How To Do The Superman Plank

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When you’re thinking of ways to make your exercise routine a little tougher, you really can’t go wrong by imagining what a superhero would do to keep fit. You think Superman does a regular plank? No, he has a special, harder version.

Fortunately it is only slightly harder, so even regular humans can give it a go. Which you should, because it’s an excellent way to build a stronger core.

The main benefits of a regular plank – improved core strength and stability – are all ramped up with the Superman plank, which halves the amount of limbs in contact with the floor to provide an extra challenge to your balance.

A whole host of muscles will feel the burn, particularly the abs, obliques, lower back, glutes and hamstrings. If an intermediate core exercise is what you’re after, the Superman plank is for you.

How To Do It

Whether at home, your local gym or the nearest Fortress of Solitude, start in a standard plank position, holding your body in a straight line supported by your forearms and toes.

While maintaining the plank position with the rest of your body, slowly lift and extend one arm and the opposite leg. Hold them in the raised position for five seconds (or less depending on how hard you’re finding it), then return to the starting position. Repeat on the other side.

Make sure you raise your limbs until they are parallel to the ground and also that your body is balanced – you don’t want to be listing to one side.

Should this Superman pose prove too tricky, go back to the regular plank and make sure you can do that for 30 seconds comfortably. You can also build up to the full Superman by doing the exercise with your knees and hands on the ground.

Once you’ve mastered the move, try increasing the amount of time that you hold your arm and leg in the raised position.

After that, all that’s left to do is trying to raise all four limbs at once so you’re actually flying. Not for beginners.

Nick Harris-Fry
Senior writer

Nick Harris-Fry is a journalist who has been covering health and fitness since 2015. Nick is an avid runner, covering 70-110km a week, which gives him ample opportunity to test a wide range of running shoes and running gear. He is also the chief tester for fitness trackers and running watches, treadmills and exercise bikes, and workout headphones.