Dick Grayson is known by many names — Robin, Nightwing, Ric. Regardless of the name, one thing remains the same: his incredible body. Grayson lacks superpowers in the traditional sense, but he has trained his physical form to the peak levels of human capabilities to turn him into a hero who can inspire fear in demons like Trigon.
However, what makes Grayson so unique is how his body changed over time. When Dick was introduced, he was 12-years-old, and as time has passed, he’s grown into an impressive hero. Given that he is one of the few superheroes fans have grown up with, many comic writers and artists alike decided to explore how growing up a superhero affected Grayson, as well as his body.
Grayson’s childhood was the circus. Before meeting Batman, Grayson had already trained his body to be part of the Flying Grayson performance act. However, as with all things, Grayson didn’t just become a competent acrobat. He became one of the best. According to Haly’s Circus, where the Flying Graysons performed, Dick as a child became one of three people in the DC Universe to perform a quadruple somersault. Even Batman can’t do that. Tim Drake figured out that Nightwing was Robin after observing Nightwing perform the move.
However, considering Grayson could do this at the age of twelve, Dick would be on-par with real-life Olympians before entering puberty. In real life, the quadruple somersault is considered one of the most dangerous flips in gymnastics history. It remained impossible to perform until 1982 by then 17-year-old gymnast Miguel Vazquez. This means that even before training to be Robin, Dick Grayson was an Olympian. However, after training with Batman, Grayson became arguably the world’s greatest acrobat, period.
The average person can’t go three days without sleep before they start to hallucinate. Dick Grayson heard that and decided to just push himself to the absolute limits of human capabilities. Dick Grayson has been out on patrol for at least four days without sleeping and has done it with some regularity at that. While this might not seem like a dramatic feat on its own, consider that Dick Grayson is a normal human, without training or any alien physiology. This means that Grayson is able to stay awake and resist hallucinations caused by a lack of sleep for four days while still going out and being a superhero.
This is just one of many peak-human feats that Grayson can do. He can hold his breath for seven minutes without straining himself. His body is naturally resistant to toxins and poisons. All of this equals a person who is not superhuman but is still peak human. And all of that is thanks to personal training.
At 6′ and 175 lbs, Dick Grayson has a perfectly average build for an adult male. By comparison, Chris Duffin, the first power-lifter to squat and deadlift over 1000 lbs for reps, is way, way bigger than that. Many powerlifters who have muscles strong enough to lift such huge amounts of weight are far bigger than Dick. Yet, Dick can lift over 1000 lbs of a burning building, if needed, to protect those left trapped inside.
Dick’s most remarkable physical features are his incredibly lean yet powerful muscles. Grayson has comparable strength to Batman, yet weighs almost forty pounds less than the Caped Crusader. It may be surprising that he is this physically powerful, yet so light-weight. Or, at least, it would, if we didn’t take into account that gymnasts on a regular basis are able to bend their body to best support their own weight and the various strains put upon their bodies. This natural talent, combined with Batman’s continuous training, have honed Dick’s physical capabilities to previously impossible levels of power output.
Dick Grayson has no superpowers, yet can still dodge bullets fired at close range. He’s even able to dodge a bullet fired from a sniper rifle right for him. However, while these feats sound like incredible demonstrations of Dick’s speed, the reality is far different. Dick Grayson isn’t super fast, but rather has super-fast reflexes. The human body cannot dodge a bullet once the bullet is dislodged from its gun, meaning Dick would have to start reacting to a bullet before it leaves the chamber. This means Grayson has incredibly trained reflexes that allow him to maneuver around the calculated trajectory of a bullet.
This, again, is no doubt something he developed as a kid that only was heightened through training with Batman. His reaction time is so incredible that he can react to bullets being fired even before the sound of the bullet being fired reaches his ears. Some sniper bullets can travel almost four times the speed of sound, which means that, by concentrating on his other senses, Dick could maneuver his way around a bullet fast enough to evade it.
Many artists, such as Nicola Scott, have given extra attention to Dick Grayson’s butt and hips. And many have drawn Dick posing in postures that deliberately give his rear prominence. While many artists might see this as a bit of fan-service, Dick’s strong glutes actually explain every ambiguity about Dick Grayson that we’ve seen so far.
Strong gluteus minimus, medius, and maximus muscles can prevent injury, increase core strength, as well as increase sprinting and jumping capabilities. Dick’s biceps and abs might help him pick up 1000 lbs of a burning building, but his butt might be the key to how he can hold the building up long enough for civilians to escape.
Dick Grayson is actually faster than Batman, able to reach up to 30 MPH while sprinting. Such an ability is impossible for someone without incredibly strong glutes. On top of that, many of Grayson’s positions, especially his most flexible ones, would cause him muscle tears if not for his strong gluteus muscles keeping his lower-half in check. In fact, even the key to his incredible acrobatic abilities can be traced to his incredible butt muscles. What at first appears to just be artwork produced by thirsty fans is ultimately the potential key to Nightwing’s incredible strength and power.
KEEP READING: Nightwing: Why Jason Todd STOLE Dick Grayson’s Identity
Nightwing isn't a super-human, yet he's able to perform some pretty incredible feats. Here are the weirdest aspects of his body and how they work.