In our Marketing and Communication course, taught by Dr. Freeman, we have been assigned to complete a 10–15-minute presentation on any topic of our choice that we could potentially see ourselves using in a future setting in front of a non-medical crowd. It had to be a topic that we were passionate about. As such, I chose to do mine on superhero poses. I had never really watched superhero movies until I met my fiancé… who absolutely must see each movie on opening night and then thoroughly browses the Internet for theories on potential Easter eggs sprinkled throughout the film. I have come to also really enjoy the movies…
While the flying in the air, super strength, and talking animals never bother me, the superhero landing poses always grinds my gears. They’ve always seemed so absurd and biometrically detrimental. I read articles and watched videos in which physicists calculated the amount of force that would impact a body if they were to complete this three-point landing using Newton’s 2nd law. Mass multiplied by velocity divided by time determines impact force. In short, if you decrease the amount of time it takes you to fall from the sky to the ground, you increase the amount of force your body feels as it hits the ground. Superheroes, such as “Black Widow,” often fall through the air with legs extended as they land on the ground in a smooth three-point landing. However, realistically, she would feel much more impact force by having a shorter time period (with extended legs) and would most likely shatter her bones…not a great outcome for a superhero. To reduce the force felt, she should increase the amount of time in the air before touching the ground by flexing her legs. In summary, physics does not agree with the smooth superhero landing always seen in such films.
Further into my presentation, I discuss superhero-related injuries in pediatrics in which young children dressed as superheroes were involved in risk-taking behavior. It’s possible that superhero role models can give unrealistic expectations to children, potentially leading to serious injury. So, while it’s essential for kids to have imaginary role models, I do stress the importance of parents guiding them to safer role playing…as well as join in on their adventure! If we’re going to help our kids “save the day,” then we, too, must take care of our own bodies. I discuss the proper ways to lift a young child to prevent back injury as well as discuss the superhero poses that ARE good for us!
The Superhero Pose: Place your hands on your hips, set your legs shoulder width apart, lift your chest and hold your head up high with your chin tilted.
The Victory Pose: Plant feet wide, raise arms above your head to resemble a giant V. Then hold your head high.
The Secret Power Pose: Place hands on your knees (if sitting), straighten your back, puff out your chest and lift your chin.
The superhero pose has its benefits for us mere mortals. Imagine you have a big presentation, job, or exam (cough cough – final exams) coming up. You prepare yourself as much as you can, but as the task date moves closer, you feel the anxiety rush right back. This is where the power of posture blends with psychology. Place your hands on your hips, set your legs shoulder width apart, lift your chest and hold your head up high with your chin tilted. Hold this position for two minutes while taking deep breathes. Research shows that this dominant upright position increases self-confidence and self-perception. Testosterone increases (yielding risk-taking and assertive behavior) while cortisol (the stress hormone) decreases. Next time you’re feeling anxious, take two minutes and try this superhero pose!