Everyone has a different tolerance for pain, but most people will agree that the ribs are a placement that causes a lot of discomfort! This is due to the thin skin in the area and proximity to bone. For this reason, this spot should be reserved for designs that are truly meaningful and super cool. The location is not for the fainthearted, but getting inked here usually has a very masculine and powerful appearance. There are plenty of options to choose from too, whether you want something large and detailed or small and simple. You can honor your faith with a cross or bible verse or embrace your inner strength with a lion or dragon tattoo. It is also a fantastic location for quotes and roman numerals, giving you a chance to celebrate the words, or dates, that move you. To help inspire your next design, keep reading.
1. Feather Rib Tattoo
One of the things that humans find most interesting about birds is their ability to fly. It is a quality we have tried to replicate, obsessing with aviation techniques and technology. Birds could not take flight without their feathers, and because of this, there is a sense of freedom associated with them. The feather also represents courage, strength, and wisdom and holds great significance in certain cultures, including the Native Americans. Depending on the bird you choose, your tattoo can take on even more meaning, making your design personal and unique to you. You can also make it into an angel wing if you are religious.
2. Side Rib Tattoo
You probably won’t want to wear a shirt all that often if you opt for a side rib tattoo because they are so cool. They have a powerful and masculine appearance, and it is an excellent placement for a meaningful design and can be quite striking when skillfully completed. There is so much choice for tats in this area because it is large enough to allow for something significant, whether that is a detailed design with multiple themes, for example, exploring your religious side or honoring a loved one. Alternatively, small or simple pieces also look good in this spot, and this may be a less painful option. It is worth noting that the rib is one of the places that will hurt the most to get inked. That is because of the thin skin and proximity to bone.
3. Dream Catcher Rib Tattoo
The dreamcatcher is a beautiful handwoven object that is designed to help an individual sleep peacefully. It is meant to filter out bad dreams and negative thoughts and has great cultural significance to the Native Americans. The talisman has become a popular tattoo choice because of its intricate detailing, making it visually interesting, and because of its meaning, it can also symbolize protection and spirituality.
4. Simple Rib Tattoo
A simple tattoo on your rib can be effortlessly cool. This could be anything from an outline of your favorite animal to the name of a loved one. The beauty of this option is that ink like this is usually uncomplicated and devoid of detail. Therefore, it will not take a long time to complete, and the discomfort and the cost will be reduced. Most basic pieces are finished in black ink, focusing on the work’s meaning more than the design itself.
5. Wolf Rib Tattoo
The wolf is an animal that symbolizes family. In the wild, they live and hunt in packs, thus representing a strong familial bond and serving as a reminder that sometimes we need others in our life. There is strength in numbers and that you are not alone. The canine is also associated with loyalty and spirituality. To some Native American tribes, the wolf has cultural significance, and it commands great respect. Regardless of the meaning you want to connect to your tattoo, it is a powerful and masculine choice.
6. Snake Rib Tattoo
Snakes are popular symbols to get inked for many reasons. Firstly, they are universally recognized and have different meanings and importance to several cultures, and secondly, they’re filled with symbolism and have a striking appearance. If you want to instill fear in someone, you can do it with a hyper-realistic serpent inking. They are also often associated with healing or death or rebirth and transformation because the creature sheds its skin. Placement options that are long and narrow or big enough to allow for detailing and give the illusion of movement are best when it comes to getting a snake tat, and the rib is a great choice!
7. Cross Tattoo on Ribs
Religious individuals often want to honor their faith with a tattoo, and a cross is one of the most common and popular ways to do so. The symbol often represents the love of Jesus Christ and the sacrifices he made for humankind. It can also indicate everlasting love or a desire to remain good and stay on a righteous path. There are many ways to interpret this design and what it means to you. It can also serve as a memorial piece, and you can add the name and date of your loved one or your favorite Bible verse.
8. Bible Verse Tattoo
If you want to honor your faith or remember how you want to stay on the right path or express what is important to you, then a tattoo of a Bible verse is a great choice. You can pick your favorite, or the one that has the most meaning for you, and let it serve as a reminder of the important things. It is also a beautiful way to stay true to yourself and your religion. The rib is an excellent placement because you do not have to share your ink with the world if you do not want to, making it even more special and personal.
9. Dragon Rib Tattoo
If you want a tattoo that represents fearlessness and passion, then a dragon is a great choice. The mythical creature is feared and respected, making it a powerful and masculine choice for a man to get inked. The dragon’s shape also makes it a fantastic choice for this location as it can wrap around the back and onto the rib cag or feature down the side. Depending on the size and color of your design, it can also have different meanings. A red dragon is a symbol of wisdom, while a black one is associated with bravery and strength.
10. Lion Rib Tattoo
You are the ruler of your life and destiny, so why not show that with your body art? Tattoos are a form of self-expression and creativity, and the lion is a striking choice and a symbolic one. The big cat represents nobility, power, and bravery. It is often inked as a reminder of your inner strength or for an individual who has overcome hardship. This majestic beast is detailed and beautiful, and your ribs provide a big enough placement to allow for an accurate representation of this. Hyper-realistic lion tattoos are definitely the most striking choices!
11. Tiger Rib Tattoo
The tiger is a powerful predator, and in its natural habitat, it is at the top of the food chain. A skilled hunter, both silent and deadly, and a popular choice to get inked for men who want an animal associated with strength, independence, and freedom. There are many different styles to choose from, including traditional and realistic, all of which will make for a striking, albeit painful, piece when tattooed across your rib cage.
