If you want a fun way to strengthen your back, try superman pose! Here’s how to do it, plus other surprising benefits. Bonus freebie included!
Superman pose is an excellent back-strengthening posture that targets muscles in the lower back while strengthening the abdomen muscles. And it feels great to be in superman pose!
I like to call it superwoman pose, or flying yogi/yogini. But it also has an ancient name in Sanskrit, Viparita Shalabhasana (Vip-a-REET-uh shah-lah-BHAAHS-uh-nuh). Say that five times super fast!
Things to know about superman pose
Just like with any yoga asana (pose), it’s important to not strain and only do what your body is capable of doing at the moment. Think of yourself as a baby bird learning to fly. Start incrementally, and before you know it you will love being in superman pose!
Level of difficulty: Beginner to intermediate
Superman pose is one of the integral asanas in a wonderful sequence of yoga poses called Padma Sadhana. Click the link to learn how to incorporate into your workout routine.
Superman pose benefits
Stretches and strengthens the muscles of the chest, shoulders, arms, legs, abdomen, and lower back
Tones the abdomen and lower back
Massages the spine and keeps the back supple
Improves blood circulation
Gives a good workout to the entire back side of the body
Step-by-step instructions for superman pose
Lie on your stomach with the tops of your feet and toes flat on the floor, and your chin resting on your yoga mat
Keep your legs close together with your feet lightly touching each other
Stretch your arms out in front of you as far as possible
Take a deep breath in and slowly lift your chest, arms, legs, and thighs off the floor simultaneously
Smile - you’re flying!
Rather than making an effort to raise your hands and legs higher, make a gentle effort to stretch your arms and legs away from your torso
Feel the pull occurring at both ends of your body
Ensure that your elbows and knees are not bent
Keep breathing with awareness, and keep your attention on the stretch
As you exhale, gently lower your chest, arms, and legs back onto your mat
Precautions for superman pose
Like with any fitness routine, if you have a serious medical condition, practice yoga only after consulting a doctor.
There are three specific conditions where you should definitely avoid doing superman pose.
Recent abdominal surgery
Recent spine injury or spinal surgery
Superman pose modifications and variations
To modify: If you find the pose to be too strenuous for your back, start by lifting up in small increments. Remember - there is no rush!
To increase the challenge: With each inhale, raise your legs and arms higher off the ground, and with each exhale, pull your arms and legs further apart from one another. This advanced version looks like you are skydiving!
Take a deep breath and enhance your yoga practice with SKY Breath Meditation
Breathing is vital to life and your yoga practice. enhances both! Here are just a few ways SKY can help you be your own superhero ; )
Greater mental focus
Please attend our FREE breath and meditation session to learn more about SKY Breath Meditation, while also enjoying a guided breathing exercise and meditation.
Browse our entire yoga pose library and learn more about each yoga pose in detail.
While a regular yoga practice can result in improved health, it is not a substitute for medical treatment. It is best to learn and practice yoga under the supervision of a trained teacher.