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The 10 Minute Superset Workout

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Shannon Clark

If you’re looking to get into shape in a hurry, you should consider adding supersets into your workout routine. If you’re wondering what these are and how to do them, let’s look at the main things to know about this training technique.

What Are Supersets?

A superset is where you pair two exercises back to back to each other with no rest in between. For example, let’s say you wanted to superset squats and lunges. You would perform one full set of squats, then move directly into lunges, doing your full set. Only when both of these exercises are done do you then rest for your desired amount of time.

There are three main types of supersets you can complete: 

  • Opposing muscle group supersets
  • Same muscle group supersets
  • Upper/lower supersets

With opposing muscle group supersets, you’re going to work a prime mover immediately followed by its antagonist. This would be something like bicep curls followed by triceps extensions, or hamstring curls followed by leg extensions. This type of superset is excellent for generating a serious muscle pump as it brings blood into that area of the body exceptionally well.

The same muscle group superset has you performing two exercises for the same muscle. These are highly intense and designed to help train that muscle to withstand fatigue. Take note that you will likely have to drop your weight considerably on the second exercise in order to get through your reps. An example of this superset would be traditional bicep curls followed immediately by hammer curls – hitting the biceps with two different exercises.

Finally, upper/lower supersets have you performing one exercise for the upper body followed by a second exercise targeting the lower body. These are excellent as one half of the body can rest while the other is working, thus allowing you to still lift a heavy weight and really challenge yourself. Also, they’re great for allowing you to utilize compound exercises, thus burning up calories quickly while boosting your metabolic rate. They’re an excellent way to complete a full body workout in a short time frame. An example would be pairing lat pulldowns with the leg press. 

The Benefits Of Supersets 

Now that you know what supersets are, what are the benefits? What do you stand to gain from them?

First, by doing supersets, you’ll save time. As rest only comes after every two exercises, you’re essentially cutting your rest time in half. 

Second, you’ll get a serious metabolic boost. By elevating your heart rate higher with more reps and less rest, you’ll create a larger EPOC (excess post-exercise oxygen consumption). This prompts your body to burn more calories in the hours following the workout. 

Third, your body will learn to train past the point of fatigue, improving your muscular endurance. After doing a few superset-based workouts, when you go back to traditional set workouts, you’ll find that you’re able to push harder with each set as you’ll feel more well-rested. For this reason, they can be an excellent way to break through a progress plateau. 

Finally, they can be fun. Supersets are going to challenge you in a new way, and can be a great way to shake up a stale workout routine. 

Now that you’re convinced that you should be using supersets, lets create a full body superset workout routine. Incorporate this once or twice per week and you’ll be seeing results in no time. 

Your Full Body Superset Routine 

For this workout, you’ll want to begin by performing a brief 5-10 minute warm-up consisting of light cardio and range of motion exercises.

Superset 1- 3 sets of 6-8 reps per exercise

Barbell Squats

Barbell Chest Press

Superset 2 - 3 sets of 8 reps per exercise

Bent Over Barbell Rows

Barbell Walking Lunges

Superset 3 - 3 sets of 10 reps per exercise

Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Press

Dumbbell Stiff-Legged Deadlifts

Superset 4 - 3 sets of 10 reps per exercise

Lat Pulldown

Upright Rows

Superset 5 - 2 sets of 12 reps per exercise

Standing Barbell Curls

Triceps Cable Pressdowns 

Superset 6 - 2 sets of 12 reps per exercise

Dumbbell Lateral Raises

Dumbbell Front Raises

Exercise Descriptions  

Barbell Squats

Start: Assume a standing position with a barbell across your back in a squat rack, feet slightly wider than hip width apart.

Move: Unrack the weight, straighten your legs and take a deep breath in. Holding the breath in, break at the knees and begin lowering yourself down into the squat position. Go down as far as you can go, pause and then press back up, keeping the back upright while exhaling your breath. Do not let your knees track past your feet.

Bent Over Barbell Rows

Start: Stand just behind a barbell on the floor and bend over at the waist, grabbing the barbell with an overhand grip, hands slightly wider than shoulder width apart. The knees should be slightly bent and your back straight. 