12. Bird Rib Tattoo
If you are wondering if a tattoo on your rib hurts, the answer is yes, which is why the placement should be reserved for pieces that are truly meaningful to you. You do not want to endure severe pain for a design that you may come to regret, but birds are a wonderful choice for any man because they are associated with freedom and courage. Our winged friends also have the ability to fly and often migrate in the winter, making them a lovely choice for an individual who likes to be on the move or has a love for travel. Depending on the bird species you choose, the meaning of your tat can also change. For example, an owl represents wisdom, the afterlife, and all things mystic, while an eagle can indicate your patriotism or be a way to express courage and spirituality.
13. Rose Rib Tattoo
A rose tattoo is a fantastic option for men because it is rich in symbolism. It can represent the balance between beauty and pain and serve as a reminder to be cautious in life and be wary of trusting others. It can also symbolize new beginnings, life, and love. Each color of the bloom has a different meaning. For example, red is symbolic of passion, and black takes on a darker meaning of loss, death, and destruction. The flower is also exceptionally versatile and works well on its own or as a filler for other pieces, with popular options including butterflies or skulls.
14. Phoenix Rib Tattoo
Do you want a tattoo that focuses on life, death, and rebirth? The phoenix is a fantastic choice for the man who contemplates mortality and wants a design that reflects this. The mythical creature rises from the ashes of its predecessor, and this can be interpreted as a way to focus on the future and new beginnings. To allow for its full effect, this tat is always best completed in color. The warm red, yellow, and orange hues create an impressive visual and make you think of fire. In the context of this tattoo, the flames often represent struggle or adversity.
15. Roman Numerals Tattoo
Everyone has a number that is special to them. This could be anything from a birthday to the day you got married, and to celebrate this date, many men opt to get a roman numerals tattoo. We don’t use this numeric system in our day-to-day lives, which makes it more interesting, and most people have to do a double-take before figuring out what it means. This makes it even more special. You can honor a loved one who has passed or celebrate the birth of a child. The symbols also work well when accompanied by various other images, including flowers and clocks. The ribs’ location is a great choice because it is close to your heart, adding even greater meaning to your ink.
16. Small Flower Rib Tattoo
Flower tattoos are wonderful choices for both men and women because of their versatility and meaning. There are so many different species to choose from, each with its symbolism. For example, the violet is connected with virtue and innocence, while the lotus represents rebirth, enlightenment, and strength. The appeal of floral body art is also that it works well in both big and small designs. You can opt for a large inking across your ribs or something tiny. Both choices are special and make for visually interesting ink.
17. Heart Rib Tattoo
The heart is universally recognized and a popular image for a tattoo. You can choose an anatomically correct design, or a simple symbol, depending on your personal preference. Both are rich in symbolism and often represent life, love, and passion. This is an inking that is open to interpretation. For some people, it can mean a relationship, heartbreak, and personal loss. There are various techniques to choose from, from simple and small pieces to more detailed designs, including geometric and watercolor options.
18. Butterfly Rib Tattoo
Butterflies are beautiful insects and look fantastic when tattoed in both black or color ink. There are so many different species, each with its meaning, but in general, the butterfly represents freedom and transformation. It is a fantastic design as a standalone piece or combined with other images. Popular choices include flowers or skulls. A man who wants a reminder of how he has overcome hardship in his life or is experiencing a significant period of growth or change may be drawn to this option.
19. Quote Rib Tattoo
A quote tattoo is one of the most popular choices for a rib cage placement because the writing seems to work so well in this area. The location is also large enough to allow for several sentences, or your chosen quote could be just a few words. The beauty of an inking like this is that there is so much versatility, and whatever you choose will be deeply meaningful to you. Perhaps it is lyrics from your favorite song, a moving poem, or even a handwritten note from a loved one. It is not hard to see why a man would want to get tattooed so close to his heart with words that have impacted his life.
20. Angel Rib Tattoo
Angels are thought to be the messengers of God. They represent the balance between heaven and earth and are often associated with righteousness and good deeds. That said, there are many different archangels to choose from, which can alter your ink’s meaning slightly and can also represent vengeance or wrath. If you are a religious individual or feel inspired by the symbolism associated with these beings, then this is a perfect tattoo choice for you. A ribcage is also an excellent place for a piece so full of symbolism.
How painful are rib tattoos?
If you are tempted to get tattooed on your rib, you may be asking yourself how painful the process is? For most people, this placement is among the most painful, and discomfort can be severe for some individuals. The reason is the thin skin and proximity to the bone and the fact that it can enhance this pain when you breathe.
How long do rib tattoos last?
Rib tattoos take, on average, around four hours to complete and take around two weeks to heal. As for how long they last before needing to be retouched depends on several factors. These include the size of your piece, the detailing, and the use of color or black ink. Designs in this location will not fade as quickly as other spots like the hands and elbows, but you should ensure you take care of your ink by keeping it out of the sun and regularly using moisturizer.
What is an excellent first tattoo for a guy?
There are many great tattoo options for a man, and your choice depends on what appeals to you. You can get a dragon design if you want something representing wisdom and strength or a bird to represent freedom. Other options include quotes, Roman numerals, and bible verses. When deciding on what ink is best for you, you should also consider the placement. It is best not to opt for the most painful area but rather choose somewhere like the arm or thigh with thick skin and muscle and won't cause much discomfort.
Are the ribs the most painful place to get a tattoo?
Every person's pain tolerance is different, but in general, the ribs are considered among the most painful places to get tattooed. Other spots that will cause a lot of discomfort include the armpit, groin, elbows, kneecap, and behind the shins.