This is another post in our series of Fitness Saturday exercises and workouts appropriate to women in the second half of life. Personal trainer Brooke Marrone, president and founder of Brooke Marrone Fitness, in New York City, is our fitness guru.

The amount of time we all spend in a car, at a desk, or in front of a computer takes a toll on our physique, unfortunately leaving the front of our bodies rounded forward, exhausted, and overused. The Superman and Modified Superman are both great ways to “wake up” the back of the body and strengthen your glutes, hamstrings, and lower back. Perform this exercise 2 to 3 times a week and you might notice yourself having less pain and standing up a lot straighter.

  1. Lie flat on your stomach with your arms and legs extended out straight and your head a natural extension of your spine.
  1. Engage you core (tuck your belly in) and, as you exhale, lift your arms and legs a few inches off the floor at the same time.  Make sure to keep your shoulders down, and lift both arms and legs an equal distance from the floor.
  1. Hold this pose for a few seconds, continuing to breathe while contracting your glutes, lower back, and abs.
  1. Return to the starting position and repeat for 2 sets of 5 to 10 repetitions. Take a child pose to stretch your back after both sets are complete.

 

Modification for Beginners: Opposite-Arm-Leg-Superman

Follow the rules above, but lift only one arm and the opposite leg off the floor. Hold for a few seconds on each side and alternate.

Muscles worked: Erector Spinae (low back), gluteals (butt), hamstrings (back of your legs).

 

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