If you're a woman who lifts weights, you already know how strength training helps to firm and tone your entire body. Full body supersets are the way to go if you want to maximize your strength training workout. A superset is doing two different sets of exercises one after the other without a long period of rest in between them. Rest for a one minute and then do it again before moving to the next exercise. You can combine different supersets to get a full body workout.
Supersets can help you burn fat and get toned all over. Doing supersets elevates your heart rate and increases your metabolism so you burn a lot of calories in a short amount of time. The key to supersets is starting the second set of exercises with little or no rest between sets. Work your whole body by doing a superset for your upper body and then one for your lower body. By exhausting your muscles during a superset, you promote muscle growth as the tissue heals after your workout. You'll get leaner and stronger faster than you would doing a regular strength training workout.
You'll see a lot of people in the gym doing antagonistic supersets. To do this kind of superset, work one muscle group and then work an opposite, or antagonistic, muscle group. Antagonistic supersets, for example, include working your biceps and then your triceps, your abs and then your lower back and your quads and then your hamstring muscles. The pre-exhaustion technique involves doing one set of an isolation exercise followed by a compound exercise for the entire muscle group.
Weight Loss and Toning
Supersets will blast the fat while toning your muscles for a lean, firm body. According to "Fitness Magazine", you can burn up to three times more calories than a regular strength training workout. You burn more calories because you move rapidly from one set to the next with practically no rest. Once you get your heart rate up, it will stay up and keep your metabolism humming throughout your workout and beyond. Compound exercises, such as lunges and cable machine workouts, work your whole body.
Supersets are not for beginners. Even if you've been strength training for a few months, you should not start supersets exclusively. Do supersets once every week in place of your regular strength training to allow your muscles to rest and recover. Avoid exercising the same muscles in every superset workout. You risk developing an overuse injury to your muscles and joints if you don't allow your muscles to recover. Try some core exercises, such as crunches, in addition to lifting exercises, or pair your supersets with some cardio exercises.
Robin Reichert is a certified nutrition consultant, certified personal trainer and professional writer. She has been studying health and fitness issues for more than 10 years. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University of San Francisco and a Master of Science in natural health from Clayton College.