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Bodyweight: Superman

In addition to the superman exercise, you can check out my Bodyweight Exercises page for a lot more exercises!

Works

  • Back
  • Neck
  • Glutes
  • Hamstrings
  • Shoulders

Superman Exercise

The superman is one of the best exercises for the lower back, and works to strengthen the entire back area all the way up and down the spine. The superman exercise is really great for people with weak backs because it doesn’t require lifting anything heavy, it’s only bodyweight. Since you are lying down as you perform it, there is much less compression on your intervertebral discs.

The superman exercise requires zero equipment, so it’s one that you can do anywhere. Even though the superman is a safe exercise, it shouldn’t be taken lightly. The superman exercise is very intense, and is a lot harder than it looks. Do not perform the superman exercise if you’re pregnant, as the superman exercise puts pressure on your abdominal cavity.

Method

  1. Lie on the ground face-down, with your arms reaching forward and above your head. You may want to consider using some type of mat, or soft surface to lay on. Extend your legs straight out behind you.
  2. Determine the length of time that you’ll want to hold the exercise for. Once you begin, count to that number in your head.
  3. Inhale, and lift your head and stretch your arms out in front of you.
  4. Contract your back muscles to the extent that your feet and chest lift off the ground. Raise them as high as you can. Keep your arms parallel to one another and pointed straight ahead. Your face should be looking towards the ground, doing your best to keep the head in neutral alignment with the rest of the spine.
  5. Hold the form for as long as you can, or until you reach your determined length of time.
  6. Repeat for several sets.

Modifications

  1. Try contracting and relaxing concurrently in order to increase the intensity of the superman exercise.  If you perform this method, you’ll want to do a repetition based exercise as opposed to a timed duration.
  2. To decrease the intensity of the superman exercise, try lifting just your chest off the floor, or maybe even just your feet.

Superman

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