As women, we come in all shapes and sizes. While some of us have narrow rib cages, others have wide ones. While there’s nothing wrong with having a wide rib cage, it can cause some issues when it comes to fashion and fitness.

In this article, we’ll share some tips to help you embrace your body and find solutions to common problems related to wide ribs.

Understanding Wide Ribs Cage in Women

Understanding Wide Ribs Cage in Women
Understanding Wide Ribs in women (Image Source: Freepik)

A wide rib cage happens when someone’s rib cage is larger than usual. This can happen to both males and females, but it’s more common for females. It’s believed to be a condition that runs in families, meaning it’s passed down from parents to their children through their genes.

The rib cage is the bony structure that surrounds and protects our vital organs, such as the heart and lungs. It’s composed of 12 pairs of ribs that attach to the spine at the back and to the sternum or breastbone at the front.

The shape and size of the rib cage can vary between individuals, depending on factors such as genetics, age, and lifestyle.

In women, the rib cage tends to be wider than in men due to differences in anatomy and physiology. Women have a broader pelvis to accommodate childbirth, which can result in a wider rib cage to maintain balance and support the upper body.

However, having a wide rib cage doesn’t necessarily mean having a large or overweight body frame. Even women with petite or slim figures can have wide ribs.

Also Read: How To Reduce Lower Belly (Fupa) Fat Through Home Workouts

Why Do Some Women have a Wide Rib Cage?

The size and shape of a person’s rib cage are largely determined by genetics and skeletal structure. Some women may have wider rib cages due to inherited traits from their parents or ancestors. In addition, hormonal changes during puberty, pregnancy, or menopause can also affect the shape and size of the rib cage.

Certain medical conditions or lifestyle factors may also contribute to a wider rib cage. For example, scoliosis, a spinal deformity that causes curvature of the spine, can affect the alignment of the rib cage and make it appear wider.

Obesity, lack of exercise, and poor posture can also lead to changes in the rib cage, as excess weight or muscle tension can put pressure on the ribs and alter their position.

It’s important to note that having a wide rib cage is not necessarily a negative or abnormal trait, and it doesn’t necessarily indicate poor health. However, it can sometimes cause discomfort or self-consciousness for some women, especially when it comes to clothing fit or body image.

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What are the Different Types of Wide Rib Cages?

There are several different types of wide rib cages that can occur in women, each with its own unique characteristics and considerations. Here are a few examples:

Barrel-shaped Rib Cage

Barrel-shaped Rib Cage
Barrel-shaped Rib Cage (Image Source:

This type of rib cage is wider and more rounded than average, creating a barrel-like appearance. It can sometimes be associated with respiratory conditions such as emphysema or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Flared Rib Cage

Flared Rib Cage
Flared Rib Cage (Image Source:

 A flared rib cage is characterized by outwardly protruding ribs at the bottom of the rib cage, creating a “flare” or “winged” appearance. This type of rib cage can sometimes be associated with scoliosis or poor posture.

Bell-shaped Rib Cage

Bell-shaped Rib Cage
Bell-shaped Rib Cage (Image Source:

A bell-shaped rib cage is wider at the bottom and narrower at the top, resembling the shape of a bell. This type of rib cage can sometimes be associated with pregnancy or weight gain, as the rib cage expands to accommodate the growing uterus or excess weight.

Wide-set Rib Cage

Wide-set Rib Cage
Wide set Rib Cage (Image By VerBearNNorm on Reddit)

A wide-set rib cage is characterized by a greater distance between the ribs, creating a wider overall appearance. This type of rib cage can sometimes be associated with genetic factors or skeletal abnormalities.

It’s important to note that these types of wide rib cages are not necessarily mutually exclusive and can overlap or occur in combination. Each type of wide rib cage may require different strategies for managing or styling, depending on the individual’s unique needs and preferences.

Consulting with a healthcare provider or stylist can help women identify and address any concerns related to their rib cage shape.

Related Post: Female Pain Under The Left Rib Cage After Eating

Common Issues for Women with Wide Ribs

If you have a wide rib cage, you may experience some challenges in terms of clothing fit, posture, and exercise performance. Here are some common issues and tips to overcome them:

Issue 1: Tightness or Discomfort in the Chest Area

Issue 1: Tightness or Discomfort in the Chest Area
Tightness or Discomfort in the Chest Area (Image Source: freepik)

Women with wide ribs may find it difficult to wear certain types of tops or dresses that fit snugly around the chest area. This can cause discomfort, breathing difficulties, or even a distorted silhouette. To address this issue, you can:

  • Opt for tops with stretchy fabrics or loose fits that don’t constrict the chest.
  • Choose dresses or blouses with a V-neckline or open collar that create a visual break and elongate the neck.
  • Invest in a well-fitted bra that provides support and comfort without squeezing the ribs.

Also Read: How To Get Rid Of Armpit (Underarm) Fat Quickly?

Issue 2: Rounded Shoulders or Hunching Posture

Issue 2: Rounded Shoulders or Hunching Posture
Rounded Shoulders or Hunching Posture (Image Source: Freepik)

Having a wide rib cage can also affect your posture, especially if you tend to slouch or hunch forward. This can lead to rounded shoulders, neck pain, and aches in the upper back. To improve your posture, you can:

  • Practice standing tall with your shoulders back and down, your chest lifted, and your chin parallel to the ground.
  • Strengthen your upper back and shoulder muscles with exercises such as rows, pull-ups, or reverse flyes.
  • Use props such as a foam roller or a yoga block to release tension in the chest muscles and open up the shoulders.

