You may not get super powers, but you will be extremely fit once you master these superhero moves.
From comics to movies, from lunch boxes to t-shirts, from theme parks to birthday party themes, superheroes are all the rage. They are so popular and so deeply ingrained in our pop culture and daily lives that we routinely use superhero references to describe and discuss things. Who wouldn’t want muscles like He-Man’s or Superman’s strength or Spider-Man’s agility? The sad story of the home workout team
It was only a matter of time before superheroes, among the fittest fictional characters in the universe, entered the realm of fitness in our world and inspired movements that would help humans become fitter, stronger, and more agile. Here are a handful of exercises inspired by the signature moves of various superheroes.
Spider-Man Pushups:This exercise is inspired by the way Spider-Man crawls up walls in the comics. And what a great move this is for everything including warming up, upper body strength training, core and mobility. It’s a dynamic movement that engages your core much more than a regular push-up, since you need to move your legs one at a time. This helps load the core and increases resistance in the upper body and triceps.
You start on a high plank and then as you lower your torso towards the floor you bend one leg at the knee and up the side to the elbow then move it back to the starting position as you push yourself up and away from the floor. He repeats this on the other side and that counts as one repetition.
As a mobility exercise, you could perform the Spider-Man crawl. Not only is it a great mobility move to open up the hips and shoulders, but it also adds an element of cardio to his strength training. If a regular Spider-Man pushup feels easy, try slowing the movement down and feeling the burn. And to take it to another level, wear a weight vest.
gluttons: This is another move inspired by a popular Marvel character, although it does require equipment. You would need a cable crossover machine or light resistance bands to perform this one. He mimics the mutant superhero’s signature move in which he sticks out his claws and lowers them from chest level to either side of his hips in preparation to attack.
The cable crossover machine gives you the flexibility to choose a weight that works for you, but if you don’t have access to one, you can do this same move with a pair of lightweight resistance bands. This is an exercise that targets your upper back, which doesn’t engage enough when you’re working with free weights. The secondary muscles that feel the burn are the lats and the triceps. Have fun and see the difference when you add this move to your “after” days.
Superman: This is one of the easiest superhero exercises. He may have already performed a Sumerman at some point, even if he doesn’t really work out. This is a simple but great move that strengthens your lower back muscles and also works your core. It can be performed both as a static hold and as a dynamic movement by counting repetitions.
To do this, simply lie on the floor on your stomach and imitate the famous flying pose of the DC superhero by lifting your legs, arms and chest off the floor, while contracting your lower back and activating your core. If you do this pose for 30 seconds to a minute, then you would be performing it as a static-hold exercise. On the other hand, if you hold it for a couple of seconds before returning to the starting position and repeating it for 8 to 10 repetitions, then you would be performing it as a dynamic lower back strengthening exercise.
Superman push-ups: This move is perhaps the hardest on this list, but if you can pull it off, you’ll be pleased at what you can still do with your body. Superman’s pushup is nothing more than a regular pushup with some flying involved. It’s an explosive move and instead of improving his strength or agility, it serves more as evidence of his fitness levels.
You start with the board high, lower into a pushup, and then push yourself back up with enough power that, for a split second, your body is completely in the air. This is the top of the push-up where your body in the air is parallel to the floor, while your hands and legs are extended in a Superman flight. Before you can do this, you would need to master regular, plyometric, and clapping pushups.
The muscle groups worked by this extreme push-up are the same as those involved in a normal push-up. But this variation engages your core muscles a lot more and requires you to have more stability and control. After all, you need to land safely in the starting high plank position for the move to be a success.
Shrenik Avlani is a writer and editor and co-author of The Shivfit Waya book on functional fitness.