Overall, core development is an essential aspect of fitness, and the Superman exercise assists with this development. This exercise is designed specifically for the lower back and helps to strengthen those muscles. The Superman also provides a way to develop the lower back's flexibility. Because it has several variations, you're more likely to include it in your regular exercise routine.
The purpose of the Superman exercise is to strengthen the lower back region and indirectly the gluteus maximus muscles or more commonly referred to as the glutes. Other areas that the exercise may strengthen indirectly are the hamstrings. The lower back muscles are stretched and strengthened by extending the muscles in a similar fashion as to the way Superman flies, with his arms extended and legs straight behind him.
Perform the Superman exercise on a mat. Lay flat on your stomach with your arms extended in front of you on the ground as your legs are lying flat. Lift both your arms and legs at the same time, as if you were flying, and contract the lower back. Make sure that you are breathing and, depending on your fitness level, hold the movement for at least two to five seconds per repetition. Again, depending on your fitness level, perform between five and 10 repetitions and possibly two or three sets.
As CoreCoaching.com states, “The core muscles are the building block of athletic movement.” Most movements you perform through exercise or in your daily activities require use of core muscles. The Superman exercise is beneficial because it directly strengthens the lower back muscles, which are a part of your core. Considering that there are different variations of the exercise, you can work your core with different muscle groups.
As with any type of exercise routine, confirm with a doctor that you are physically able to perform an exercise before committing to the routine. If you have a history of a back injury or a bad back, reconsider performing the Superman exercise until you are comfortable and able to develop the lower the back muscles.
Some variations of the superman exercise have been introduced from different personal trainers and websites. For example, the kneeling superman exercise is recommended by Body Essentialz. This variation can still develop the lower back muscles. Another variation of this exercise is to alternate the sides you lift during the movement. As you are lying on your stomach flat on the ground, lift the left arm and right leg at the same time, then alternate. Another version is to lift your arm and leg on the same side simultaneously and switching to the opposite side.