You’ve likely heard of the “Superman” exercise, where you lay on the ground, lifting your upper and lower body into position as though you are flying like a superhero. This movement, and its variations- like this week’s exercise- work your posterior chain. “The posterior chain refers to all the muscles on the backside of the body from the back of your head all the way down to your heels,” says certified strength and conditioning coach Alena Luciani, M.S., C.S.C.S. “That includes your hamstrings, glutes, calves, lats, rotator cuff muscles, and erector spinae muscles.” It is important to work these muscles as well as your anterior chain (the muscles on the front of your body) in order to balance your body’s strength. If you don’t, you run the risk of injury as your body compensates for the imbalance of strength and stability.
This week’s movement is a slight variation of the Superman. Instead of raising your legs, they’ll stay stationary, while you focus on gliding your arms. You can check out previous “gliding” exercises from past weeks here, here, here, and here!
You can use washcloths, socks on your hands, or exercise gliders (see below).
- Start by laying face-down on the ground, with your arms outstretched (with whichever tool you’ve decided to use). Keep your feet flexed, toes on the ground.
- Engage your core and raise your upper body slightly at the shoulders. Take care to not just raise your neck- you want to work your back and shoulders, not stress your neck.
- In a snow-angel movement, glide your hands around your body, down towards your hips and then return them to the starting position above your head.
- Repeat this movement 10-12 times for one set, work towards three sets.
Please speak to your provider before starting any new exercise regimen.
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