The sphinx exercise is a baseline rehab drill for the lower half of the body, specifically the low back and hips. In a society that chronically pulls us forward and into destabilizing flexion of our spine and joints, this exercise allows us to fight back with full extension.
A few key points to focus on:
- Find the Right Amount of Extension – If you are injured, you may not be able to achieve very much extension before feeling pain at the site of tissue damage or inflammation. Only go to where it is “relatively” pain-free and very manageable and ensure that your breathing and slight rocking are the things that allow you to RELAX into deeper range of motion.
- Don’t Over Rock – Less is more with the rocking. You are simply trying to isolate stretch to the front part of the body on one side when you do this. Furthermore, you are assessing if there is imbalance in how much you can rock. If there is, than spend more time on the restricted side so you can achieve balance and a positive healing environment in your body.
- Progress as Capable – If you stop feeling stretch and imbalance when you rock, than move your elbows forward (so they are closer to being under your shoulders). This will increase your extension and help you move closer to the range of motion of which your body is intended. If you achieve elbows under shoulders positioning, than the next phase is to have your arms straight but out in front of your body. As you improve with this variant, you will move your hands closer to under you shoulders until you achieve 100% full global extension. Remember, only progress if the next phase is “relatively” pain-free and you can relax into more extension.
Remember, this is good for patients, but it is also good for just about every human being regardless of age or injury status.
Good Luck and Keep Moving