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Superset Workout for Women: Maximize Your Exercise!

By: Holly Smith, M.D. - Osteopathic Medicine, B.S. - Dietetics, NASM-PES Certified Trainer,

Writer, The Fit Father Project & Fit Mother Project

superset workout for women

As a busy mom, it can be hard to fit in a workout. That's why you need a superset workout for women to make every workout as efficient as possible, while still getting great results.

Strength training is a vital part of any workout routine.

While cardio is a great way to stay in shape, weight training is just as essential for women, especially as they get older.

As women get older, lean body mass decreases. This is also referred to as sarcopenia.

But a lot of this muscle loss has been shown to be more from muscle disuse rather than just aging alone.

Luckily, regular resistance training can help you maintain muscle mass.

Not only will lifting weights or doing bodyweight resistance exercises help you maintain muscle mass, but strength training workouts also help decrease your risk for chronic disease.

On top of that, studies have found that women who perform weight training programs have more lean muscle mass and a lower risk for obesity.

Get started today with a superset workout for women!

In a rush? Try this quick workout for busy moms!

Superset Workout for Women

If you are on a tight schedule, incorporating a superset workout for women into your fitness routine will help you build muscle in a shorter period of time.

A superset basically means doing two workouts back to back with minimal rest.

Since you are decreasing your rest intervals, you can get more work done.

There are actually a few different ways to add supersets:

Same Muscle Group (Pre-exhaustion)

You can target the same muscle group in a superset by starting out with an isolation exercise, and then following this up with a compound movement.

In this way, the muscles become “pre-exhausted” in the first set.

You then push past this in the second set to help increase muscle growth.

Same Muscle Group (Post-exhaustion)

This is similar to the pre-exhaustion superset, however this time you start with compound exercises, and then follow that up with an isolation movement.

Opposing Muscle Groups

This is probably the most common type of superset, where you target different muscle groups.

For example, doing a pushing chest exercise followed by a pulling back exercise.

This gives the muscles in the first group time to recover as you work out the muscles in the second muscle group.

Another benefit of this type of superset is that muscles generate a stronger contraction when preceded by a contraction in an opposing muscle group.

Staggered Supersets

In a staggered superset, you do exercises in two completely different muscle groups.

For example, squats followed by bench press.

This is a good superset choice when you are doing full-body workouts.

This superset is a great, quick strength training workout!

Minimize Rest, Maximize Strength

With supersets, instead of taking long rest periods without doing any work, you use the time that you are resting one muscle group to work the next.

Plus, some of the muscles used in each exercise will end up overlapping slightly.

This means you increase time under tension for those muscles, giving you even more muscle pump.

Another awesome benefit of supersets is that research has shown they can also help increase your body’s ability to burn fat.

This happens by increasing your energy expenditure (or how many calories your body burns) even after your workout is over!

Opposing Muscle Upper Body Superset Workout

Here is a great upper body workout to start adding to your weekly fitness routine.

To maximize strength gains, you should be doing strength training at least two times a week.

For each exercise perform 8-10 reps and then move right into the next exercise.

Rest one to two minutes, then repeat two more times through for a total of three sets.

After you finish each superset block, rest 3-4 minutes, then move to the next block.

By incorporating supersets where you target opposing muscle groups you can increase your training volume in a shorter period of time.

This will improve your overall fitness and enhance muscle growth.

For instance, instead of taking long rest periods without doing any work, you use the time that you are resting your pecs to work your lats.

And since some of the muscles used in each exercise overlap slightly, you are adding even more time under tension.

Superset 1: Chest and Back

For this you will do one set of bench presses, then move right into the lat pulldown.

Take a one-minute rest after that, then repeat the superset two more times.

Dumbbell Bench Press

  • Lie back on a flat bench and hold a dumbbell in each hand straight over you.
  • Choose a weight that you can safely perform 8-10 reps with.
  • Lower the weights slowly to your chest.
  • Pause briefly and then push back up to complete one rep.

