To do the Basic Superman Exercise:

And one great exercise to strengthen the backside of your core is the Superman Exercise.

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  • Another great Superman Exercise variation works the entire core and is called Superman/Banana.To do this move, set up at the top of Superman. Then, keeping your arms and lower legs up off the ground, roll over onto your back. Try not to push off with your hands or feet as you roll.

    The superman exercise, or you might prefer the superwoman, is so named because of how it imitates the way Superman flies through the air. As a compound exercise, it's designed to target the erector spinae muscles in your lower back along with your glutes and hamstrings -- assisting muscles. The basic superman along with several variations can be performed in a series to help strengthen your lower back muscles, prevent potential back injury and improve your core strength and balance.

  • Another great Superman Exercise variation works the entire core and is called Superman/Banana.To do this move, set up at the top of Superman. Then, keeping your arms and lower legs up off the ground, roll over onto your back. Try not to push off with your hands or feet as you roll.

    Getting up and down from the ground is essential for health and independence. The superman exercise helps you practice getting up and down from the ground while also strengthening your back muscles. Make sure to keep your lower belly contracted to keep your back from overextending.

    Starting Position
    • Start the superman exercise on the exercise ball by lying prone over the ball with your waist line centred over the top of the ball, chest slightly raised.
    • Hands rest lightly on the floor in front of you.
    • Feet rest on the floor behind you about shoulder width apart.
    • Set your abdominals and tuck your chin in before you move anything.
    Action
    • Raise one arm in front of you to shoulder height.
    • At the same time, raise the opposite leg.
    • Hold for 5 seconds.
    • Lower your hand and foot to the floor.
    • Repeat this on the other side.
    Prime Movers
    • Glutes, hamstrings, back extensors, deltoids and scapular rotators.
    Physio Tips
    • Be sure to keep your neck straight, chest up, and chin tucked to avoid neck injury.
    • Keep your elbows and knees straight.
    • If you find this too difficult, try raising alternating arms alone and then alternating legs so that you always have three points of stable support.
    Progression Try any of the following to increase the difficulty of this ball exercise
    • Try Prone Leg Raise 2 to further challenge your balance
    • Add 1-2 kg ankle weights to increase resistance
    • Hold a light dumbbell in each hand
    • Attach resistance bands to ankles or hold a light resistance band in your hands.
    • Use a firmer ball.
    • Get rid of your exercise mat.


  • If you are feeling unsteady lifting your alternating arm and leg at the same time, lift your leg straight out first, gain your equilibrium, then lift your arm. Hold this for 5 seconds.

    If you feel your ball is rolling away from you try letting some air out of your exercise ball and/or putting it on a soft exercise mat. This creates a more stable surface and lessens the challenge. As you improve you can add some more air into the ball and start using it on a harder surface.

    This is a great exercise to work on if you are trying to prevent back pain. It forces you to use muscles that are often inhibited as we sit at desks all day. The scapular rotators, rotator cuff, posterior deltoid, back extensors, and the gluteal muscles are often underused in most sedentary occupations.
    Click here for more about back exercises.


    Repeat this ball exercise 6 times on each leg.

    Repeat this ball exercise 10 times on each leg.

    Repeat this ball exercise 15 times on each leg.



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    The Swimmer is another variation of the Superman Exercise done from the ground. It adds in a bit of movement to the exercise. For the Swimmer, you will set up exactly like you are performing the Superman; however, once you are up and holding, you will flutter your arms and legs as if you are swimming. Raise the right arm and left leg up a bit higher then lower them as you raise the left arm and right leg up. Try not to rest the opposite arm or leg on the ground as you flutter. Try to keep your chest and quads up off the ground.

Superman Exercise – Brian Grant Foundation

Superman Exercise is a popular back rehabilitation exercise. This Superman exercise video includes techniques to help you strengthen your back and perform safe back exercises, plus some great variations on Superman exercise to suit all levels of fitness.