Superheroes have been part of our lives since childhood. But what makes them all the more celebrated is their superhero pose. What is the superhero pose? In what way can it help us in our day-to-day activities?
It may sound funny, but the superhero pose has its benefits for us mere mortals. It can help us boost our confidence and go on with our daily lives smoothly. It can be the secret ingredient that can make all the difference from changing your regular day to one super of a day.
What do you see when a superhero does their pose right before battling their sworn enemy? As our superhero parades their strong pose, they continue to win the battle against their sworn enemy, of course.
This is what it symbolizes for us as we go on with our daily lives. Our very own superhero pose will help us fight off any enemy that keeps us from winning our daily battles and challenges.
What defines this pose is the level of confidence and courage that it brings to a person. This can be the x-factor as we go on our daily adventures and challenges.
Here you’ll learn everything about the superhero pose, the science behind it, and how to implement it in your life.
What is the Superhero Pose?
Imagine you have a big job interview coming up. You prepare yourself by going over what you know, the accomplishments you have achieved, and the kind of questions you might be asked.
That practice may be sufficient to make your jitters go away for the time being, but as you feel yourself moving closer to the task, all that anxiety may come rushing right back.
What if we were to tell you there is another way, backed up by science and practiced by all the best musicians, businesspeople, famous athletes, and public speakers worldwide? That it will help to not only boost your self-confidence but will also make all that negativity disappear?
Plus, you can practice this method to ensure that you begin feeling good about yourself. Whether you’re doing a presentation, having a job interview, or having an important meeting.
The answer–and your inner child will like this one–is to act like a superhero! Your superpower: your posture!
How To Be In Superhero Pose?
The superhero pose is exactly what it sounds like. Create your own pose and gather the strength and confidence you need to face your task at hand, much like how superheroes do it.
Before a big event or an important task simply stands in the way, Superman or Wonder Woman would confront their greatest enemies. The way they stand simply indicates that no matter how powerful the villain is, they have this aura that they can stop the enemies.
Same as in reality, when you have an important event, just do the superhero pose and know that whatever comes next, you know you will be able to face it and succeed in the process.
So, how to stand in a superhero pose?
You put your feet shoulder-width apart, put your hands on your hips, hold your head up high with your chin out, and finally, hold out your chest. Hold this pose for two minutes taking deep breaths the whole time. Once you are done, you will immediately see a positive difference.
How Does the Superhero Pose Work?
We all know posture ain’t no joke. The correct stance not only has physiological benefits but can do wonders in improving your self-esteem, boosting your confidence, and increasing your overall energy levels.
That is precisely the concept the superhero pose is based on. First introduced by social psychologist Amy Cuddy in her TedTalk, the pose is about how you express your body language. Moreover, it will reflect on how you think, act, and respond to situations.
Here’s the entire video:
According to Cuddy, all animals use their bodies to assert power. That means that if someone has a slouched back, has crossed their arms over their chest, and avoids making eye contact. They would have low self-esteem and appear insecure and awkward. Strength and confidence come with how you present and express yourself. Knowing this can make all the difference in how you take on your daily life.
In addition to how you appear, bad posture can also contribute to actual negative thoughts, low self-esteem, and lack of confidence.
Imagine that your posing contributes to how you carry yourself and how you feel. Amazing!
The Superhero Pose Backed Up By Science
How we carry ourselves has a significant impact on our brains. Cuddy’s research has revealed that power posing for just two minutes before an important event or a difficult task can lead to the production of high testosterone levels and low cortisol levels in the bloodstream.
This is big news!
The superhero pose has been known to change the brain’s chemistry by altering the body’s hormone production.
Testosterone, also known as the power hormone, is responsible for elevating self-esteem and boosting your confidence. Cortisol is the body’s stress hormone, which goes down in the superhero power pose. This means elevating your personality, which is a good sign when you perform the superhero pose.
The superhero pose alters their levels in just the right way, therefore positively impacting your mood.
So there you have it. Who knew that there was a superhero in you all along! And now that you have uncovered your superpower, it is time to conquer the world!
Prove That You Want To Be In The Superhero Pose
The researchers took saliva samples before the pose and then 17 minutes after to check the participants’ hormone levels. Not only did the participants verbally express how powerful they felt, but the results from the saliva samples spoke for themselves. The testosterone levels came out higher, and the cortisol levels were lower.
You might be wondering, why were the researchers interested in these two hormones? Why didn’t they look at the others? It turns out that these two hormones were all they needed to understand the effects of the pose.
Testosterone has been the subject of extensive research, and it has been said that this hormone rises when the individual expects competition and after they have won something. Similarly, the levels drop if the individual fails to complete a task or has lost in some activity. This impact will affect a person’s behavior towards a particular situation.
To put it simply, testosterone is very well the power hormone as it rises within the presence of actual power or even when there is an opportunity to attain power. It jumps up when there is a feeling of competitiveness. This helps boost your self-esteem. Overall, testosterone will help you give a natural edge in your life.