Lawnmower Pull

  • Place your left knee up on a weight bench with your right leg on the floor beside the bench.
  • Keep your left hand on the bench in front of your left knee and hold a dumbbell in your right hand.
  • Bend over so your back is parallel with the ground.
  • Lift the dumbbell up to your side and then lower it slowly back down.
  • Repeat for 8-10 reps with the right arm, then switch sides and repeat 8-10 reps with the left arm.

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Superset 2: Biceps and Triceps

Hammer Curls

  • Stand with a dumbbell in each hand with the elbows close to the body.
  • The palms of the hands should be facing in towards your body.
  • Curl the weight up until the dumbbell is at shoulder level.
  • Hold the contracted position for a brief moment as you squeeze the bicep then lower the dumbbells back down.

Skull Crushers

  • Lie flat on a bench.
  • Hold a curl bar above your head using a close grip with your elbows in close.
  • Lower the bar by allowing the elbows to bend as you bring the bar above your forehead.
  • Pause once the bar is directly above the forehead, then lift the bar back up by extending the elbows.

Learn the proper skull crusher form, one of the best triceps exercises for women.

Superset 3: Shoulders and Back

Lateral Raise to Front Raise

  • Hold a pair of light dumbbells by your side while standing with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Your palms should be facing in. Raise your arms straight out to the sides to shoulder level.
  • Slowly lower back down.
  • Then raise your arms straight out in front of you and lower back down.
  • This is one rep.

Bent-Over Row

  • Hinge forward from your hips with arms straight.
  • Row the weights up towards your chest, leading with your elbows, then lower it under control.

Superset 4: Chest and Triceps

Incline Dumbbell Bench Press

  • Lie back on an incline bench with a dumbbell in each hand.
  • The palms of your hands will be facing each other.
  • Lift the dumbbells one at a time so that you can hold them at shoulder width.
  • Once you have the dumbbells raised to shoulder width, rotate your wrists forward so that the palms of your hands are facing away from you.
  • Push the dumbbells up and pause at the top for a second.
  • Then start slowly lowering the weight back down to your shoulders.

Overhead Tricep Extension

  • Start standing with your feet shoulder-width apart while holding a pair of dumbbells.
  • Raise the dumbbells above your head until your arms are stretched out straight.
  • Slowly lower the weights back behind your head.
  • Try not to flare your elbows out.
  • Once your forearms move beyond parallel to the floor bring the weight back up.

Superset 5: Shoulders and Biceps

This final burnout superset utilizes a compound move of dumbbell curl to shoulder press to really challenge the arms and shoulders.

Follow this with a burnout exercise of isometric bicep holds to finish out the workout.

Dumbbell Curl to Shoulder Press

This is an efficient move that will work both the biceps and shoulders to get you some seriously toned arms.

  • Stand with a dumbbell in each hand, feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Your arms should be hanging at your sides with your palms facing forward.
  • Flex your elbows to curl the dumbbells up in a controlled movement.
  • At the top of the curl, rotate your shoulders and turn your wrists so that your palms are facing forward again.
  • Press your arms up above your head.
  • Pause at the top of the motion then slowly lower the dumbbells to your shoulders.
  • Turn your palms so that they are facing you again, as they were in the top of the curl.
  • Then lower the dumbbells to the starting position for one rep.

Isometric Biceps Hold

This bicep burner is a great way to end your workout.

  • Hold a pair of dumbbells at your sides, palms facing forward, and keep your back straight and chest up.
  • Bend your elbows and curl the weights until your arms form a 90-degree angle.
  • Hold here for 30 seconds, then lower back down.

Lower Body Superset Workout

In a lot of lower body exercises, you need to engage in both flexion and extension to complete the moves.

However, you can still utilize supersets in lower body workouts by choosing one move that focuses more on the quads, with the second focusing more on the hamstrings.

Plus, don’t forget about exercises that target the calves, adductors, and abductors!

Similar to the upper body workout, aim to complete 8-10 reps of each exercise then move right into the next move in the superset block.

Rest 1-2 minutes and then repeat 2 more times.

Rest 3-4 minutes before moving to the next superset.

Superset 1: Quads and Glutes/Hamstrings

Barbell or Dumbbell Squat

Begin with bodyweight squats if you are new to this move.

