Find the super power in you with this Superman

By Jaconel Janssen

Even though I share my life with two superhero movies fans (husband and daughter), I know very little about these superheroes, as I lose interest in a movie once secret super powers burst onto the screen.

But there is a Pilates exercise called the Superman. I might not know much about the many super powers of the comic strip hero, but this Superman is sure to reveal a lot of power in you. (Did you know the movie/book Superman has at least ten secret powers?).

This variation of the Superman is done in a quadruped position - hands and knees. Last week we practiced getting up and down from the floor, a very important life skill. This position uses and strengthens that skill. As it is a weight bearing position for the wrists, there are benefits for your bones too.

The kneeling Superman will help build strength and endurance throughout the core, shoulders, hips, glutes, hamstrings, arms and neck. Like any exercise, this should feel comfortable and pain free. You can do this exercise on a mat, and add a towel for extra padding under your knees or hands if needed.

Start on your knees and hands. Position your shoulders above your hands, hips above knees. Lift the lower abdomen slightly into your spine to help maintain the natural curve in your lower back. Extend your right leg out behind your body.

Slowly raise your right heel up to buttock height keeping your right toe pointed to the ground. Lower your toe back to the ground and repeat several times. Repeat with the other leg.

Keep both hips facing the ground throughout the movement and avoid lifting the leg too high. Work with good posture, keep your chin tucked, not dropping the head. Elbows straight but soft.

To progress, extend your left arm in front of your body as you extend your right leg. Either keep the hand (little finger) on the floor, or slowly lift up to shoulder height. Keep the shoulders wide and away from the ears.

You can keep the toe on the floor, or start lifting the leg, then progressing to lifting both the leg and the opposite arm. Start with a couple of repetitions and progress gradually over time.

As always, work with good posture and keep breathing. You might never be able to move planets with your breath like the movie hero Superman. But you will feel your own super power developing as you strengthen and stretch your body on a regular basis.

Would you like to get more ideas to strengthen your life? Get in touch to find out about in-person or online classes, the Movement Bundle (short video classes you can download onto your computer) or a one-to-one session.