Try The Canadian Sphynx Exercise

Try The Canadian Sphynx Exercise

Today I have a magnificent exercise for you from Dean Somerset of Ruthless Mobility. Dean goes through The Canadian Sphynx Exercise.

I’ll give you a quick definition of this kind of exercise. Some people are born with the bone and joint alignment to be a human version of a blundering person, and others are not. Even if you are stuck with a body having less range of motion than a clam, you should not exist within its confines. I want to show you how to see big jumps in a range of movements quickly and easily. 

Canadian Sphynx Exercise

Enjoy the video. Make sure to give the Canadian Sphynx Exercise a go. It is an excellent exercise to improve your mid-back mobility.

The Two Out Swings Pose ( Canadian Sphynx Pose Exercise) – just hands gliding up and down and working on active extension through the thoracic spine.

1. Sphynx Pose with Elbows


  • You should feel like it’s coming right between the shoulder blades, where the bottom ribs are, and this area should not feel painful. 
  • You should be aware that you feel stiff muscles while doing this exercise.
  • You should always feel like it’s doing something you can breathe, but you feel like it’s stretching in a good way rather than something tearing or breaking your body apart. If this happens, you can reposition and get away. 
  • Lay on your stomach and start working on active stabilization for the shoulders and spine extension. Having this mobility is excellent.
  • Bring your arms up, forward.
  • Come up onto your elbows (called a Sphynx pose).
  • Pack your shoulders down tight as far as you can. 
  • Create tension in those lower traps and lats so that this area is working to hold a lot of people.

Get down

The first thing to do is hang off tension with your shoulder blades up in their ears. You could look up and see the ceiling.

shoulder blades up

  • Raise your sternum a little bit more. If it’s hard for you, you might have severe tightness on either side of your sternum. A lot of people, if they bend their entire life inflection, it’ll probably be tight. That alone is an exercise. You feel it right below the shoulder blades, holding tight. 
  • Make sure your shoulders are low, pull back down, and have a nice long neck.
  • Breathe for a little while. Make sure to create stability, but you should glide an arm forward about three inches. (Remember: Don’t lean towards or away from your arm. And don’t slide up into your ear.)
  • Pull down and tight. Glide and bring back. Breathe. Get stable and tight through this area. Good chest up. Look up at the roof, sphynx pose.

(One way to get the thoracic extension is by playing a game of Pattycake.)

Thoracic Extension

Step 1 -Look up, and make eye contact. So when I hold a hand out, you have to gimme a high five.

Step 2 -Shoulders tighten back. Mimic my shoulder position. Hold. Breathe. Give me five. So he asked to take that arm away and do something with it without dropping and driving. Don’t drop.

Step 3 -Drop your sternum to the floor, then come back up. Do a little stretching. Every rep, when we do high five draws and then come back. Relax. Feel good.

2. Sphynx pose without elbows


  • Bring your arms to come right down to your stomach.
  • Start that position before where your arms are down to the side.
  • Bring your arms up over your forehead.
  • Lift your head off as high as you can.
  • Slide your hands forward and lift them off the ground, but don’t tighten your butt. 
  • Bring your head down a little, tongue in the bottom of your mouth.
  • Breathe by yourself, active endurance for a thoracic spine. 
  • Pump to the ceiling and then back down, but don’t touch your elbows or your hands to the ground. And then back up. 

(Do five of those and breathe every single time. Don’t let anything touch the ground.)

Note: if you can’t do it on your own, use a ballast, do something that can lift you, but work on getting it as good as possible. It doesn’t have to be perfect. There has to be a challenge.

CLICK HERE to get details on the exercise

Rick Kaselj, MS

P.S. – Today, I’d like to announce the release of Ruthless Mobility 2.0. Dean and I have updated it and added a few outstanding components, like physical DVDs.