In my work and my personal practice, I am on a mission to end #RibThrusting one body at the time.

In my previous post you read about the spinal misery this common postural havoc creates and how you can create better position –STARTING NOW! Today I am going to break down for you 2 specific techniques to help you release tangled & glued spinal muscle tissue that rib thrusting has created in your body.


Watch this video of Jill Miller with Dr. Kelly Starrett where she breaks down the art and science of gut rolling.


Poor spinal alignment associated with rib thrusting creates a severely tense psoas muscle. Massaging the abdomen will promote circulation and penetrate through multiple gut layers, eventually accessing the psoas. This takes care of the rib thrusting business from the front; rolling out the Quadratus Lumborum (our second technique) targets the issue from the back.


  • Start in Constructive Rest Position
  • Place Yoga Block under your lower spine
  • Pin 1 Yoga Tune Up ball/ Alpha Ball on your Quadratus Lamborum (I personally love the Alpha )
  • Stretch your arms overhead & bend your knees
  • Take several deep breaths; directing them into your deep lower back
  • Chug yourself (propel from your feet) from north to south, so the ball can go up & down the QL fibers. Maintain for 2 minutes; then switch sides.


Rib thrusting goes hand in hand with anterior tilt of the pelvis (commonly known as swayback). This puts serious pressure on your QL muscles, leaving them tight and spastic.

This technique will help to untangle muscular restrictions in the back body, releasing tightness and allowing the QL to function more properly.

Read “Confessions of a chronic rib thruster.”

Learn about our Therapy Ball Programs.

Watch our free Quickfix videos.

Read “For A Healthy Posterior, Stretch And Strengthen”

Dagmar Khan

Dagmar Khan is the 1st Integrated Yoga Tune Up® teacher in Europe and leading mobility expert in whole Ireland; with over 15 years of experience in Yoga, Pilates, Stress Management and Fitness. She is sought-after core-expert who specializes in helping people overcome physical roadblocks and rehabilitate from serious injuries, such as spinal problems, hip replacements, osteoporosis and arthritis. Dagmar has worked with 1000’s of people and has created successful Yoga Tune Up® programs for athletic clubs, colleges, and university lecturers in sport and medical doctors. Dagmar is the creator of INJURY FREE RUNNING program for the Solas Run For Life, a contributing fitness expert to Beat 102 103 & Waterford Today, and her work has been featured on Dublin City FM, WLR FM, Munster Express and Waterford News & Star. For more information visit

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Alison Miller

As a competitive figure skater when I was younger, I developed the a posture with spine extension, anterior pelvic tilt and ribs thrusted. I have worked hard over the years to correct my posture. I am very excited to try these new techniques. Thank you.

AnnMerle Feldman

This gut massage — starting with the global shear and moving into a sort of frog crawl on the coregeous ball looks like an awesome way to call attention some pretty popular blind spots!

Amy Moore

I am excited to try both of these techniques as an addition to my overall health and wellness. Thanks for sharing!

Sarah R

Thank you, I planning on incorporating both of theses techniques into my regular practice so you can add me to the list of people you’ve helped on your mission to end #RibThrusting one body at the time.

Sue Paterson

Thank you! Amazing in my proprioceptive journey that I can realize I am an anterior tilter, but not be aware of my rib-thrusting propensity and its impact on my tightly strung QL and psoas! Working on the Coregeous ball has helped me to learn that I do have a diaphragm (it was actually jammed up in my ribcage), and maybe one day I will begin to be able to feel the interrelationships among all of these areas. Knowing it intellectually is a start!

Michelle Preyde

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!


I love the courageous ball and to know that it can help with this problem is really great. I have a very foreshortened L QL, so to know that these techniques will help is very encouraging.


I am not a rib thruster, but find that I carry a lot of tension in my low back and stomach. This week I spent some time rolling with the Corgeous ball, and that evening I had the best sleep I’ve had in a long time! I’m going to roll my QLs and abdominals tomorrow and see if it happens again.

Gretchen Corbin

Thank you for emphasizing that rolling out the QL is also important for us chronic rib thrusters. I’ve been working on correcting this for a few years and recently have been focusing on rolling out the front of the torso with the coregeous ball, rolling out the upper and middle back with the original YTU balls, and targeting the rectus abdominis and obliques with strengthening exercises. But I’ve been less attentive to the low back and the QL. Thanks Dagmar!

Mary Eileen

What a cool and fun way to address this problem. Students will embrace this, especially older adults…make them feel like a kid again by rolling around on the floor.

