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The best way to build muscle around your rib cage is to focus on aerobic exercise and strength training.
Image Credit: boonchai wedmakawand/Moment/GettyImages

Fat on the rib cage is in direct proximity to the stomach. Any time you have fat in your stomach area, you are subjected to an increased risk of strokes and heart disease. The best way to rid yourself of rib cage fat is to focus on overall weight loss through aerobic exercise and strength training, while targeting your obliques and serratus anterior muscles with specific exercises and tracking your progress on a calorie counter app. These muscles are found on your sides and by working them, you will give your rib cage area a leaner appearance.


Step 1

Restrict your caloric intake by 500 calories a day to lose one pound a week. You can create that deficit with diet changes or physical activity or, better yet, both. Find your starting intake by tracking your calories for a full day. Use an online resource like the American Cancer Society's calorie counter if you need help.

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Step 2

Eat foods that have a low energy density like fruits, vegetables, whole grains and leafy greens. Steer clear of foods that are high in saturated fat, sodium and sugar like cupcakes, cookies, crackers, wings and deep fried onion rings.


Step 3

Sip on water throughout the day and with your meals to hydrate your body and fill yourself up. Avoid beverages that are high in calories like soda, sweet tea, slushies, milkshakes and beer.

Step 4

Perform cardiovascular exercise of your choosing to melt that fat on your rib cage. Do any type of cardio as long as it gets your heart rate up and causes you to breathe heavy. Kickboxing, step aerobics, jumping rope, running and elliptical training are examples. Aim for 45 to 60 minutes and work out on three alternating days a week.


Step 5

Stand in between the weight stacks on a cable machine to do single handle push-downs. Have the handles attached to high settings and grasp one in each hand with your feet about shoulder-width apart. Your body should be in a "T" shape at this point. Push the handles straight down to your sides, raise them back up until your arms parallel the floor and repeat 10 to 12 times.

Step 6

Kneel on the floor to do ab wheel roll outs. Grab the sides of the wheel on the handle and place it on the floor right in front of you. Roll the wheel forward as you extend your arms and lower your chest toward the floor. Stop when your upper body is close to parallel to the floor and roll yourself back to the upright position. Repeat for 12 to 15 repetitions.


Step 7

Execute a set of bicycle crunches from a face-up position on the floor. Place your hands on the sides of your head, lift your legs and bend your knees to get your shins level to the floor. Move your right elbow and left knee toward each other as you extend your right leg. Reverse the motion quickly to target your other side and repeat for 15 to 20 repetitions.

Step 8

Grab a medicine ball to do long arm oblique twists. Stand with your feet about shoulder-width apart and hold the ball straight in front of your chest. Twist your torso to your right as you move the ball to your right side. Reverse the motion and move the ball to your left side. Continue back and forth until you've done 15 to 20 reps total.

Things You'll Need

  • Cable machine

  • 2 single handles

  • Ab wheel

  • Medicine ball


Perform four or five sets of your weight training exercises and do them three days a week on non-cardio days.


Check with your health-care provider before beginning an exercise program for the first time or if you have been away from fitness programs for a while, or if you have any chronic health issues.




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