How to Do Superset Exercises

Medically Reviewed by Poonam Sachdev on July 11, 2022
5 min read

If you’re ready to maximize your workouts and increase weight loss and improve overall strength and performance, you’ll want to start adding supersets to your time in the gym. This switch requires a few minor changes to your normal routine and can help you pump up your workouts. 

Supersets are a form of exercise where you focus on working opposing muscle groups back to back with little rest in between. An example of a superset would be doing one set of 10 push-ups focusing on your chest and shoulder muscles. Then, immediately do a set of pull-ups focusing on your back and bicep muscles. 

Supersets are great for getting in different fat-burning and muscle-building exercises quickly. If you’re short on time, this is a more efficient way to take on strength training.

Supersets provide a more intense level of training. The muscles you work with supersets will depend on what groups you're focusing on. Doing your workout in supersets will help you improve your strength and endurance. The supersets' purpose is to boost your exercise intensity and get you out of a routine you've become used to. 

Opposing supersets are a great method of strengthening your entire body. You can focus your workouts on the upper or lower body or a mixture of full-body exercises. A few examples of opposing muscle groups include: 

  • Abductors and adductors
  • Biceps and triceps
  • Chest and back
  • Quadriceps and hamstrings

A typical superset workout is made up of five blocks of two opposing sets. Common items you may need to do supersets include: 

To do a superset, you'll do one set of exercises, typically lasting 45 seconds. Then, after a short rest of 10 seconds or less, you'll do one set of a different exercise. After you do this superset, you'll be able to take a one-minute break before doing the superset over again. You can work out for as long as you're comfortable, but a typical superset block lasts for four minutes. Overall, this type of workout can take about 20 to 30 minutes. 

Make sure you include a warm-up and cool-down in your workout. This is not included in the intensive superset blocks. 

If you want to focus on your leg supersets, here are some adaptations you can try. 

Quads and glutes. If you're focusing on your quads and glutes, you can try a squat and front karate kick move superset with a tubing hip bridge. These moves target two opposing muscle groups and allow you to get a lot of movement in your lower body. 

Hip adductors and hip abductors. These muscles are commonly tackled by machines that are typically placed side by side. However, if you're looking to target these two muscles and don't have access to machines, you can try this super set. You'll start with a dumbbell squat and inner leg drag. Then, you'll superset it with a tubing squat and side leg lifts. 

The more intense of a workout you want, the more movement you can add to your superset exercises. By adding another leg movement, you're taking your squat to another level and getting the most out of your workout. 

It would be best if you aimed to have two to five supersets in one of your workout sessions. Try to get four sets in each move. If you want to make your supersets more difficult, you can do the following: 

  • Add more exercises to your superset
  • Lower your rest time
  • Create more resistance by using a resistance band or dumbbell
  • Try harder exercise variations

There are many benefits of super-setting your exercises. This type of training routine can help you get more done in the gym and start the fast track to reaching your fitness goals. There's little equipment required for supersets, and you can actually do them in your own home. You'll just need to tailor your routine to body weight or resistance band workouts. 

Supersets are more time-efficient. If you don't have much time to spend in the gym, you can still get a good workout with supersets. This type of training also ensures you get more done in one session. Since you're doing two or more exercises back-to-back with minimal resting, you're decreasing your total workout time.

They'll also help increase strength and hypertrophy. Since there's a much shorter rest time between sets, your workout intensity is higher. This means your muscles are being activated at a higher level, increasing hypertrophy in your target muscles. 

This level of intensity lets you push yourself closer to failure while using more muscle fibers in your training. The longer your working muscles are subjected to tension, the more hypertrophy you'll experience.

Another benefit of supersets is adding variety to your workouts. It's great for you to have a routine you love, but if you start getting bored of the same thing, you can switch things up with supersets. Adding, removing, or changing the intensity of your exercise helps make your workouts more fun and exciting. 

The benefit of opposing super set workouts is that when one muscle is contracting, the other is relaxing. This gives your muscles extra time to relax before moving on to the second exercise. Then, the same thing happens with your other muscles. 

There are also cardiovascular benefits to superset workouts. By reducing your rest periods, you keep your heart rate higher for longer. This leads to an increased calorie burn and overall cardiovascular conditioning

While there are many benefits of supersets, there are mistakes you should watch out for. The main mistake you should avoid is not giving your body enough time to recover in between workouts. Studies have shown that back-to-back superset workouts can cause a higher degree of muscle damage. 

Because of this, you should mix supersets throughout your weekly routine rather than doing superset workouts daily. Your body needs time to recover, and the harder you work, the more time it will need to rest. In between sessions, ensure you're working on adequately healing the muscles you trained in your previous session.