Jennifer Kruidbos

I am a rib-thruster as well! This is so useful and I am going to self-care by rolling on the alpha-ball and putting the YTU balls on my QL and the Coregeous ball on my belly. I’m going to read more of your rib thrusting articles for more tips.


I will definitely be adding these to my new self care rituals!


thank you am really looking forward to trying this. i definitely have some serious challenges in my lower back. looking forward to getting some relief from them


Stacy Jackson

Having a tendency for rid thrusting I am definitely going to add both of the techniques you listed , Gut rolling with the coreageous ball and the QL Bliss!


Thanks for shining the light on my QL! I always thought my rib thrusting was caused by a lack of abdominal strength, and even though I have a tight psoas, I didn’t put two and two together until now. I’ll certainly add the QL technique to my roster and a Coreageous ball to my cart!

Cindy DeCoste

I never thought about rib thrusting creating a tight psoas, but this makes perfect sense given how it anteriorly tilts the pelvis! Thank you for elaborating on the connection between the psoas and QL, and for sharing techniques for targeting anterior tilt and sway back both front the front and the back. Such a nice balance!


This is some great advice, Dagmar. I love the idea of rolling on the abdomen, as I tend to hold tension here, and the bridge pose with block and ball rolling along spine sounds delicious – so two appealing exercises that will hopefully lead to the required result. Thanks!

Chrissy CM

How completely wild! Love the techniques & look forward to trying this out & seeing some changes.
Thank you!

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[…] SOS: Save Your Body From Rib Thrusting […]

Marla Brackman

Excellent blog! I have a client that is a habitual rib thruster. Through consistent reminders of alignment, QL Therapy Ball Massage, and Coregous Gut massage she has shown great improvement. She’s finding a new norm. However, we recently had two weeks off from each other (travels), and at our first session back she said, “I don’t know what I did, but my back has been hurting all week.” (While pointing to the area of her left QL). Old habits die hard I guess, as I observed her rib thrust was back in full force. After the session, and re-educating why,… Read more »

Nadjiba Medjaoui

Brillant, I tried it and it feels so good, it is just the right pressure on the belly and my breathing was really affected!
I wil integrate that in my daily practice!


Kate Krumisek- you are very welcome. Great observation on addressing/ working on the tissue inferior to the ribcage.


Amanda- I would definately get the coregous ball and start to roll your gut. After C-section, you will very likely have a scar, which will effect all the surrounding abdominal tissues. Massaging the front of the abdomen is very helpful tool for dealing with scar tissue.


Pam Everson- absolutely. Rolling your abdomen on the Coregous ball is TERRIFIC for reducing the bloating, and improving the digestive processes. I have several clients who suffered with IBS for years, and daily gut rolling has helped them to get off meds and enjoy food with real gusto.


Jason Campbell- Alpha on QL is pure bliss. A daily ”flossing” for my lumbar.


Christina- do it. It really really works!

Emill Kim

Hi Dagmar.
I totally have this issue and didn’t really know what this even meant until doing the YTU teacher training. Gut rolling is certainly something that I never thought of before but my problems really come from an entirely overdeveloped QL on the left side. Thanks for the lovely reminder.


Thank you for sharing this! I will definitely try these techniques to help correct my rib thrust as well as loosen my psoas and abdominal core muscles.

Caitlin Vestal

Love this video! Although it seems obvious now, I hadn’t thought of the core massage as a way to correct rib thrusting. We spend so much time trying to fix it in how we stand, but of course it helps to create more movement in the tissues that are involved. I’ve spent a bunch of time rolling out my thoracic spine in an attempt to allow the ribs to soften in, but I can’t wait to see how the Coregeous ball and QL rolling affect it!

Jason Campbell

love using the YTU balls on my QL. We did it the other day in class and it was AHH-mazing! Once down laying back on the mat i had SO much space, such deeper breaths. It’s on route to being apart of my regular practice.

Michele Klink

This post is terrific. I am working on not compensating with my ribs. I haven’t yet used the alpha ball but looks like a great remedy along with Yoga Tune Up Therapy Balls for the QL. I also love Yoga Tune Up Boomerang Pose for the lateral release and QL stretch.

Amanda Morley

Hey there, I am curious… the psoas is quite a deep muscle and very hard to access through manual therapy. So what is going on biomechanically when you are rolling on a soft inflatable ball? How does the rolling action on the ball eventually penetrate the deep elusive psoas?


I thought I was a reformed rib thruster, but, alas, this seems not to be so. Working from the front to access the psoas and illiacus with the larger ball is a new idea, one I can’t wait to try. Going to try the QL bliss before going to bed tonight. Thank you so much for posting with video and photo.

