How do you perform the superman exercise? If you’re looking for a single activity to target your lower back, glutes, hamstrings, and abs, then the superman exercise is for you! However, because it has so many variations, all fitness levels can engage in this technique and benefit from stretching, strengthening, and conditioning. In this guide, we look at the variations of the superman exercise – how to perform it, injury prevention, and the multitude of fitness benefits.
What is the Superman Exercise?
You perform the superman exercises by placing your stomach, arms, and legs flat on the ground in an extended position. Then, you can slowly lift both arms and legs at different degrees and hold these positions for seconds to minutes, depending on your fitness and strength. Incorporating these movements into your daily or weekly workout is an excellent way to enhance your body condition and target your core muscles.
The Fitness Benefits of Superman Exercises
Anyone can perform these exercises anywhere! Supermans don’t require gym equipment, so you can easily incorporate these core strengthening movements into your daily exercise routine. Not only does it target the muscles in your abdomen and back, but it also helps improve your flexibility and strengthens your spine to your hips.
Do you suffer from acute or chronic tension? These core exercises are one of the best ways to free the tension in your neck, shoulders, and back because it helps to rotate the spine and the interconnecting muscles. In addition, the flex and contraction of the core muscles will free up tension and improve your overall mobility without the experience of restrictions and pain.
Along with improving the condition of your spine and abdominal muscles, the extensions by keeping your arms and legs up will help to target your hamstrings and your glutes. It is a simple and effective way of strengthening your entire body using no gym equipment. You can also perform as many reps and sets as you feel comfortable with.
Superman Exercise – How to Perform the Classic Technique
The classic technique is best performed by lying flat on the floor and extending your legs and arms out in front of you. First, hold your head in an aligned position so avoid looking upwards, which places an extra strain on your cervical spine. Next, raise your arms and your legs gently off the ground until you can feel the muscles in your back contract and hold for only 3 seconds before releasing.
The more you perform these movements and the longer you can hold the position, the more targeted these techniques are, the more flexible your spine and muscles become. With time, you can improve your strength and form, which will help you engage in modified versions of these techniques. It is a unique way of enhancing the condition of your lumbar muscles and encourages your range of motion with no expensive gym equipment.
Superman Exercise – How to Perform Different Types
Once you’ve accomplished the classic stretches and poses, you can incorporate alternate versions of the popular technique to change your routine and enhance the movements’ intensity. For example, you can include weights such as a medicine ball or raise the alternate leg and arm to encourage balance, stability, and strength. Let’s inspect the substitute exercises you can complete and the higher intensity exercises to change your workout.
We can perform the first exercises with a medicine ball to increase the workout’s overall intensity and help strengthen the abdominal, core, and spinal muscles. For the modified superman exercise, this technique includes holding the medicine ball between your hands. As you stretch out and lift your arms and legs in a straight position, exhale and hold this position for around 5 seconds, after which you can perform three sets of 10 to 12 reps.
Another popular modification of classic superman is the Aquaman, in which you will alternate between your arms and legs rather than hold them up at the same time. You start in the same position as the classic movement, but lift your left arm and your right leg (or vice versa) and hold like this for approximately 5 seconds. Repeat with the alternating arm and leg, and you can perform up to 4 sets of 10 to 12 reps each.
Alternatives to Supermans
For many who are starting these exercises, it isn’t easy to maintain the lift of your arms and legs if you haven’t worked or targeted these areas previously. It is also crucial for those who may have had a lumbar injury or surgery to protect these areas before performing these movements. So, let’s look at the substitute exercises for the superman exercise – how to achieve and its benefits.
Lie on the floor with your stomach flat on the floor and legs stretched outwards while placing your hands under your chin. While keeping your body flat, only lift your upper body off the floor with your arms in a bent position held on either side of your head. Your back should always remain supported and aligned to avoid the possibility of injuries, strains, and misalignment.
Avoiding the Incorrect Form
To avoid the incorrect form, you will need to pay attention to your back and head position. Lifting your head too high will place a severe strain on your neck and upper spinal column while limiting the ability to target the desired core muscles. Likewise, pay attention to your upper body position and always keep your legs and arms straight, not locked, to prevent sustaining injuries.
When you engage in the superman exercise, performing this technique can go a long way to encouraging balance and flexibility. In addition, it is a practical approach to strengthening and targeting your core while promoting the release of tension. You can also perform these exercises at varying intensity levels in your home, making it the perfect option for those interested in improving their overall fitness!