This 20-Minute Superset Biceps Workout Will Sculpt Your Entire Upper Body

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Biceps curls are the best way to isolate your upper arm muscles, but they're not the only way to target them.
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Want superhero arms? Do supersets! Supersets — performing two exercises back to back with little to no rest in between — are an efficient and effective way to build muscle strength endurance.

Because of the shorter rest period, supersets are perfect for when you're in a time crunch (so, always?). The intensity is increased, while the time invested is reduced. And because you're doing more work in less time, there's also the potential to burn more calories due to a higher heart rate. We call that a win-win!

In general, there are three types of supersets: one where you perform two exercises back to back focusing on the same muscle group (ex. bench press and push-ups for your chest), one where you do two exercises using opposing muscle groups (ex. biceps and triceps) and another where you work completely separate muscle groups (ex. quads and upper back).

For the workout below, you'll be focusing on opposing supersets. While biceps will be the main target, working the opposing and supporting muscles in the back and triceps gives your upper arms time to recover.

All you'll need is a set of light to heavy dumbbells (or a creative alternative). Pick weights that are challenging for you. If you're easily able to do another 5 reps of any exercise, you want to choose a heavier weight for the following set.

Remember, each set will have two exercises. You'll do both exercises for the designated reps and sets with no rest in between, before moving on the the next two exercises.

Check out more of our 20-minute workouts here — we’ve got something for everyone.

Superset 1

Move 1: Biceps Curl

Sets 4
Reps 12
Activity Dumbbell Workout
Body Part Arms
  1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart, holding a dumbbell in each hand at your sides with elbows close to your body and your palms facing away from you.
  2. Keep your shoulders down away from your ears and your chest open. Bend your elbows, lifting your hands until the dumbbells reach your shoulders.
  3. Lower back down with control to return the starting position.

Move 2: Triceps Extension

Sets 4
Reps 12
Activity Dumbbell Workout
Body Part Arms
  1. Stand up straight with your feet hip-width apart and a dumbbell in hand.
  2. Raise your arms above your head with your biceps close to your ears and the dumbbell between your hands.
  3. Bend your elbows to lower the weight.
  4. Return to the starting position by pressing the weight back above your head.

Superset 2

Move 3: Push-Up

Sets 4
Reps 12
Activity Body-Weight Workout
Region Upper Body
  1. Lie facedown, toes tucked, palms on the floor by your chest, with your arms at a 45-degree angle out from your torso and your shoulders away from your ears.
  2. Push through your hands and straighten your arms, keeping your core engaged.
  3. Lower yourself back down as far as you can go without lying on the ground, keeping your core engaged.

Move 4: Bent Over Wide Row

Sets 4
Reps 12
Activity Dumbbell Workout
Region Upper Body
  1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart, shoulders back, chest open, with a dumbbell in each hand.
  2. Hinge forward at the waist with your gaze on the ground, creating a flat back.
  3. Face your palms toward you. This is the starting position.
  4. Bend your elbows up and out to the side bringing the weights up, using your back muscles to control the movement.
  5. Lower back down slowly to the starting position.

Superset 3

Move 5: Hammer Curl

Sets 4
Reps 12
Activity Dumbbell Workout
Body Part Arms
  1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart, holding a dumbbell in each hand at your sides with elbows close to your body and your palms facing each other.
  2. Keep your shoulders down and away from your ears and your chest open. Bend your elbows, lifting your hands until the dumbbells reach your shoulders.
  3. Lower back down with control to return the starting position.

Move 6: Bent Over Row With Reverse Grip

Sets 4
Reps 12
Activity Dumbbell Workout
Region Upper Body
  1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart, shoulders back, chest open, with a dumbbell in each hand.
  2. Hinge forward at the waist with your gaze on the ground, creating a flat back.
  3. Face your palms away from you. This is the starting position.
  4. Bend your elbows and bring the weights up, using the back muscles to control the movement.
  5. Lower back down slowly to the starting position.
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