Next to the biceps, the chest (pectoral) muscles are the showiest body part to develop. A deep, full-appearing chest is an indication of power, dominance and superior health. So, it is little wonder that so many male and female bodybuilders are preoccupied with developing a deep, thickly muscled chest.
One school of bodybuilding experts insists that it is possible to enlarge the volume of your ribcage by stretching and lengthening the cartilage that attach your ribs to your sternum (breast bone). While there is no conclusive proof that this can be accomplished, there are many bodybuilders that will swear by it. To date, much of our anecdotal experience with bodybuilding has proven to be true.
Theoretically, its easiest to stretch the cartilage of your ribcage if you
are still in your teenage years. During your growth years, your cartilage is
soft and pliable which protects your from injury. Later in life when you've
stopped growing in height and bone density, they harden and are less easily
stretched to a new length. That explains why, when you're older, you get injured
doing the same types of activities as when you were younger. The body just isn't
as flexible as it use to be and can't withstand the same "punishment".
Ribcage expansion can be accomplished by supersetting a deep breathing exercise with one that stretches the ribcage. The first movement we recommend are called Breathing Squats. It is a regular squat, but with a pattern of deep breaths between each repetition. It is performed with no more than your bodyweight loaded on the bar, since you should be concentrating on your breathing patterns rather than on developing more thigh mass.
Load up the bar, take it off the rack, and prepare yourself to squat. Before each of the first 10 reps in your set, you should take three very deep breaths, squeezing out all possible air as you exhale and then pulling in as much air as possible when you inhale. For the second 10 reps of your set, you should take four deep breaths between each count. And for the final five repetitions of your 25-rep set, you should take five breaths before each squatting motion.
Without resting, proceed immediately to a set of light Dumbbell Pullovers with about half as much weight as you normally use for pectoral development. When using pullovers for ribcage expansion, you should perform the movement with relatively straight arms. Take a deep breath during each repetition, starting to inhale as you begin to drop the weight from straight arms' length in a semicircular arc down behind your head. Keep your hips low to the ground, which will help intensify the stretching aspect of the exercise.
Beginning-level bodybuilders can perform one or two of these supersets of Breathing Squats and Breathing Pullovers. Intermediate and advanced level bodybuilders can perform three to four sets. Use this chest expansion routine for up to six weeks and then change your approach. Avoid any other chest or thigh exercises on the day when performing this specialty workout. Many of the past Greats swear by this program so be ready for some new upper torso dimensions!