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What Is the Superman Exercise?
The superman exercise, also known as the superman hold, is an isometric bodyweight exercise that can improve your back and core strength. Perform superman exercises by lying facedown on an exercise mat with your legs extended and your arms straight in front of your head. Keep your neck in a neutral position as you lift your chest, arms, and legs a couple of inches off the ground. Hold this position for the desired amount of time.
4 Muscles Activated by the Superman Exercise
The superman exercise activates several muscle groups throughout your body.
- Erector spinae: Superman exercises activate your lower back muscles—specifically the erector spinae muscle group responsible for back extension. With practice, the superman is a great exercise for improving your upper body posture.
- Core muscles: The superman exercise activates your upper and lower abs as you hold your body position during the exercise. Practice superman exercises along with other isometric exercises like planks to build a stronger core.
- Gluteus maximus: Engage your glutes to keep your lower body elevated during the superman exercise. For additional glute activation, wear ankle weights or hold a dumbbell between your feet.
- Hamstrings: Along with your glutes, your hamstrings keep your legs elevated during the exercise. If you want to activate your hamstrings even more, consider including the alternating superman variation into your workout routine by lifting your left leg and right arm off the floor simultaneously. On the next repetition, lift your opposite leg and opposite arm.
How to Do the Superman Exercise With Perfect Form
For the superman exercise, begin by performing 2–3 sets of 10–15 repetitions. Choose your sets and repetitions based on your ability to maintain good technique throughout.
- Lie facedown on an exercise mat with your legs straight and your arms straight over your head. Keep your arms long without locking your elbows. Your chin should remain tucked throughout the movement, as if you were holding an egg under your chin.
- Rotate your shoulders outward to engage your lats and upper back. Pre-tension your shoulders and hips, and engage your core. Your pelvis should be slightly tucked and your ribs should be down. All repetitions should begin from this starting position.
- Squeeze your glutes and back muscles and lift your chest, arms, and legs a couple of inches off the ground. Pause at the top of the movement.
- Slowly lower to the starting position. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.