How To Correctly Do The Superman Train

You don’t need fancy equipment to get an incredible workout from the comfort of your home. The Superman exercise is one of those effective body weight moves that works virtually every muscle in the body. However, this movement can be difficult to master, and while it may seem simple, this exercise is easy to get wrongly done. That’s why we sat down with Tunde Oyeneyin, Ambassador for Optimal Nutrition and Peloton Instructor to share with us your top tips on perfecting the Superman exercise and integrating it into your regular exercise program.

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Superman exercise benefits

Whether you are a Pilates professional or an avid runner, the Superman exercise offers whole body benefits to aid you at every point in your fitness journey.

  • Works multiple muscle groups: Oyeneyin says the Superman exercise requires the intervention of the core, lower back, obliques, and various other muscles, making it a full-body functional exercise.
  • Can improve posture: If you spend hours at your desk or crouch in front of your computer, the Superman exercise can be great to counteract this. “Strengthening your back muscles can help improve your mobility, reduce the risk of injury and improve overall posture,” said Oyeneyin.
  • No equipment required: This low impact movement can be safely performed on the ground and does not require fancy equipment.

    How to do the Superman exercise

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    1. Start by lying face down, arms straight above your head, and legs fully extended in the prone position.
    2. Engage your back, glutes, and core while lifting your arms and legs a few inches above the floor. Keep your neck and back in a neutral plane.
    3. Hold the Superman at the top of the movement for a few seconds, then slowly lower it back down to the starting position.
      1. Superman exercise variants

        Superman exercise

        ZoranmGetty Images

        Oyeneyin says, to take this step forward and make it more challenging, you can extend the duration by raising extended arms and legs for a longer period of time. There are also a few variations that you can try:

        • W Superman: Lie face down on your chest and straighten your elbows with your forearms on the floor according to the sides of your body directly outward. Squeeze your glutes together as you lift your chest and arms off the floor while squeezing your elbows behind you. From above, your arms look like a “W.” Hold for a few seconds, then slowly return to the starting position.
        • Alternating Superman: Lie on your chest with your face down, arms straight, and legs fully extended. Raise the opposite arm in line with the opposite leg, pause at the top for a moment, and then slowly lower it. Alternate to repeat the exercise on the opposite side.
        • Medicine ball Superman: Lie on your chest with your face down, legs straight, and arms straight, holding onto a light medicine ball. Snap your back, glutes, and core into place while simultaneously lifting your arms that hold the medicine ball and legs a few inches off the floor. Hold this position up for a few minutes, then slowly lower it back down.
        • Superman pull-ups: Lie on your chest with your face down and arms outstretched. Squeeze your glutes and lower back as you lift your legs and arms off the floor. Take a break at the top, then pull your elbows down and squeeze them back together. Then, reach up to mimic a pull-up movement and slowly return to the starting position.

          When should the Superman exercise be done?

          Oyeneyin likes to do the Superman exercise before training to wake up and activate her core. However, she notes that you can incorporate this movement into your training at any point. She adds that doing the exercise after your workout can help stretch your back and relieve tension that has built up during your sweat session.


          Registered dietitian
          Stefani Sassos is a registered nutritionist with a Bachelor of Science degree in Nutritional Science from Pennsylvania State University and a Master of Science degree in Clinical Nutrition from New York University.

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