Conversely, the hormone levels drop when power is lost or cannot be attained.
On the other hand, cortisol is the stress hormone, and we all know how we feel about stress. Results of the study indicated that people who felt powerful had lower cortisol levels (which means less stress) compared to people who felt powerless (which means more stress). And when we talk about stress, it will result in poor outcomes that would lead to less productive days.
In small amounts, cortisol is not harmful and even contributes to our fight-or-flight response. However, chronically high levels are a whole other story, as these can contribute to diseases such as high blood pressure.
What is interesting to note is that the changes in hormone levels were detected 17 minutes after the posing. This is good news because it tells us that power posing does not only make you feel good for the moment but its effects last longer.
You can read more about the study here.
Body Language Tips for Superheroes
The kind of superhero pose you choose for yourself is important, as the wrong one can have the exact opposite effect than what you are going for. Make sure that when you do the superhero pose, you are comfortable and believe in the impact that it can give you.
In the experiments conducted by Cuddy and her colleagues, participants were asked to either hold the “high power pose” or “low power pose.” The former involved the participant taking up a lot more space. These individuals were made to adopt an upright, strong, and expansive stance, whereas the low-power pose candidates took up little space, their hands and feet resting quite close to their bodies.
So which pose is right for you? Does everyone need to stand like Superman to reap the benefits of the superhero pose? Is it really necessary and helpful?
No, not exactly. It all comes down to you holding a high-power pose, regardless of what it looks like. The main thing here is how comfortable you are with the pose and how you execute it.
Higher power poses are referred to as open postures, where your body takes up a lot of space. In contrast, lower power poses are called closed postures, where the individual takes up relatively less space.
What’s the Right Pose for You?
One thing that might cause you to shy away from conducting the superhero pose is the fear of people watching you. To some, they may feel uncomfortable and conscious while doing the pose. People may judge you and even make fun of you. But you are not doing the superhero pose for them. You are doing the pose for yourself and for the battle that lies ahead of you.
To read about it is cool, but doing the pose in public in front of other people is a whole different story. After all, if you were to feel insecure during your pose from all the eyes looking at you, it would do you more harm than good.
The good thing about the superhero pose is that you can do it anywhere. Be it a bathroom stall or the back of a building, whenever you feel down, just strike a pose! And feel good about it.
Another thing that makes the pose so convenient is that you can do it without getting up from your chair. The simple trick is this: your posture is to be opened, and your body should take up more space than it does in your neutral stance.
In simpler words, although called the superhero pose, it involves a lot more styles than the traditional way Superman and Wonder Woman are shown to stand. This means that you have several options to choose from!
During their experiment, Cuddy and colleagues tried out two types of high-power poses:
Power poses carried out while sitting had the candidate with their arms behind their head, their elbows sticking out, and their feet up on the desk. Similarly, the standing candidates were made to stand in front of a table with their legs apart by about a foot, upper body leaning forward, and their hands on the desk, bearing weight.
As you can tell, both styles involve taking up space, and that is all you need to remember when creating your power pose.
One thing to note is that although the high-power pose can be conveniently done in a chair or while standing up, so can a low-power pose. In the sitting version of the study, the participants were made to sit up straight, with their legs at a 90-degree angle. Their hands were placed on their laps, with their elbows sticking in, touching the sides of their body. On the other hand, standing participants had their legs closed up together while their arms were wrapped around their bodies as if they were hugging themselves.
Saliva samples from both groups were taken before and after the pose. High-power posers had a significant difference in their testosterone levels (which had gone up) and cortisol levels (which had gone down). The exact opposite was revealed for low-power posers; their testosterone levels were down, and their cortisol levels were up.
Therefore you must note what you are doing, how much space you are taking up, and most importantly–do not forget to breathe!
Conclusion – What Is The Superhero Pose?
Aside from giving you extra confidence, this superhero pose gives you the much-needed focus on everything you do. This is the additional factor that will boost your self-esteem and push you to reach your goal. Use this to get ahead in your life and be the best that you can be.
May it be a big break or just a simple chore. This pose is certainly an advantage for everyone, no matter where you come from. This can be the secret formula that you can have as you realize your dreams. Remember, this is your journey, and you need to be the best that you can be to win and succeed.
All walks of life can certainly use this pose to their benefit. So what are you waiting for? Go for it. Do your superhero pose!
Founder of Spark Nomad, Radical FIRE, Journalist
Expertise: Personal finance and travel content
Education: Bachelor of Economics at Radboud University, Master in Finance at Radboud University, Minor in Economics at Chapman University.
Over 200 articles, essays, and short stories published across the web.
Experience: Marjolein Dilven is a journalist and founder of Spark Nomad, a travel platform, and Radical FIRE, a personal finance platform. Marjolein has a finance and economics background with a master’s in Finance. She has quit her job to travel the world, documenting her travels on Spark Nomad to help people plan their travels. Marjolein Dilven has written for publications like MSN, Associated Press, CNBC, Town News syndicate, and more.