Exercises You Should Be Doing: Prone Sphinx

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If you were talking to twelve year old Tony, the Prone Sphinx sounds like some sweet WWF Wrestling move that Hulk Hogan or Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka would perform on one of their opponents during WrestleMania.

Alas, I’m not twelve, and don’t watch WrestleMania on Mondays anymore, so in this context it refers to the mythical creature that has the head of a human and the body of a lion. You know, real life.=

Kidding aside, the Prone Sphinx is the name of an exercise I feel has a lot of merit and usefulness.

Who Did I Steal It From: Dr. Mark Cheng in his Prehab=Rehab 101 DVD.

What Does It Do: It’s an awesome drill that helps to improve scapular stability in addition to core stability, and with certain progressions works on t-spine mobility and pectoral length.

Key Coaching Cues: Due to the position of the exercise you’d have to clear someone of extension-based back pain before implementing it, but assuming there’s no issues some things to consider:

1. It’s important to reset the scapulae prior to each rep. This ensures that no shrugging occurs and that the shoulders are packed.

2. The non-moving side must remain packed throughout!

3. Don’t rush through the progressions. This drill is a lot harder than it looks.

4. Probably best used as part of an extended warm-up or as a filler exercise for most people. But I could see this exercise being used as a “main movement” for some.

Prone Sphinx


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Plus, get a copy of Tony’s Pick Things Up, a quick-tip guide to everything deadlift-related. See his butt? Yeah. It’s good. You should probably listen to him if you have any hope of getting a butt that good.

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