Superman Exercise on Floor

Starting Position
  • The superman exercise requires you to kneel on your hands and knees, hands below your shoulders, and knees below your hips.
  • Use a yoga mat or pillow if you find it uncomfortable on your knees.
  • Keep your lumbar spine in the neutral position.
  • Ensure your upper back is also extended, chest up and shoulders back.
  • Set your core muscles, bracing your abdominals.
  • Keep your neck straight and chin tucked in.
  • Press your tongue to the roof of your mouth
  • Stay relaxed and keep breathing.
  • Slowly slide one leg backwards, extending the knee and lifting the foot.
  • At the same time lift the opposite arm.
  • As you extend the leg back and arm up, use your core muscles to maintain a neutral lumbar spine and level pelvis.
  • Hold this position. 
Prime Movers:     Glutes, back extensors, hamstrings, deltoid.

Physio Tips
  • Try the Abdominal Hollowing exercise while your on your hands and knees and try to maintain this throughout this exercise.
  • If you find this very difficult you may find it easier to lift your leg, get your balance and then lift your arm once you feel stable.
  • Movements should be slow and controlled while you concentrate on breathing normally and engaging your abdominals.
  • Superman on the exercise ball.
  • If you feel you're not ready to add the ball yet, you can still make this more difficult by adding light ankle and wrist weights, or just holding onto a light dumbbell (1-2kg).
The superman exercise on the floor is a good exercise on many levels. Not only does it force the trunk stabilizers to work in maintaining a stable spine but it also uses the often neglected scapular rotators. The rhomboids, middle and lower trapezius muscles work to rotate and retract the shoulder blade to allow the arm to be elevated. Weaknesses in the scapular rotators can lead to rotator cuff impingement, tendonitis and bursitis. If you have shoulder pain doing this exercise you may have underlying shoulder issues and you should consult your physical therapist.

This exercise is also good for the gluteal muscles. The large muscles that extend the hip often weaken in people that sit for prolonged periods. Weak glutes can contribute to both back and knee pain.

1ballsHold this position for 5 seconds and repeat 10 times.

2ballsHold this position for 10 seconds and repeat 10 times.

3ballsHold this position for 45 seconds and repeat 5 times.