Do you experience back or just want to strengthen your back? A great exercise for the lower back is the Superman, which gives you back extension.
What Muscles Do Supermans Work?
Supermans work the following muscles:
- The erector spinae: a set of muscles that run vertically along the side of the vertebral column, originating at the hip and extending up to the skull. These muscles help rotate and extend the spine and neck.
- Upper Back Muscles: Trapezius (large paired muscles that extend longitudinally from the posterior top of the neck to the middle of the back and laterally from one end of the scapula to the other end. It supports the arm and retracts, rotates, and depresses the scapula). Rhomboids (muscles that go on top of the scapula on each side of the upper back. They move and support the scapula and rotate the glenoid cavity.
- Gluteal muscles: They are referred to as booty and are involved in the extension, abduction, and rotation of the hip joint. They also help keep the body erect.
- Hamstrings: These muscles are located in the posterior thigh in between the hip and the knee, and are involved in hip and knee movements. They are antagonists to the quadriceps and participate in the deceleration of knee extension.
- Shoulders: Rotator Cuff (a group of muscles and tendons that stabilize the shoulder and allow for its extensive range of motion). Rear Deltoids (posterior fibers of the deltoids involved in external rotation and assist the lats to extend the shoulder).
Benefits of Supermans
- Back Health: Your back muscles play an essential role in spinal stability. Strengthening them helps keep your back healthy and prevent and alleviate back injuries.
- Back Pain: One of the most common complaints I hear relates to back pain and discomfort. The most common cause of this is the weakness of the core and back muscles, which is why strengthening these muscles is so important.
- Posture: Sitting down most of the day can cause a forward-dropping posture, which is not good for your body. Supermans extend and rotate your spine and neck, helping correct poor posture over time.
- Versatility: The superman exercise is easy to implement and doesn’t require any equipment. You only need your body weight. Plus, you can perform it anywhere.
How to Do Supermans
- Lie face down on a mat, with your legs straight. proceed to stretch out your arms in front of you.
- Keep your head in a neutral position – in line with your spine.
- Raise both your arms and legs off the floor at the same time off the floor, forming a bowl shape with your body.
- Hold the position for a few seconds to allow you to feel your lower back, glutes, and hamstrings engaged.
- Lower your torso and legs to the starting position. Repeat.
If you are a beginner and the exercise feels too difficult, start by raising only your arms and then your legs. Or you can alternate your left arm with your right leg at the same time and then your right arm with your left leg.
If you want a more advanced version, try raising the arm and leg on one side of the body at a time and alternate it with the other side. This modification can, also, help highlight imbalances in your body.
- Avoid bending the arms at the elbow or the legs at the knee. You should keep your limbs as straight as possible.
- Avoid rushing through the movement. You have to hold the position at the top for a few seconds.
- Avoid holding your breath. Lying face down can change your breathing patterns. So pay attention to your breath and breathe with every repetition. This helps oxygenate your muscles, stabilize your core, and maximize results.
- Avoid lifting one side higher than the other. Your body should be centered while lying down so that each side works equally. Being in alignment helps prevent injuries as well.
- Avoid lifting your head when you lift your body. This can strain your neck and back. Your head should stay stable, aligned with the spine. Your neck doesn’t initiate or carry the movement of the upper body, your back and shoulders do.
Lower Back Workout
You can complete your posterior chain workout with Good-Mornings, Deadlifts, Reverse Glute Raises, and Single-Leg Romanian Deadlifts.
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To a Fitter Healthier You,
The Fitness Wellness Mentor