Once you have perfected the form you can try holding dumbbells by your side to add weight to the movement.

You can stick with dumbbells or if you feel confident can also move to squatting with a barbell across the shoulders.

You should always use a spotter, or at least a spotter rack to make sure you are safe doing this movement.

  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart and squat your hips down and back while you bend your knees.
  • Try to keep your weight in your heels.
  • Then explode back up through your heels to a standing position.

Barbell Hip Thrusters

  • Sit in front of a bench and lean your upper back on the bench with a barbell across your hips.
  • Place padding, such as a squat pad or a towel, around the barbell so that the bar doesn’t dig into your hip.
  • Keep your feet planted firmly on the ground, close to your butt.
  • Push your hips upward, driving the barbell up.
  • Hold for a second then lower back to the ground.
  • Repeat for 8-10 reps.

Superset 2: Quads/Abductors and Glutes/Hamstrings/Calves

Curtsy Lunge

  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart while holding a dumbbell in each hand.
  • Step back with your left leg and cross it behind your right leg.
  • Bend your right knee and lower down into a squat.
  • Then push your back leg up to return to the starting position.
  • Complete 8-10 reps on the right side, then switch to the other side and repeat.

Good Morning

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart with a barbell resting across your shoulders with your palms facing forward.
  • Hinge forward from your hips until your torso is parallel to the floor.
  • Then reverse the move by contracting glutes as you raise your upper body back up to the starting position.

Superset 3: Quads/Adductors and Abductors

Side Lunges

  • Stand with your knees slightly bent and your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Take a step to the right with your right foot.
  • Keep your toes pointed forward and stay low.
  • Keep your left knee extended and bend the right knee to lunge down with the right leg.
  • Pause at the bottom, and then extend and push up through to return to a standing position.
  • Then repeat to the left side.
  • Perform 8-10 reps on each side.

Leg Raises

  • Lie on your right side and raise your left leg up to about 45 degrees.
  • Hold at the top for 1-2 seconds.
  • Then slowly lower the leg back down to meet your bottom right leg.
  • Do 8-10 reps with the left leg, then flip over to lie on the left side and repeat 8-10 reps with the right leg.

Superset 4: Glutes/Hamstrings/Quads and Calves

Romanian Deadlift

  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart while holding a barbell in front of your thighs.
  • You can also use dumbbells if you prefer, or even a kettlebell.
  • Hinge forward at the hips and lower the dumbbells in front of your shins, keeping them close to your body.
  • Once the weights go past your knees, drive through your heels to extend your hips and knees and return to a standing position.

Three-Way Calf Raises

  • Stand with the balls of your feet on a stair, step, or low platform.
  • Let your heels hang over the edge.
  • First, turn your toes inward.
  • Press your toes into the step to lift your heels up.
  • Lower them slightly below the level of the step.
  • Do 8-10  reps.
  • Next, turn your toes out 45 degrees and perform another 8-10 reps of calf raises at this angle.
  • Finally, keep your toes forward, and do another 8 to 10 reps in this position.

By utilizing a superset workout for women you can increase your training volume without wasting time between your sets.

This makes every workout more efficient and in turn, will lead to a stronger body and better overall health.

Holly Smith

Writer, The Fit Father Project & Fit Mother Project

Holly is an osteopathic physician, runner, triathlete, and fitness and nutrition enthusiast.

She is board certified in nephrology and internal medicine, has a bachelors degree in dietetics and is a certified personal trainer with NASM-PES certification.

Holly has completed four full ironmans, twelve marathons, countless half ironmans, olympic distance triathlons, half marathons and numerous other road races.

Holly joined the Fit Father Project in May 2019 as a regular writer, contributing articles on health, wellness, exercise, and nutrition.

She has also recently qualified for the 2020 World Championships for Ironman 70.3, in New Zealand!

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*Please know that weight loss results & health changes/improvements vary from individual to individual; you may not achieve similar results. Always consult with your doctor before making health decisions. This is not medical advice – simply very well-researched info on a superset workout for women.

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