Superman in quadrupedia: a simple exercise explained step by step to work your back and your core
If you are looking for an exercise that you can do daily to work the muscles of your back and the internal muscles of your abdomen, the superman in quadruped is what you are looking for. A very complete exercise that you can perform in any place, suitable (following the necessary progressions, of course) for any level and that offers us great benefits.
We explain how to do the superman in quadruped step by step so you can include it in your training routine.
Start with a good starting position
Before starting to execute the superman in quadrupedia it is very important that we start from a correct starting position. We place ourselves on the floor resting on our hands and knees: the hands should be placed directly below the shoulders, and the knees directly below our hips.
In this position the pelvis should be placed in a neutral position, that is, without making the gesture of retroversion or anteversion. Likewise, the column must also be in a neutral position : straight but respecting the natural curves of the column, that is, elongated. To achieve this elongation we can imagine that we have a thread that pulls our head forward while another thread pulls our pelvis backwards. This way we will also be able to activate the musculature of our middle zone.
The weight of the body must be in our central area: not fully supported on the hands (this is the reason why some people refer pain in the wrists to perform this exercise) or fully supported on the knees (we would fall backwards).
The progressions to the superman
Although it may seem simple, the superman is a complex exercise in which muscle strength and balance come into play. That’s why it’s a good idea to make the progressions step by step until you reach the complete movement.
Step 1: Lifting the arms
From the starting position, we begin by raising one of our arms to the height of the ear : our elbow is stretched and we must have the feeling of wanting to reach far with our hand forward.
In this position we must make sure that the only thing that moves in our body is the arm that rises , maintaining a good alignment of the scapular waist, which does not swing to the sides) and with the neck also aligned with the back (with the head facing the ground, not hidden between the shoulders nor facing forward).
The breathing that facilitates this movement happens to inspire when we raise the arm (the rib cage opens and facilitates the entry of air) and exhale when we put it back in the starting position. We are changing our arm and performing it with the two in an alternative way.
Step 2: Lifting the legs
The second progression involves lifting one of our legs in the air backwards until it is in a straight line with our spine. It is not about lifting the leg as much as we can towards the ceiling, but lengthening the leg backwards, trying to get as far as possible with the toes (keeping the feet on tip can facilitate this feeling).
During the movement, the hip should not swing from one side to another, but should remain neutral and the only thing that moves is our leg. The spine is also kept in a neutral position, without dropping the lower back towards the floor(remember that axial elongation facilitates the activation of the abdomen, which prevents this from happening).
The breathing that facilitates this movement involves inspiring the initial position and exhaling the air by lifting the leg backwards. But this is not the breathing that we will do when performing the complete exercise, so that we can also change it to practice: inhale when lifting the leg and exhale when returning to the site. Change your leg and do the movement alternately.
Step 3: The superman in full quadruped
Now that we are able to lift one of our arms without the scapular waist moving and lifting one of our legs without the pelvis tilting to the sides, we just have to unite everything in a single movement in which the opposite arm and leg move at the same time.
The breathing that is traditionally used in this movement is to inhale when we raise the opposite leg and arm and exhale when they return to the site. The movement must be fluid and, most importantly, it must always start from the center of the body, the origin of the whole movement, in order to maintain balance and carry out the exercise in a coordinated manner.
We can perform a repetition of this movement and change to the opposite leg and arm, or we can perform several repetitions without changing sides and without leaning on the ground when returning to the initial position, a variant a little more difficult than the first.
Thanks to the superman in quadrupeds we can improve our proprioception, work the internal muscles of the abdomen (which always stays active), strengthen the extensor musculature of the spine and gain body control.
Have you already introduced it in your training sessions?