Using a first principles approach to feeling and controlling your body, one key element of body awareness is the ribcage. This includes both the ribs and the part of the spine that they ribs attach to, the thoracic spine.
In this set of video lessons, you'll learn how to feel your ribcage as you move it. You'll not only learn to feel the front of your ribcage, your chest, but the sides and back of your ribcage also.
As a basic element of your body, your ribcage provides a foundation for both your neck and your arms. It's actually a flexible foundation that is designed to change shape so that you can use your arms through a wider range of positions. And it's also somewhat like a camera tripod. Once your ribcage is in a position suitable for how you want to use your arms, the same muscles that move your ribcage can then be used to lock it in place or stabilize it.
Your ribcage can then act as a foundation for the effective use of your shoulders and arms.
If you have weak shoulders and arms, or they are inflexible, or they are imbalanced, learning basic ribcage mobility and control can help.
By learning to feel and control your ribcage, you can work towards stronger shoulders and arms simply because you are giving them a stronger (and more flexible) foundation. While a stronger more mobile ribcage isn't all that you need to improve shoulder and arm flexibility, an inflexible or imbalanced ribcage can be a limiting component.
Improving ribcage mobility and control can be a first step towards improving mobility and control of your shoulders and arms.
Since the shoulders and arms rely on the ribcage as a base, if the ribcage is imbalanced, then the shoulders and arms can tend to be imbalanced also. And so if you have left/right shoulder imbalance, a good place to start is with learning to feel and control your ribcage so that you can work towards a more balanced foundation.
Ribcage mobility isn't just important for using your arms. It can also affect your breathing.
Simply learning to be aware of how you use (and operate) your ribcage can make it easier to learn to feel and control how you breathe.
Another important aspect of ribcage control is actually controlling the junction between the ribcage and the lumbar spine. This is the area at the back of the body that corresponds to the solar plexus in the front. Ribcage control with a touch of transverse abdominis control can be used to improve your ability to control this junction, balance it and when you need to, stabilize it. And that's also covered in this set of exercises.
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What you get:
- The full list of videos is listed below.
- Videos can be downloaded or streamed.
- Videos are mp4 format.
- Suggested viewing app both for windows and mac users is VLC.
If you download the videos, you can use the VLC player to make play lists so that you can view videos one after the other, skipping introductory or explanatory videos if you choose.
Videos can be used as follow along, or watch and then try the exercises by yourself.
In all cases, the intent of these exercises is to help you better feel and control your ribcage.
Basic chest control
- 0 0 1d 0 Chest Lift
- 0 0 1d 1a Chest Lift adjusting
- 0 0 1d 1b Chest Lift adjustment notes
- 0 0 1d 2 Chest Contractions
- 0 0 1d 2a Chest Contractions head positioning
- 0 0 1d 3 Sequenced Chest Lifting and Contracting
- 0 0 1d 3a Holding
Side bending awareness
- 0 0 1e 0a side bending the ribcage and lumbar spine opening
- 0 0 1e 0b side bending the ribcage and lumbar spine closing
- 0 0 1e 0c side bending the ribcage and lumbar spine both
- 0 0 1e 0d side bending the ribcage and lumbar spine
Quartered ribcage isolation and awareness
- 0 0 1f 1 Rib Front Quarters Isolated
- 0 0 1f 1a Rib Front Quarters Isolated Retractions
- 0 0 1f 2 Rib Front Quarters Together
- 0 0 1f 2a Rib Front Quarters Together Retracted
- 0 0 1f 3 Rib Back Quarters Isolated
- 0 0 1f 3a Rib Back Quarters Isolated Retractions
- 0 0 1f 4 Rib Back Quarters Together
- 0 0 1f 4a Rib Back Quarters Together Retracted
Using sternum and Pubic bone as references
- 0 0 1g twist 0 basic sternum
- 0 0 1g twist 1 sternum detailed
- 0 0 1g twist 2 sternum detailed plus pubic bone
- 0 0 1g twist 3 holding and deepening
- 0 0 1g twist 3a adding the neck
- 0 0 1g twist 4 seated sternum
- 0 0 1g twist 5 seated sternum detailed plus pubic bone
Rib isolations (keeping spine still)
- 0 0 1h 0 Rib Isolations
- 0 0 1h 1 Rib Isolations, Front
- 0 0 1h 2 Rib Isolations, Single Side
- 0 0 1h 3 Rib Isolations, Both Sides
- 0 0 1h 4 Rib Isolations, Back Ribs
Serratus posterior inferior control
- 0 0 1i 0 Low Back Ribs
- 0 0 1i 1 Low Back Ribs Chest Down
- 0 0 1i 2 Low Back Ribs via TA
- 0 0 1i 3 Low Back Ribs at Sides of Ribcage
- 0 0 1i 4 Low Back Ribs Without Prior Rib Lift