Move: Keeping the hips up and back straight, pull the barbell into the body. Think of keeping the elbows pointing up and back at all times. Once you’ve pulled the weight in as far as you can, pause and then lower it down until it almost touches the ground to complete the rep. Try and keep your back stationary throughout this exercise by keeping your core strong. 

Barbell Chest Press

Start: Position yourself laying on your back on a bench and place your hands on the barbell with an overhand grip, slightly wider than shoulder width apart. 

Move: Unrack the barbell by straightening your arms and then take a deep breath in. Bend your elbows to lower the bar down towards your sternum. Lower until the bar almost touches your chest, and then press the weight back up directly toward the ceiling while exhaling.

Upright Rows

Start: Hold a barbell down by your waist, each hand holding one side using an overhand grip. 

Move: Keeping your back upright, lift the barbell upwards, flaring the elbows out to the sides. Once the weight is in line with the shoulders, pause and then lower it down to complete the rep.  

Barbell Walking Lunges

Start: Stand in an upright position with a barbell placed across your back.

Move: Take one step forward and then begin bending both knees as you lunge down. Once the back knee is almost touching the ground, straighten up again, moving the back leg forward and stepping onto it next. Keep the back upright at all times throughout this movement and continue moving forward with each step. 

Standing Barbell Curls

Start: Hold a barbell down by your waist using an underhand grip that’s slightly wider than shoulder width apart. 

Move: Keep the core tight and elbows locked into the side of the body through the entire rep. Bend the elbows and curl the weight up towards your shoulders. Once you’re as far as you can go, pause and then lower the weight back down to complete the rep.

Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Press

Start: Sit on a flat bench holding a dumbbell in either hand, resting on top of the thighs. 

Move: Kick the dumbbell up to shoulder level as you lean back into the bench and then begin pressing the weight directly over your head. Extend the elbows but do not lock them. Pause at the top and then lower the dumbbells back down until the elbows are at a 90 degree angle to complete the rep.

Dumbbell Stiff-Legged Deadlifts

Start: Get into a standing position with a set of dumbbells down by your feet. Bend over at the waist, keeping your hips up and back straight, and place the hands on the dumbbells using an overhand grip. There should be very little bend in the knees. 

Move: Lift the weights up off the ground and move into a standing position. Once upright, pause and then bend over at the waist again, keeping the back straight as you lower the dumbbells back down. Lower until they almost touch the floor, and then rise up again to perform the next rep. Focus on stretching through the hamstrings and using them to pull you up to the upright position. 

Lat Pulldown

Start: Sit in a lat pulldown machine grasping the bar overhand, with a slightly wider than shoulder width grip.

Move: Lean back slightly and contract the lats as you pull the bar down toward the upper chest. Make sure to open the chest and shoulders as you do. Pause, then return to the starting position in a controlled manner.  

Triceps Cable Pressdowns

Start: Stand in front of a high cable pulley with a rope attached to it. Grasp the rope using an overhand grip and pull the arms down so you tuck your elbows into your sides. Elbows should be bent.

Move: Extend the elbows while keeping them tucked into the side of the body, directing the movement with the triceps. Once elbows are fully extended, pause and then return to the starting position. Note that the rope should separate slightly at the bottom of the movement.

Dumbbell Lateral Raises

Start: Stand upright, holding dumbbells at your sides with palms facing into your body.

Move: Raise the weights out to your sides, leading with your pinkie fingers, to shoulder height. Pause and then return the dumbbells back down to your sides to finish the rep. Your elbows should stay slightly bent throughout the movement and avoid using any upper body momentum to swing the weights up.

Dumbbell Front Raises

Start: Stand upright, holding dumbbells at your sides with palms facing into your body.

Move: Lift both arms out in front, leading with your thumbs, to shoulder height. Slowly lower the dumbbells to your sides to complete the rep.

This full body superset workout hits all the major muscle groups, and provides a mix of the different types of supersets. Try this workout the next time you’re looking to challenge your body in a new way. It’ll have your heart racing and blood pumping in no time!


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