How to Do the Superman Exercise the Right Way
When imagining Superman, you may envision the superhero flying about or playing with your kids, raising them in the air. However, the Superman exercise will strengthen your core like no other. The various benefits and methods of the exercise and the potential mistakes you may make have been covered in this article. To learn about the benefits of the exercise, keep reading and become an expert in no time.
What Is Superman Exercise?
Superman exercise is a simple core strengthening exercise. It strengthens the backbone, abs, shoulders, buttocks, and hamstrings. Our body is attached to the central part called the trunk. The trunk contains the core muscles. The core muscles majorly strengthen the pectoralis major, transverse abdominis, rectus abdominis, external oblique, and internal oblique. These core muscles help you bend forward, bend backward, stand firm on the ground, walk with a heavy load or run fast without tripping. Continue doing it regularly, and it will help you be healthy and energetic in your day-to-day activities.
Superman exercise is a simple yet effective way to strengthen your muscles.
Benefits of Superman Exercise
Superman exercise helps improve the strength of the backbone. Additionally, it is suited for your chest, spine, abdomen, and buttocks, shoulder, and leg muscles by strengthening and stretching them. It supports the spine, makes the muscles stronger, and reduces the risk of injury to your body. Moreover, it makes you feel younger and lighter. Not just your body, it gives a fresh feeling to your mind as well.
1. Strengthens Spine
The spinal cord, or the backbone, helps your body to stand straight. Superman exercise helps eliminate the stiffness of your spine, thereby making it more flexible. By doing the Superman exercise regularly, you will see a notable difference in your ability to do everyday chores. You will also feel active throughout the day.
2. Improves Posture
With increasing age, the backbone starts taking a C-curve as your shoulder starts drooping and your knees start bending. The superman exercise helps keep your posture well maintained – it helps you walk straight, improving your overall health.
3. Prevents Injury
A strong backbone can endure strenuous activities with minimal chance of injury. You can keep your bones strong by keeping your muscles moving and flexible. However, due to an inactive lifestyle, the muscles start getting stiff. If any pressure is exerted on a rigid muscle, it cannot endure it, leading to tears in the muscles or ligaments. With proper care and treatment, the muscles and ligaments may repair, but there could still be occasional pain. Hence, precaution is better than cure. It must be your daily habit to exercise to prevent injury.
4. Strengthens Muscles
This exercise helps stretch most of your body muscles, which means that you can improve all of them in one go. Some people quickly get cramps in their legs. Some get neck pain due to excessive sitting in front of the screen. Some people get back pain while doing everyday chores, while others cannot keep standing for a long time. The simple Superman exercises can improve all such health conditions.
5. Improves Coordination Among Muscles
As adults, we generally get accustomed to a particular style of living. Due to this, only those muscles work which we need for our everyday work. Other muscles gradually stop working. If we suddenly try to use the unused muscles, we may fall or trip, or we cannot do so with ease. E.g., If you have not run for a long time and someday you suddenly participate in a running competition thinking that you were a good athlete in childhood, there are chances of you stumbling and injuring yourself. The superman exercise can help build greater coordination between stiff and working muscles. With regular workouts, increasingly more muscles can work in better coordination, leading to fewer injuries.
Sportspeople emphasize the importance of core strengthening exercises for greater efficiency and minimum risk of injury. For achieving the same, you can do the Superman stretch, Superman plank, and Superman hold poses regularly.
When to Do the Superman Exercise
Anyone can do the Superman exercise at any time of the day. Just make sure that your last meal was taken at least 2-3 hours before doing this exercise. Hence, morning or evening is the most preferred time as your stomach is light during those hours. Do it regularly in the comfort of your home, in your garden, or even in a nearby park. Wherever you choose to, remember to carry a yoga mat with you. If you are doing it at home, you can even do it on a carpet or a rug. The surface should not be too soft like your bed or as hard as your floor. You may do the Superman pose before or after a workout. Ten to fifteen minutes of Superman exercises help your muscles to stretch and warm-up, preparing you for higher intensity exercises. Some like to do it after a workout as they feel relaxed after doing so.
