more freedom and ease in your body, make sure to check out the Pilates Tonic Online (PTO) membership.

PTO is a self-paced membership that costs $55 a month.
Every month, PTO members receive:

  • Two live Zoom classes + the class recording (so you never have to worry about missing a class)
  • Two new movement videos 
  • The Membership Journey: a roadmap for alignment success so you get more out of every other exercise you do
  • Unlimited access to the PTO video library
  • Weekly emails



Hi, I'm Sydney and I'm a Restorative Movement Specialist here at Pilates Tonic. My goal is to empower you with tools to connect and live in your body in new and better ways. I'm a passionate advocate for wellness through optimally aligned movement and I look forward to designing a customized alignment and movement program just for you! If you want to find out more, just give me a call at 423.702.5233, or email me at [email protected] See you in the studio!

10 Responses

  1. This is a wonderful example of your subtle teachings that are enormously helpful. Can’t wait to share this with my fascia yogis. Thanks so much Sydney.

  2. Just fantastic! As a rib thruster, this helped me soooo much! I am definitely making the connection more and more and applied it to quadruped position and it has improved my kneeling push-ups as well.

    Thank you Sydney.

  3. Thanks for this reminder Sydney! This made me become aware of how I do use muscle tension in my abs
    to “close my ribs”.

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