In an ideal posture the rib cage placement should be over the pelvis. People are prone to flaring the ribcage forwards which can tighten the back muscles leading to stiffness or discomfort.

Woman sitting cross legged and stretching up showing good rib placement, relevant for osteopathic advice on posture and pilates

Try the Following Exercise to Become Aware of the Position of your Ribcage:

Lie on your back with the hips and knees bent. Find your neutral spine and set your centre. Feel the back of your ribcage contacting the mat underneath you. Then lift you arms up vertically so that the hands are over the shoulders. Then slowly let the arms drop back overhead whilst keeping the back of the ribcage in contact with the mat underneath you. If the ribcage begins to lift up then you have gone too far. Repeat several times from the vertical position.

Top Tip – Imagine two springs running from the front of your lower ribs to the front of your pelvis on both sides. The tension in these springs should stay constant as the arms move.

Next week we shall give advice and exercises on shoulder blade placement in Pilates.