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How to Build Muscle on the Rib Cage

author image Kevin Rail
I am very genuine and magnetic on camera, and have made numerous videos on my own for clients and other organizations that I'm affiliated with. I also have a degree in Sport Management, and multiple certifications to back up my validity. I've also been featured in three different exercise infomercials and had a speaking role in a National Lampoons movie.
How to Build Muscle on the Rib Cage
A man is using a kettlebell to exercise. Photo Credit DeanDrobot/iStock/Getty Images

Bodybuilders have statuesque physiques with muscle on top of muscle. One of the signatures of a bodybuilder's body is the muscles on the sides of the rib cage. Often referred to as the "finger muscles," the actual names of these muscles are the serratus anterior and intercostals. If you wish to tone up this area and build some new muscle, the right exercises are necessary.

Step 1

Lie perpendicularly on a bench on your back, with your shoulders touching the bench and your head over the edge, to do pullovers. Place your hands on the inside of one of the weighted ends of a dumbbell. Bend your knees 90 degrees and place your feet flat on the floor. Hold the dumbbell straight above your chest with your arms fully extended. Slowly lower the dumbbell over your head in an arcing motion. Stop when you feel a strong contraction on the sides of your rib cage, and then lift it back to the starting point. Perform 12 to 15 reps and three to four sets of each exercise

Step 2

Perform serratus push-downs with a straight bar attached to a high setting on a cable machine. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and grab the bar with a shoulder-width overhand grip. Keep your arms straight and push the bar down until it lightly touches your thighs. Squeeze for a second and slowly raise the bar back up. Feel the muscles on your rib cage doing the work. Perform 12 to 15 reps and three to four sets of each exercise

Step 3

Sit on an exercise ball to perform medicine ball chops. Hold the medicine ball in both hands and keep your back straight. Lower the ball down to your left side at an angle. Lift it up to your right side at an angle and swing it back down to your left side. Perform a set of reps and switch sides. Keep your head in line with the ball at all times. Perform 12 to 15 reps and three to four sets of each exercise

Step 4

Roll the exercise ball on the floor to work your rib cage muscles. Get onto your knees with the ball in front of you and place your hands on it shoulder-width apart. Maintain a straight line from your knees to your shoulders at this point. Roll the ball forward and lower your body down toward the ground. Feel a contraction on the sides of your ribs and reverse the motion so you are back to an upright position. Keep your back straight throughout the whole movement. Perform 12 to 15 reps and three to four sets of each exercise

Step 5

Fasten a rope attachment to a high setting on a cable machine to do cable crunches. Face the machine and grab one end of the rope with each hand. Kneel on the floor and hold your hands on the sides of your head. Lower your body toward the floor by bending at the hips and engaging your core muscles. Squeeze for a second, slowly go back to the starting point and repeat. Perform 12 to 15 reps and three to four sets of each exercise

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