How to do the Superman

What is a Superman?

A Superman, per the Wikipedia page on the subject, is “a fictional character and superhero… Superman was born on the plant Krypton and was given the name Kal-El at birth. As a baby, his parents sent him to Earth in a small spaceship moments before Krypton was destroyed in a natural cataclysm. His ship landed in the American countryside, near the fictional town of Smallville. He was found and adopted by farmers Jonathan and Martha Kent, who named him Clark Kent. Clark developed various superhuman abilities, such as incredible strength and impervious skin… To protect his privacy, he changes into a colorful costume and uses the alias “Superman” when fighting crime”. 

What the Wikipedia page fails to mention is that the Superman is also an excellent lower back exercise, so out of a sincere duty to the public good I thought I might fill in the gaps here. A Superman is core exercise that strengthens your lower back. A lot of times these muscles in your lower back are neglected in core workouts, so we must not forget the Superman like Wikipedia did. 

The following muscle group is engaged by the Superman:

  • Core

How to Do a Superman (Instructions):

Start in a prone position with your chest and legs on the ground. With your arms extended forward, raise your arms and legs up off the ground. Focus on tightening your glutes, balancing your body and maintaining your breaths. Hold your body in that position, then return to starting position. This movement mimics Superman’s body posture while flying.

Trainer Tips for the Superman: 

  • Progression (make harder)
    • Hold the movement for more time (45-60 seconds). 
    • Instead of raising both arms and both legs, lift one arm and one leg at a time. For example, with your belly on the ground, raise your right arm and your left leg, hold, lower, and then raise your left arm and your right leg, hold, lower, and repeat.
    • Eat a bowl of cereal sprinkled with Kryptonite before doing the movement.
  • Regression (make easier)
    • Hold the movement for less time (15 seconds). Clark has a deadline at the Daily Planet and can’t devote too much time to exercise this week. 
  • Application:
    • Do 3 sets of 30 second holds as a part of your core workout. You are fighting Doomsday in a month. 
    • Add this movement to the end of your core workout.
The Superman is used in the Layman’s Fitness 12 Week Bodyweight Program, which you can learn more about here

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