How to Do the Superman Exercise Poses
To do the superman exercise correctly, follow these steps:
- Lie on your stomach and stretch your arms and legs
- Keep your head in a neutral position
- Exhale the air slowly
- Now start inhaling and simultaneously also start lifting your hands, legs, and face upwards.
- Try to lift your body parts as high as you can without causing excessive strain to your body.
- Remain in the position for three to five seconds. Remember to keep breathing in this position.
- Exhale slowly and come down to the rest position.
Repeat one set five times. Take rest for 1-2 minutes and repeat the same process for two more sets. In the beginning, do not strain yourself to do the three sets of Superman pose forcefully. Do what your body permits, and you may gradually increase the frequency.
Variations of Superman Exercise
Now when you have practised the classic Superman stretch pose enough and are confident of taking some more challenges for better benefits, you can try out the following versions of the Superman pose:
1. Medicine Ball Superman
Lie down on a mat on your belly with arms & legs outstretched, holding a lightweight medicine ball in your hands. Slowly raise your hands & legs upwards as high as possible. Hold the position, count till three, and then slowly lower the body back down on the mat, and repeat. You can do this 10-12 times in three sets.
2. Alternating Superman
Lie down on a mat on your belly with your arms stretched. Raise your left arm & right leg above the ground slowly as far as possible. Hold them at the top position for the count of 3 & then relax. Repeat the same with the right hand & left leg. Keep doing it alternately as long as you can. You can do this 10-12 times in 4 sets.
3. Quad Superman
You can start this exercise by being on your hand & knees with your neck being straight. Raise your right hand & left leg at shoulder height, balancing your body with the left hand & right knee on the floor. Hold on at this position for five seconds. Then lower your hand & leg at the original position. Repeat the same with the other hand & leg. You can do this 10-12 times in four sets.
4. Cobra Superman
You can start this exercise by lying down on your belly. Stretch your hands back towards your buttocks. Now slowly try to pull your head, shoulders, and legs up. This exercise puts a lot of strain on your muscles. You should continue this only if your boy feels comfortable.
5. Standing Superman
Stand up straight. Raise both your arms up in the air. Now slowly, start bending forward. While doing so, take your right leg backward. Keep your left foot firmly on the ground. Both the hands and legs should come in the level of the shoulder. Stay in that position for 3-5 seconds and slowly come back to the original position. Now repeat the same steps with the left leg up and the right foot on the ground. You may repeat the whole process five times.
6. Superman With Elbows Bent
This is quite similar to the original Superman pose. The only difference is in the position of the hands. In this elbow bent pose, the hands are bent at the elbows at 90-degrees. Position the hand similar to doing push-ups. Once you take that pose, you may now slowly lift yourself. This pose is also known as Superman pushups.
7. Superman Plank
In the Superman plank pose, your right hand and left leg will be in a plank position, whereas the alternate hands and legs will be in the Superman position. It should be only done if you are comfortable with doing regular planks.
Mistakes When Performing the Superman Exercise
The Superman workout is excellent if done carefully. There are some risks and precautions that you need to keep in mind. It is essential to listen to your body while doing anything. Here are some commonly made mistakes while doing the Superman exercises.
- Looking up – Many people tend to look up while lifting themselves, which can lead to injuries. Place your head between your hands while you are on the ground. Now, while lifting, move your head and hands to the same distance from the ground.
- Straightening the toes – The toes must be kept in the natural position as they are on the ground. Although you may feel like stretching them a little more, it might lead to cramps.
- Bending your knees and elbows – You should remember that this is a stretching exercise. Keep your joints straight and stretched.
- Not Breathing while the head is up – You should keep your breathing regular while your head is up. Do not hold your breath in that position.
- Stretching longer than what body permits – You are certainly doing the Superman pose for benefits. But it takes time to yield the benefits. Do not try to make up for an entire week’s exercise in a one-day session. Be slow but be steady.
It is vital to keep your body fit. Good nutrition, along with proper exercise, will help you to go a long way. Start including the Superman exercise in your routine for a fit and healthy body and combine it with a healthy, balanced diet for your overall wellbeing.