Supersets can be a great way to optimize your time in the gym and in the right circumstance even improve performance for certain lifts.
There are multiple ways to incorporate supersets into your workout but here are a couple of my favorites.
Upper/lower body superset:
This allows almost complete rest of the working extremities while still keeping the heart rate up and body warm. You will be able to push more weight with this type of set. Ideally you will also pick lifts that work opposing muscle groups.
Example: Deadlift/ Seated Overhead Press – The deadlift is a pulling movement- even though it’s technically a lower body lift, you use a lot of upper body pullers so to keep your weight and rest high, the overhead press is a great option. It is not only a push, but it’s a torso supported lift so you’re not having to work any core stabilizers. Another good option would be a bench press.
This is a great way to optimize your time on upper body. There are even studies showing that activating the opposing muscle groups can improve your strength in a lift.
Example: Bent Row / Bench Press – These are both horizontal plane movements which ensures as much separation of the working muscle groups as possible because it’s literally the exact opposite.
This is designed to focus a major lift more on a specific muscle, generally starting with the muscle you want to target. You don’t want to work the muscle group to failure or you will end up working the quads even more, but to just fatigue it slightly so it has to work a bit harder to perform a proper squat.
Example: Glute Kickbacks/ Squats – If you have a quad dominant squat and want to focus more of your lift on glutes and hamstrings you can begin with kickbacks to target that muscle group prior to squatting.
The opposite is also an option. Work a muscle group to failure prior to a compound lift to target the OPPOSING group.
There are really no real wrong ways to couple exercises, it just depends on what your goals are and
knowing WHY you’re doing what you’re doing is the most important thing.