Saturday, February 18, 2012

It's a Bird...It's a Plane...It's SuperWOMAN


Lie on the ground face-down, arms crossed above your head so you can rest your forehead on your forearms (rather than having your nose smushed into the ground).  Alternatively, just keep your head raised and looking forward when in the setup/rest position. Your legs should be straight out behind you.  A soft surface, such as carpet or a yoga mat is preferable.
superman exercise setup
  1. When you’re ready to begin a set, lift your head and stretch your arms out in front of you
  2. Contract your back muscles such that your feet and chest lift off the ground as high as you can get them, keeping your arms parallel to one another and pointed straight ahead
  3. Hold the contraction for as long as you can (typically 30-60 seconds for an untrained body)
  4. Repeat once or twice as desired, no more often than every other day
superman exercise execution

Tips and Variations

  1. To increase intensity of the superman exercise, you can add a concentric element to it by contracting and then relaxing (e.g., do 3 sets of 30 repetitions) rather than simply holding the superman exercise position for an extended period.
  2. To decrease the intensity of the superman exercise, you can either do the superman exercise without shoes on or leave your arms resting by your side (i.e., only lift your chest), or both.

Muscles Workedmultifidi muscles

  1. In laymen’s terms: back, neck, butt, hamstrings, and shoulders
  2. Specifically:
    1. Erector Spinae
    2. Quadratus Lumborum
    3. Multifidi
    4. Transversus Abdominus
    5. Gluteus Maximus
    6. Hamstrings
    7. Deltoids


The superman exercise is one of the best exercise someone with back problems can do.  The superman exercise, unlike other back exercises, strengthens the entire portion of the erector spinae and all of the multifidi all the way up and down the spine.  Additionally, the exercise necessitates that every vertebrae move relative to one another, thereby making the superman exercise a good vertebra joint mobilization.  The superman exercise is also the single best exercise someone with excessive kyphosis (a condition called desk jockey) can do because the strengthening of the erector spinae muscles will, over time, reduce the forward curvature of the thoracic spine acquired from years of idle sitting. 

No comments:

Post a Comment