Confessions Of A Chronic Rib Thruster | Yoga Tune Up

[…] Tune Up® Blog « For Strong And Supple Pelvic Muscles – Squat! SOS: Save Your Body From Rib Thrusting […]

John Greenhow

So helpful thank you!
I’ve been addressing my rib thrusting by rolling out my t-spine. Haven’t thought about my psoas or QL. No wonder I feel like a new man when I roll my QLs… The body teaches but I need to listen.


I’m a rib thruster and I’m often thinking about Not thrusting. I really want to be able to not think about it so much. I will definitely add these to my arsenal of practice.

Kate Krumsiek

Super ways to get to the difficult to access areas of the body. Who knew we could make change in two of our deepest postural muscles with simple, consistent practices?! The other awesome thing to observe is this article was on the negative impact of rib thrusting but the prescription was for muscles south of the ribs …. wonderful illustration of how the pain and, hopefully relief, of one misalignment can show up in unexpected places. Thanks for this information and these tools!


After YTUP weekend with Trina, I do this exercise every day!


I’ve been trying to correct my rib thrusting, mainly from my tight QL from walking everywhere. The QL bliss has helped a lot and I need to do the gut massage. Thanks for the instruction.


I had baby by cesarean delivery about 5 months ago… is this something that would be beneficial to me or something I should avoid? There is so much conflicting stuff out there it seems NOBODY knows what to do after you’ve had a surgical birth. I practiced yoga for 3 years before baby (and up to 38 weeks preggo), and after a complicated birth and lots of bedrest I haven’t really gotten back to any semblance of practice yet, so I am out of shape and my posture is paying for it.


I use both of these regularly and love them. SO many people are stuck in rib thrust and as you said, the psoas and QL need some good attention so we can encourage optimal rib placement. The psoas ball one is incredibly deep and changes each time I do it, going deeper and deeper and opening the communication lines in my proprioception.


Thanks for this post! My medicine ball didn’t have much give to it, so it was pretty intense. Felt amazing on my lower abs. I’ve been experiencing a lot of problems with my reproductive system and (with a softer ball) this will be fantastic for bringing awareness and a little love to the lower belly. Thank you!


Everyone needs to play with this exercise and explore this region of the body. It’s amazing how much this can affect and improve other problem areas. My pilates teacher first introduced me to the QL release over a foam roller, which is excruciating but great once complete. I experimented in my home practice prone lying on the foam roller at my low ribs. Again it wasn’t the most pleasant of sensations, but provided incredible relief. I didn’t use much movement or chugging, but allowed deep breathing to provide that. My spine opened up where I’m habitually bound up, in turn… Read more »

Clare Chura

This is a simple and highly effective technique for kneading out the abdominals and for relieving the back. However, I highly recommend not eating before trying this, or else it can be extremely uncomfortable. I also have tried it by stacking two blocks beneath my navel, which felt too intense. I like the idea of using a soft ball to roll around all parts of the torso, and I like how Jill used it towards the end with her legs moving and engaged. If you don’t have a ball, or the ball feels too intense on the torso, a rolled… Read more »

pam everson

could this also help with bloating or digestion issues?

Lisa Swanson

Hi: I enjoyed reading this blog. I’m a Pilates Instructor who has one client with a swayback. He has a severe anterior tilt of the pelvis and as I usually don’t have clients “imprint” in closed chained exercises, I do demand that of him, which is difficult.
I plan on using the ball technique with him then ask him to do the Gut Massage at home.

Kathleen Mumma

Thanks again, Dagmar. The gut massage was interesting and something I’ve never thought of. It’s interesting how rib thrusting can also affect the QL muscles, which I find is a common source of pain/tension in my students who have a swayback. I will now watch for rib thrusting in these students. Thank you!


Unwinding the Belly: Healing with Gentle Touch by Allison Post, Stephen Cavaliere and Robert P. Turner M.D. (Sep 10, 2003) This book will teach you how


Hi There, If you do not have a ball and on an empty belly you can perform a abdominal massage using your hands, around the belly button, gradually increasing up to the rib cage and to the anterior Ilium, once that is released you can gentle place the finger under the ribs and massage under them on the right/left, also the inside anterior pelvis about 1 and 1/2 inches to the lateral side of the navel near the inner rim of the hip, this allows you to release tight hip flexor, the hand is more sensitive then the ball and… Read more »


Thanks for this. Hope there is more to follow. I’ve been working on the Coregeous ball now for a couple of weeks and I can feel the difference in my posture. It may not look like much from the outside, but I feel like I have more control of my “kegel” muscles.

Only thing is I really wanted to see Kelly rolling around on the ball!