4 Ways to Crack Your Sternum

Cracking your sternum, or the sounds that come from your chest when stretching, can sometimes result from gas being released from the joints in the area. Some may find relief in this action, while others might do it as part of a stretching routine. However, it’s essential to approach this carefully to avoid potential injury. Below you’ll find a series of methods and precautions that can help you achieve that satisfying feeling safely and effectively. Remember, these are not ‘cracks’ in your bones, but rather the release of tension in the joints and surrounding tissues.

4 ways to crack your sternum

Stretching Your Arms

Stretching is a gentle and effective way to potentially release tension in your chest area. This action can sometimes result in an audible “pop” or “crack” from your sternum or rib joints.

  1. Stand or sit in a comfortable position.
  2. Extend your arms straight out to your sides, keeping them at shoulder height.
  3. Gently sweep your arms backward as far as you can, feeling a stretch in your chest.
  4. Hold this position for 20–30 seconds, breathing deeply.
  5. Slowly return your arms to your sides and relax.

This method helps relieve tension in the chest muscles and can potentially lead to a sternum “crack.” The benefits are a more relaxed upper body and improved posture. There are few downsides, but make sure not to overextend or use jerky movements.

Taking a Deep Breath

Taking deep breaths can sometimes help adjust the pressure within the thoracic cavity, which can lead to the sternum making a cracking sound.

  1. Sit or stand in a relaxed posture.
  2. Breathe in deeply through your nose, expanding your chest fully.
  3. Hold this breath for 5-10 seconds.
  4. Exhale slowly and gently through your mouth.

Deep breathing not only encourages a potential sternum crack but also reduces stress and improves lung function. However, do not force the breath to the point of discomfort.

Yoga Poses

Certain yoga poses are designed to open the chest and could naturally lead to the sternum cracking safely as tension is released.

  1. Engage in a yoga routine focusing on chest-opening poses such as the Cobra Pose, Camel Pose, or Cow Face Pose.
  2. Perform these poses under the guidance of a professional, especially if you are new to yoga.
  3. Focus on your breathing and alignment as you hold each pose for multiple breaths.

Yoga offers the benefit of full-body stretching and mindfulness, which can lead to a naturally occurring sternum ‘crack.’ The risk is low, but proper form is crucial to avoid strain.

Chiropractic Adjustment

A licensed chiropractor can perform adjustments that might result in a sternum crack. This should never be attempted without professional support.

  1. Consult a reputable chiropractor and discuss your need for chest adjustment.
  2. Follow their professional advice and only have adjustments done in their office.
  3. Adhere to any before and aftercare instructions they provide.

Chiropractic care can align your body correctly, sometimes leading to a sternum crack as a side effect of a proper adjustment. It can be beneficial for overall musculoskeletal health but should only be done by a licensed professional.

Tips for Safety and Comfort

Safety is paramount when attempting to relieve tension in the sternum area. Here are additional tips to ensure that you’re caring for your body correctly:

  • Warm up your muscles with light activity before engaging in stretches or poses.
  • Never push yourself to the point of pain while stretching or taking deep breaths.
  • If you feel sharp pain or something doesn’t seem right, stop immediately and consult a healthcare provider.

In conclusion, while an occasional sternum ‘crack’ might provide relief, it’s essential to focus on safety and avoid self-manipulation that can lead to injury. Always consult with a healthcare professional if you have any concerns about your chest or sternum.


Approaching the desire to crack your sternum should be done with caution and mindfulness. Whether you’re stretching, practicing breathwork, using yoga, or seeking professional chiropractic care, listen to your body and prioritize safety. There is no guaranteed method for cracking your sternum, and if consistently desired, it may be a sign to consult a professional about underlying issues.


Q: Is it safe to try and crack my sternum on my own?
A: Generally, you should never force your sternum to crack. Gentle stretches and natural movements that might lead to a crack are usually safe, but forced manipulation can be harmful. Consult a healthcare provider for personalized advice.

Q: Could a sternum crack indicate a medical problem?
A: If the desire to crack your sternum is due to persistent discomfort or pain, it’s essential to get checked by a medical professional to rule out any potential problems.

Q: How often is it safe to do these stretches and exercises?
A: These stretches and exercises can typically be done daily as part of a regular stretching routine. However, always listen to your body, and if you experience any pain or discomfort, give yourself time to rest and recover.

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