Superset workouts maximize your results, increasing your muscle gains twofold. Whether you're trying to get more definition in your muscles right before a big competition, or you just want help building more muscle mass, supersets are one of your most effective options. If your shoulders, biceps and back are the key areas you're focused on, you need the right exercises and workout plan to get the results you're after.
Working the Right Muscles
When you want to target certain areas of your body and get big muscle gains, it's important to be sure you're working the right muscles. The deltoids make up the shoulders, while the bicep muscles sit at front on your upper arms. The back is primarily made up of the trapezius muscle, a large, triangular-shaped muscle of the upper back, with the latissimus dorsi as the largest muscle in the lower back.
Video of the Day
Supersets for Shoulders
To build big deltoids, include the barbell upright row in your exercise regimen. With a narrow stance, stand with your arms extended straight down, holding a barbell with an overhand grip. Pull the bar up to your neck so your arms are bent and perpendicular to the floor. Return to your starting position. Other targeted shoulder exercises include the dumbbell overhead press and military press. Do three to five sets of six to 12 reps for each exercise.
Build Your Biceps
Barbell curls are one of the most effective exercises for building the biceps. Stand straight, feet shoulder-width apart, arms down in front of you, hands in an underhand grip grasping onto a barbell. Flex your arms at the elbows, raising the bar up to your chest, then lower it back down to its starting position for one rep. Also, include preacher curls and barbell drag curls as part of your workout. Complete three sets of eight to 10 reps of each exercise.
Big Back Gains
To work the muscles in your back, include bent-over rows, chin-ups and barbell shrugs in your superset workout. To execute a barbell shrug, stand with a narrow stance, holding a barbell so it rests in front of your thighs, hands with an overhand or mixed grip. Keep your back straight and shrug your shoulders up, elevating them as high as possible while keeping your arms fully extended. Lower your shoulders back down for one rep and repeat. Complete three sets of 12 reps for each exercise.
Maximizing Your Results
Always maintain proper form from start to finish with every exercise, and only increase the weight when you're no longer feeling challenged because your muscles have adapted to the current weight. Also, even though you're focused on these specific areas of your body, don't forget to include enough exercises to work the other major muscle groups in your body as well, or at least a few for the lower body. Otherwise, you could potentially be putting yourself at risk for health issues such as strength imbalances and postural difficulties, warns the American Council on Exercise.
Stick to the Superset Rules
Perform your workout at least three to four times a week for big gains, on nonconsecutive days when possible, to give your muscles much-needed resting time in between workouts. You want increased intensity with a superset workout as opposed to a regular strength-training workout, so minimize your resting time between sets during your workout. Don't forget to eat right to give your body the energy it needs to make it through these vigorous workouts, in particular by feeding your body an adequate amount of protein and carbs after a workout, advises Muscle & Fitness.
- Inner Body: Muscles of the Chest and Upper Back
- Inner Body: Muscles of the Abdomen, Lower Back and Pelvis
- Men's Fitness: Super-Sized Shoulders
- Muscle & Fitness: Arnold Schwarzenegger Shares His Best Shoulder-Training Tips
- Muscle & Fitness: Shoulder Smackdown Routine
- Labrada Nutrition: Superset Your Way to New Size and Muscle Mass
- American Council on Exercise: Strength Training 101
- Muscle & Fitness: The Fat-Busting Superset Workout