For those of you who are super hero fans, this Home Exercise of the Week will bring a smile to your face.  This is not a super hero move however and the only similarity between the Superman exercise and the man of steel is the position you are in during the contraction of the movement.  However, you can always pretend you are superman or superwoman if that will help you get through the exercise.

The Superman is a great core exercise that will specifically target your spinal erectors as well as your glutes and upper back muscles.

Let’s take a look at how to do the Superman properly.

  • lay in a prone position (face down) with arms extended out in front of you
  • take a deep breath in and then exhale as you lift your arms and legs off the floor as high as you can (you should be feeling a contraction in your lower and upper back as well as your glutes)
  • hold for 10 seconds, breathing normally, then slowly lower back down to the starting position
  • repeat a few more times

So there you have the Superman.  If you find that you can’t lift your arms and legs very high off the floor, that’s ok.  In time you will build strength and become more flexible which will allow you to raise higher.  For an added challenge – just in case you really do feel like superman – you can hold for 30 seconds to a minute or even hold on to some light dumbbells!

Superman Back Row

I hope you have all had a wonderful holiday season and I’m sure many of you have set some fitness resolutions for the new year so here is a Home Exercise of the Week to get you started.  It’s called a Superman Back Row or Superman with a Back Squeeze as the video says.

The Superman Back Row is a great core exercise that targets your lower back muscles and works your upper back muscles at the same time.

Let’s take a look at how to do this exercise properly.

  • lay face down on the floor with your arms straight ahead of you
  • raise your arms and legs off the floor as much as you can while keeping your limbs straight the whole time
  • slowly pull your elbows back until you feel a good squeeze on your shoulder blades then extend them forward again
  • it can be challenging to breath while laying on your stomach but do the best you can to breath consistently.  Exhale as your pull your elbows back and inhale as you extend them forward.
  • start with 1 to 3 sets of 10 to 15 repetitions or 1 to 3 timed sets of 10 to 30 seconds

So there you have the Superman Back Row!  A strong core is the foundation for strength and balance everywhere else so make sure to add this in to your routine in the new year!

Three Close Grip Pushup Superman

This week I have a combination exercise for the Home Exercise of the Week.  Combination exercises are great to add an extra challenge to your workout and you can target many muscle groups in one move.  The more muscles being used the more calories you will burn and the higher your metabolism will be.

The combination exercise I would like you to try this week is the Three Close Grip Pushup Superman.  I say three pushups but you can definitely do more or less before the superman.  The idea here is to do enough rounds of this in a set so you get around 10 to 15 total reps of each.

With the Three Close Grip Pushup Superman you will be working your triceps and lower back muscles primarily but you will also be working your chest, shoulders, and upper back muscles.

Let’s take a look at the key points to doing this exercise properly.

  • start by doing the pushups from your knees if you find you can’t go down all the way on the pushup portion of the exercise.  You can build up to doing the pushup from your toes over time.
  • keep your abs tight and body straight the whole time (no bending at the waist)
  • throughout the pushup you will want to keep your elbows tucked in to your sides…this will allow your triceps to do most of the work
  • keep your head in line with your spine throughout
  • during the superman part of the exercise keep your arms straight out in front of you and raise them up as high off the floor as you can while at the same time lifting your straight legs up as high as you can
  • hold the superman for a second or two then go right back to your close grip pushups

So there you have the Three Close Grip Pushup Superman.  Your lower back and arms will thank you for this one but I’m fairly certain you won’t be thanking me once you add this to your routine! 😉