Useful Exercises You Can Do With Broken Ribs

Deep-Breathing Exercises - exercises You can do with broken ribs

Before you start any exercise program, it’s important to know what’s safe for your condition. You can start with deep breathing to help prevent further damage to your rib cage. You can also add cardiovascular exercises and consider yoga or Pilates as ways to relax and strengthen your muscles. Listed below are some exercises you can do with broken ribs. Follow these activities at your own risk. And don’t forget to rest and ice your ribs frequently.

Should I Do Exercises With Broken Ribs

The answer depends on how your ribs are affected. For the most part, it’s okay to exercise with broken ribs. However, you should only begin light activities and be sure to get plenty of rest. Gentle activity can reduce your risk of chest infections, blood clots, and muscle weakness.

This also helps you prevent depression. Some include chest stretching and breathing. You should start at a slow pace and increase it to a moderate pace every 30 minutes. For the most effect, alternate walking and jogging.

You should also strengthen your upper body. Several activities are recommended by UPMC to improve posture after a fractured rib. One activity is the scapula tuck.

  1. Sit upright in a firm chair and hold your arms up at shoulder level.
  2. Hold them above your head with full extension of the fingers.
  3. Repeat this ten rounds
  4. Then repeat the process on the other side.

4 Exercises You Can Do With Broken Ribs

Deep-Breathing Exercises

Those who have fractured ribs may be tempted to stay in bed for as long as possible to relax. However, this is harmful for the body and can have negative effects on your sleep.

It is important to keep your body active to develop your immune system and promote healing. Deep breaths are an excellent way to do so. You can even use an incentive spirometer to measure how much air you breathe.

If your doctor allows it, practicing the exercises can reduce the pain and prevent collapsed lungs. You should practice at least two to three times a day, or as prescribed by your doctor. It is important to follow the instructions on your schedule and let your doctor know if you experience any pain during breathing.

You may also want to try gentle cardio. While gentle cardio is not recommended for people with fractured ribs, it will help improve your heart function and blood circulation.

Deep-Breathing Exercises - exercises You can do with broken ribs

Add Cardiovascular Exercise

This is a good way to strengthen the body and decrease the pain associated with a fractured rib. While the first few weeks following a break are difficult, they will eventually pass. Breathing can help to decrease the pain and swelling, and are recommended by physical therapists and doctors.

These exercises include sitting up straight and holding your breath for one second before slowly exhaling. Repeat this five rounds throughout the day.

While you shouldn’t start any cardio until your doctor says it’s safe, it’s good to begin some gentle ones to improve your posture. Breathing are particularly helpful after a rib broken, as they can help not to get a collapsed lung. Try chanting “Ahhhh” to yourself for two to three minutes every hour after coughing to get the full effect.

Consider Yoga Or Pilates

While you might not be able to do activity immediately after a rib fracture, it is best to gradually push up your intensity during a rehabilitation program. During the first six weeks, you should avoid high-impact physical activities, such as sports and cardio, and bending or compressing your chest. If you cannot refrain from these activities, you should not at least start a new exercising routine or increasing the intensity of your current workout.

Before starting any workout schedule, you should consult with a physical therapist about your condition. Pilates exercises will help you build strength and balance, so that you can return to daily activities.

They focus on the diaphragm and ribcage, which work together to create more air space. You can mimic these movements by holding a heavy weight on your chest. Make sure that you do not rest your arms on the floor while exercising.

Weight Training Exercise

For these you can do with fractured rib and can slowly push the intensity as your condition improves. While you should avoid chest presses and cardio until you are fully healed, you can gradually push your intensity. It is important to consult a physical therapist first before starting a new activity shedule or lifting heavy weights. In addition to avoiding the pain and discomfort that comes with a broken rib, these activities will grow bone density and be away future fractures.

A full-body workout for this broken part should include a variety of aerobic and weight-bearing workout to strengthen the bones and decrease the risk of further injury.

Walking is an excellent activity for breaking ribs, as it strengthens the lower body while increasing cardiovascular health. Start walking slowly and gradually increase your pace until you are able to do it at a moderate-speed for at least thirty minutes. To make it easier, alternate brisk walking with stair climbing or dancing.

Stretching Exercise For Rib Fractures

Initial Care

Breathing are an important part of the treatment for broken ribs. You should sit upright position, place both hands on your abdomen and upper chest, and breathe in and out deeply, pressing your stomach into your hands.

Tighten your stomach muscles as you breathe, and try to push your ribs as far apart as you can. You can also try bucket handle breathing, which encourages motion in all directions. This exercise should be done for five to ten repetitions three to four times daily.

After your physician approves of your recovery, you can gradually push the intensity of your workout. You should not attempt any form of cardiovascular until your doctor gives you the green light. A gentle cardio routine is safe for someone recovering from a broken rib, but you should not do high-intensity activities like jogging, cycling, or running. This activity can also aggravate the condition.

Chest Stretch

A broken rib is caused by a large blow to the chest and can range from a cracked to a fractured rib. Luckily, it heals on its own over time with the proper rehabilitation exercises. One such is shoulder squeeze.

While sitting in a chair, raise your arms and pull your shoulder blades together. Hold this position for a few seconds and repeat 10 times. Be sure to do these only after your doctor has given you the OK.

Another chest stretch is bucket handle breathing. This classic activity is particularly effective in strengthening the lower back and core.

  • When doing this, ensure that your chest remains neutral and that your ribs do not flare.
  • Hold this position for 5 seconds on each side, and repeat as necessary.
  • For the best results, you should perform this exercise at least five times.
  • If you experience severe chest pain, seek medical attention immediately.

Doorway Chest Stretch

If you’re dealing with pain and discomfort caused by your ribs broken, the Doorway chest stretch may be just what you need. This stretching involves standing in a doorway, resting your forearms on the doorframe and bending forward. Keep the stretch for 15 to 30 seconds and repeat three to five times. If you’re doing this at home, you may want to consult a physiotherapist.

Breaking ribs is a common problem, and while it may feel unbearable immediately, they heal over time with gentle stretching. While the immediate treatment is to take pain medications and rest, it’s important to remember that you should not put up with the pain and stiffness.

This may lead to a more serious condition, such as pneumonia or lung disease. Fortunately, doorway chest stretch can help restore some range of motion to the area.

Arm Stretches

Getting a full body workout after a broken rib can speed your recovery. Physiotherapists recommend focusing on upper body range to help with posture. Sit And Be Fit recommends scapula strengthening workout.

To begin, sit upright in a chair with a firm back, stretch your arms upward at the waist, keeping your elbows at your sides and bringing them toward your back. Keep the position for ten seconds, then slowly return to the starting position. Putting a pillow under your arm side is recommended.

Sleeping is another useful exercise after a broken rib. While asleep, ribs do not contract. While your body heals, it also releases the hormone cell regeneration. Getting 8 hours of sleep is critical to speed up bone healing. However, many people report sharp chest pains, even during sleep. The good news is that a good night’s relax will help you sleeping with broken ribs better and feel better sooner.

Make sure you follow your status and have reviewed your schedule after several days.


Can you exercise if your ribs are broken or bruised? While your ribs are healing, it is best to avoid exercise and other activities that aggravate your pain or require you to lift heavy objects.

Measures to be taken to help treat bruised ribs:

Rest the injured area to allow your body to heal. Do not do activities that cause pain, such as heavy lifting, pushing, and pulling.

Lift as little as possible and avoid strenuous exercise. Chest infections are a common problem following minor rib injuries. To avoid an infection, it is critical to perform at least five minutes of deep breathing every hour while the pain is present.

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