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The serratus posterior inferior is a deep muscle behind the lower ribs and spine that assists in rib depression when you exhale with your diaphragm. It also works with other deep muscles in your spine and your intercostal ribcage muscles to breathe and stabilize your body when you move. Tightness in this muscle can often cause breathing difficulties and low back pain, says massage therapist Donna Martin on the D.M. Massage Therapy website. Stretching the serratus posterior inferior with other local muscle groups can alleviate tension and stiffness.
Stability Ball Back Stretch
Kneel in front of a stability ball and put your hands on top of it with your hands in a karate chop position.
Exhale slowly and bend your torso forward at your waist while pushing the ball away from you, stretching from your armpits down to your lower back.
Hold this stretch for the duration of five to six belly breaths. Resume the starting position and repeat the stretch two more times.
Side-Lying Stretch With Foam Roller
Kneel on the ground and lean your left side of your body near your lower ribs against a foam roller on the ground. Shift your weight toward your left kneeling leg. Rest your left forearm and elbow on the ground over the roller.
Exhale and raise your right arm over your head so that your right bicep is next to your right ear. Lean and drape your body over the foam roller to stretch all the muscles in the right side of your torso, including your serratus posterior inferior. Hold this position for five to six deep breaths.
Bring your body back up to the starting position and repeat the stretch two to three more times on each side of your body.
Standing Side Stretch
Stand with your feet slightly apart with your right side of your body facing a sturdy pole or similar object. Grab the bar with your right hand and raise your left arm overhead with your left bicep next to your left ear.
Lean your torso to your right to grab the pole with your left hand. Keep your left bicep next to your ear. Hold the stretch for five to six deep breaths.
Push your hip slightly to your left to increase the stretch and slowly rotate your torso slightly toward the bar to increase the low back stretch. Repeat the exercise on the other side.