When I was younger (very young), I had sciatica, which spoiled me for months. I was later prone to sudden stabbing pains in my lower back that left me dancing and limping for hours. For these reasons, I’ve worked hard over the years to strengthen my lower back and torso and haven’t had a problem for a sickly long time. This is, I believe, thanks to exercises like Superman.
Read on to learn more about the benefits of Superman’s workout, and what happened when I added 30 to my morning routine for a week. Looking for more whimsical and cool workout inspiration? Read what happened when I was doing 50 bird dogs a day for a week.
What is a superman workout?
The name is a good indication of what this exercise involves. Lie on your front, extend your arms and legs, and imagine that you are Superman, flying through the air more easily. Imagine the lovable incarnation of Christopher Reeve, the limitations of special effects in the late ’70s ensuring we could see him in full flight. In the recent movies, Henry Cavill moves pretty fast, but that’s CGI for you. You will not need a cloak for this exercise.
What does Superman exercise?
This is a surprisingly broad-based exercise. Let’s start with the back: The spinal muscles are located on either side of the spine and extend from the base of your skull to your hips. These large muscles straighten and strengthen the back and help with rotation. I felt the immediate effect in the lower part of this muscle. But I’ve also noticed that the Superman exercise works parts of my trapezius muscles, which run from the neck, across the shoulders, and down the back, forming a triangular shape. One of their many jobs is good posture help (Opens in a new tab)which aligns with one of the roles of the erect spinal muscles – this is a great movement for total back strength, and is increasingly important at a time when we spend so many waking hours sitting at desks, in the car or on the couch, a lack of activity that means many of us struggle from him Chronic back pain (Opens in a new tab).
What surprised me was how much the movement affected my outer muscles, the muscles that cover the sides of the abdomen, from just below your arms to your pelvis. They don’t get a lot of attention, so I was glad I did an exercise that got them playing. They aid in torso rotation and are essential for overall core strength. In short, for a workout with relatively little movement (unless you’re very flexible), Superman does a lot.
How to do the Superman exercise
I recommend using a cushioned mat for this exercise or doing it on a carpeted floor. I first tried it on a thin yoga mat on the exposed floorboards but found it very uncomfortable. Lie face down on the floor with your legs straight and your arms outstretched in front of you. Don’t worry if you can’t get your arms completely straight, but try to reach as far as is comfortable. Do not raise your head to look forward, as this will put pressure on your neck.
Inhale and raise your arms and legs as high as possible without disturbing, keeping all fours as straight as possible. You may not be able to lift it more than a few inches. Again, don’t let this bother you. Try to raise your belly button off the floor. You should engage the gluteal, erect, and trapezius muscles.
Hold this position for a few seconds, breathe normally, and then slowly lower to the floor. This is one representative. Aim for 3 sets of 10 reps.
I played 30 Superman for a week and this is what happened
The first day is when I learn, usually to my disappointment, my range of motion for a particular exercise. At first, I found it difficult to lift my legs while keeping them straight, but it was well worth the effort. Don’t give in to the temptation to bend your knees a little. Does Superman do this when he flies? No he didn’t. Also, doing this means that you’re not working your glutes, lower back, or core, so you may be lying on the floor asleep. I managed 30 reps, and felt the effort mostly in my lower back.
Day two was a repeat of one, although my breathing was better. The main drawback of this exercise is the lack of movement, so you may be tempted to think that there is not much going on. There, believe me. However, I tend to find the first two days of these week-long tests less satisfying.
On the third day, I noticed a noticeable improvement (I tell you!). My form was better; I could lift my legs up a bit by focusing more on my butt muscles, and I could feel my shoulders and core working harder. My arms were straighter, too. I hit 30 reps and jumped on both feet. I felt energized because I worked into proper form, and because I felt more flexible and stronger. I also felt mentally sharper – I can’t explain it.
On the fourth day, I noticed the effects more in my shoulder than in my lower back, which made me feel like my body was sharing the burden more effectively. When I tried to straighten my arms as much as possible, they still tended to move farther. Watch out for this, because holding them straight and close improves the effect of the movement. Aim to keep your upper arms close to your head. Also try to make sure that your legs do not drift too far from each other.
By day five I didn’t have to think about form or effort. I managed 35 reps but then my dog came and tried to sit on my back. The session has ended.
The sixth day brought a new sensation: I could feel the movement forcefully in my outer curves, as if they had finally awakened, or more accurately, as if I was learning to engage them properly.
By day seven I still don’t feel like lifting my arms and legs off the ground, but that doesn’t matter. If you watch videos of this movement, don’t feel like you have to emulate the highly flexible species that can almost make a C shape with their body. This is not how Superman flies.
There are many benefits to this step. The first is that it suits all levels of exercise (although if you have any concerns, consult a medical professional first). It is also convenient, does not require any equipment and does not take much time. This won’t tire you out, but it will work on a group of muscles to aid your posture and help prevent a lower back injury. The disincentive is that it is not dynamic. You won’t feel like you’re doing much, because the amount of movement is minimal. But it works. You’ll never be able to face Lex Luthor, and you’ll probably never rock a kiss, but the superman is the winner.
Probably? paying off What Happened When Our Fitness Editor Tried Chris Hemsworth’s 250 Reps Dumbbell Workout And the Abdominal workout with 600 reps Lily James. Looking to build strength from the comfort of your own home? We have also selected a file Best adjustable dumbbells in the market here.