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supersets for strength training types benefits

The Single Bodypart Superset

This is the typical type of Superset where you use two different exercises for the same bodypart. An example of this doing a pulldown for the back then immediately doing a seated cable row for the back.

The benefit of this is to hit somewhat different fibers of the muscle from different angles but without giving the bodypart time to recover from the first exercise. This forces the bodypart to work that much harder to complete the second exercise.

It’s a powerful increase in intensity and one that can dramatically ramp up muscle development.

Here are some examples for other bodyparts:

The Benefits of Superset Workouts Chest:
flat barbell bench press + incline dumbell press
incline flyes + flat dumbell bench press
cable crossovers + push-ups

Thighs:
squats + leg extensions
leg press + lunges

Shoulders:
side lateral raises + rear lateral raises
dumbell shoulder press + barbell shoulder press

Antagonistic Supersets

Instead of doing two sets in a row for the same muscle, you will do two sets for directly opposing (antagonistic) muscle groups. An example of this is doing a bicep exercise then a tricep exercise.

Antagonistic Supersets are excellent for allowing you to compress workout time while maintaining high strength levels. When you work an opposing muscle group directly after the original muscle, studies have shown that the nervous system activation can actually INCREASE strength in the second muscle group when you work it.

Here are some examples of Antagonistic Supersets:

Chest & Back
flat barbell bench press + bent-over barbell rows

Biceps & Triceps
barbell curls + close grip bench press

Quadriceps & Hamstrings
leg extensions + leg curls

The shoulders don’t technically have any direct antagonist muscle groups, but you can work with the specific shoulder exercise movements to do the opposite movement. For example, you can do dumbell shoulder press then go directly into pulldowns for the back. You can also do rear delt lateral then dumbell flyes.

The antagonist muscle to the two major calf muscles is called the tibialis anterior. It’s a small and relatively weak muscle compared to the major calf muscles (the gastrocnemius and the soleus) and not particularly useful for doing Supersets with.