The Superman exercise works almost every muscle in your core

FFollow me in a little experiment, reader, and lend a hand to your heart. If your fingers are rubbing just below your ribs, you’re missing a lot of this very important muscle group. According to the Mayo Clinic, 29 (29!) pairs of muscles wrap around your abdomen to form your “core.” And in this week’s episode of Well+Good’s YouTube series The right waytrainer Bridget O’Carroll teaches you how to use the superman drill to work out, well…most of them.

“Superman is a great move for your core, which isn’t just the front of your midsection,” O’Carroll says at the top of the video. “We’re going to get a little more activation back in this one.” If you’ve never heard of superhero exercises before, it’s a yoga class staple (called viparita shalabhasana in Sanskrit) and it’s also a great way to warm up your back before you hit the gym. upper body strength training.

Superman involves lying on your stomach with your legs together, placing your hands in front of you, and raising your legs and arms off the floor. Like all exercises, however, there’s a right way and a wrong way to do it – and O’Carroll has seen it all.

The first common mistake people make in Superman? Shrug your shoulders up to your ears. Instead, relax them in your back as much as possible so you don’t create unnecessary tension in your upper back, neck, and shoulders.

Second, O’Carroll says that people tend to lift their upper body too high in Superman, creating unnecessary back strain. You can just hover over your body slightly off the ground to get just as much out of this exercise.

And last but not least, O’Carroll adds that people often separate their legs in this exercise, which isn’t good for your back either. Keep them glued together to engage your glutes and protect your lower back.

Once you’ve checked your body for these three common mistakes, you’re ready to exercise superman the right way. and get intimate with some of these 29 core muscles that you might sometimes overlook.

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