Rib Flare, Diastasis & your pelvic floor

diastasis pelvic floor Jan 04, 2024

Find out why these three things are all connected...


The first thing I do when someone new walks into my pilates studio with a bulging tummy is look further up to the base of their ribcage. If the front of their ribs are flared out (even slightly), its a sure fire sign that we need to work on both their breathing technique and their core strength.


The abdominal muscles are responsible for pulling the rib cage downwards and inwards into a more neutral position. So if the ribs are flared, its a sign that your abs are weak and that there is little integration between the diaphragm and the abdominal muscles.


It’s common (and expected) for your rib cage to expand during pregnancy to make space for your growing baby, but sometimes it doesn’t return to its original position naturally after birth.


If your bra is fitting tighter, if you see your bottom ribs sticking out slightly, or if the ribs flare even more when you lift your arms overhead, your core will need to be strengthened in order to fix the rib flare. Rib flare is associated with diastasis recti, back pain, pelvic floor dysfunction, and more, so it’s important to work on correcting it.


Rib flare is not a vanity thing. It's a core function thing. So let me share 4 reasons why it's important to correct rib flare:


1. It can prevent your Diastasis Recti from healing.

Your abs attach to your ribs, so if your rib cage flares out in the front, then it puts pressure on your abs. This constant pressure will prevent your diastasis from healing and your abdominal muscles from learning to activate properly.​


2. It can cause back pain.

Rib flare is a postural issue. If your rib cage flares forward, the abdominal muscles will be stuck in a “stretched” state, your low back will be arched beyond its neutral position, and your pelvis will be in an anterior tilt. All of which will cause back pain! 

This poor alignment will cause a domino effect of imbalances from your hip flexors, back extensors, abdominals, hamstrings, and glutes, in turn affecting your pelvic floor!

Check out this other blog post i wrote recently about the connection between low back pain and your pelvic floor.


3. It can worsen pelvic floor dysfunction symptoms

Ideally, your rib cage would be stacked directly over your pelvis. This proper alignment will allow your core muscles to generate optimal tension during any kind of exertion so that you can stay dry when you run, jump or sneeze. 

However, if your rib cage is flaring out, your diaphragm and your pelvic floor will lose their optimal positioning. If the pelvic floor and the diaphragm cannot move in tandem with each other, then things will go awry in your core and you may start to notice pelvic floor dysfunction symptoms such as pelvic floor tightness, prolapse symptoms,  leaking, back pain and many more.


4. It prevents proper breathing

When your ribs are flared, they are essentially stuck in the inhalation position, and your rib cage will eventually get tight from constantly being in this position. If you struggle to get good inhales, its unlikely you’re able to get proper exhales either. Which is a problem for the core.

This constant inhalation state ends up leading to shallow breathing. And shallow breathing can lead to issues such as fatigue, high blood pressure,  stress, sleep issues, digestion issues, etc.

You see how everything is so intricately connected!


So why does rib flare happen?

1. Pregnancy. As your baby grows, your internal organs shift upwards and out of the way of baby. This forces the rib cage to expand in order to make space.

2. Breathing. During the 3rd trimester, it’s common to feel short of breath and to be breathing very shallow and into the upper chest. This causes rib flare. Which is fine during pregnancy, but if it doesn’t resolve by around 6 months, it’s important to rehab it.

3. Sucking in your belly all day. Constantly sucking your tummy in puts pressure up into your ribs and down onto your pelvic floor, leading to rib flare and pelvic floor dysfunction symptoms.


Fixing a rib flare is one of the keys to resolving core/pelvic floor related issues because its all connected. It’s no good doing all that good work to fix your pelvic floor if you’re not also working to correct rib flare. You will be taking one step forward, two steps back. 


​You better believe we address both together inside my Mama Method 6 week program. It really is the full nine yards! We work on correcting breathing mechanics, rib flare, pelvic floor weakness (and tightness), core strength, posture, alignment and form, throughout your whole body. Because everything is connected.


The Mama Method is for you if you want to:

  • Re-strengthen your core from within
  • Address rib flare
  • Learn how to heal your Diastasis Recti
  • Improve your pelvic floor function & address incontinence 
  • Relieve prolapse symptoms
  • Relieve back-pain
  • Flatten your tummy
  • Feel like you’re in your 20s again! 


All this regardless of whether you're 6 weeks postpartum or 30 years!

*Recommended by Doctors, Physical Therapists, and moms all over the world*


50% Complete

Two Step

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.