One of the seven compulsory poses that are struck by bodybuilders to show their proportionate muscle development is called the side chest pose. You will almost never see the rib cage development on today’s crop of bodybuilders as was seen among the bodybuilders of the former era.
Most of the current breed of bodybuilders concentrates on their pectoral muscles than on their rib cage. Enlarging the rib cage can do more to deepen the chest than thickening the pectorals can ever do. Not only that, the benefits of having huge rib-cage allows the lungs for more expansion in many cardiovascular pursuits and holds the body in an upright posture.
Let me unravel and examine each movement behind this kind of a rib cage expansion programme that made these old timers stand apart. Breathing squats is done by placing a barbell as in a regular barbell squat with a moderately heavy weight behind your neck, across the trapezius muscles holding the bar with your hands in place. Positioning yourself for a squat , take a deep breath and do a deep knee bend until the hamstrings come in contact with the calves, now return smoothly to the top and exhale. Repeat for 8 reps and make it mandatory that you inhale and exhale only once per repetition.
Don’t stop just as yet, beginning with the 9th repetition take two deep breaths between repetitions rather than one and continue doing the squat for another 7 repetitions, or 15 repetitions in all.
Once done follow it with breathing pullovers. This is a terrific rib cage exercise especially if you follow it up after squat. Lie cross ways on a bench. Hold a dumbbell on one end with your palms. Extend your head slightly off the bench with the dumbbell over your chest and your elbows straight. Take a deep breath and lower the dumbbell behind your head try to touch the floor. Lift the dumbbell slowly back to the over chest position. Practice one deep breath during each of the first 8 repetitions and two deep breaths during repetitions 9 through 15. It will require several learning sessions using moderate resistance to get the hang of breathing squats and breathing pullovers.
While both the bodybuilder and the physical enthusiast practice this form of exercise, they will very soon have a torso and a rib-cage that will be wide, thick and deep, and you will be well along the road to building a classic rib-cage which will make shy of a tailor for his brass tacks, and give the owner of this rib cage a sense of pride both functionally and aesthetically, to the onlookers envy.