Also Read: 17 Models With Wide Rib Cage

Issue 3: Limited Breathing Capacity during Exercise

Issue 3: Limited Breathing Capacity during Exercise
Limited Breathing Capacity during Exercise (Image Source: Freepik)

If you’re into sports or fitness, you may notice that having a wide rib cage can affect your breathing capacity and performance. This is because the rib cage needs to expand and contract with each breath, and if it’s wider than average, it may not allow enough room for the lungs to fully inflate. To enhance your breathing and endurance, you can:

  • Incorporate diaphragmatic breathing exercises into your routine, such as belly breathing or pursed lips breathing.
  • Focus on exercises that engage the core and the breath, such as Pilates, yoga, or swimming.
  • Avoid exercises or postures that put excessive pressure on the chest, such as heavy bench presses, push-ups, or crunches.

Issue 4: Self-Consciousness or Body Shaming

Issue 4: Self-Consciousness or Body Shaming
Self-Consciousness or Body Shaming (Image Source:

Last but not least, women with wide ribs may feel self-conscious or ashamed of their body shape, especially in a culture that promotes unrealistic beauty standards and body ideals. This can lead to negative body image, low self-esteem, and mental health issues such as anxiety or depression. To overcome this challenge, you can:

  • Practice self-compassion and positive self-talk. Instead of criticizing yourself for not fitting into narrow standards, acknowledge and appreciate your unique traits and qualities.
  • Surround yourself with supportive and body-positive people, whether online or offline. Join social media groups or forums where you can connect with others who share similar experiences and perspectives.
  • Focus on your strengths and accomplishments, rather than your appearance. Engage in activities that boost your confidence and self-worth, such as hobbies, volunteering, or learning new skills.
  • Seek professional help if you’re struggling with body image or mental health issues. Talk to a therapist or counselor who specializes in body positivity or cognitive-behavioral therapy.

Issue 5: Lack of Information or Resources on Wide Ribs

Despite being a common trait among women, wide ribs may not receive much attention or recognition in mainstream media or fashion. This can make it hard for women with wide ribs to find suitable clothing, accessories, or fitness advice. To address this issue, you can:

  • Do your own research and experimentation. Try different styles, cuts, and brands to see what works best for your body type and preferences.
  • Look for brands or designers that cater to diverse body shapes and sizes. Support local or independent businesses that prioritize inclusivity and sustainability.
  • Share your own experiences and tips with others. Create a blog, social media account, or video channel where you can showcase your fashion or fitness journey and inspire others.
  • Advocate for better representation and diversity in the fashion and fitness industry. Join campaigns or petitions that demand more inclusive and realistic portrayal of women’s bodies in media and advertising.

5 Tips to Solve Women-Wide Rib Cage

Tips 1: Choose Clothes That Flatter your Body Shape

Avoid tight or clingy clothes that emphasize your rib cage and opt for looser or flowing styles that create a balanced silhouette. Look for tops or dresses with V-neck,+ scoop neck, or off-the-shoulder cuts that draw attention to your face and neck, rather than your chest or midsection.

Tips 2: Accessorize Strategically

Use accessories such as scarves, necklaces, or earrings to create vertical lines and distract from your rib cage. For example, wearing a long necklace or scarf can elongate your torso and create a more streamlined look. Avoid wearing belts or waistbands that sit directly on your ribs, as they can create bulges or discomfort.

Tips 3: Build your Core Strength

While you can’t change the width of your rib cage, you can tone and strengthen your core muscles to improve your posture and confidence. Incorporate exercises such as planks, crunches, or yoga poses that target your abs, obliques, and back muscles. Consult a fitness trainer or physical therapist if you need guidance or modifications.

Tips 4: Invest in Supportive Bras

Finding the right bra can make a big difference in how you feel and look in clothes. Look for bras with wide straps, soft cups, and underwire support that distribute the weight evenly and reduce pressure on your rib cage. Avoid push-ups or padded bras that can add volume to your chest and accentuate your rib cage.

Tips 5: Seek Custom-made Clothing

If you have a hard time finding clothes that fit your wide rib cage, consider investing in custom-made or tailored clothing. Look for local or online tailors who specialize in creating garments for unique body shapes and sizes. While this option may be more expensive than off-the-rack clothes, it can save you time, frustration, and discomfort in the long run.


Is a wide rib cage in females a common issue?

Yes, a wide rib cage is a common physical trait that varies among individuals and is influenced by factors such as genetics and body composition.

Can a wide rib cage be corrected through surgery?

While surgical options exist to reduce the size of the rib cage, it is generally not recommended for cosmetic purposes alone and carries significant risks and recovery time.

Can exercise help improve the appearance of a wide rib cage?

Yes, incorporating exercises that focus on the chest and back muscles can help improve posture and create the appearance of a narrower rib cage.

Is there a specific diet that can help reduce the size of a wide rib cage?

While there is no specific diet that can target the rib cage area, maintaining a healthy and balanced diet can contribute to overall weight loss and improve body composition.


A wide rib cage in females is a common physical trait that can be influenced by a variety of factors, including genetics, body composition, and posture. While there are surgical options available to reduce the size of the rib cage, they are generally not recommended for cosmetic purposes alone.

Instead, there are a variety of non-invasive strategies that can help manage the appearance of a wide rib cage, including targeted exercises, a healthy diet, and posture correction. By incorporating the 5 tips in this article, individuals can work towards achieving a more balanced and proportionate appearance while improving overall health and wellness.