4 Supersets That Will Destroy Your Legs
by Evelyn Valdez·
Is it just us or do you also have a love/hate relationship with leg day?! Leg day is the best day, but there are days you might not be up for it and just want to get it done as fast as possible or maybe you want to maximize your lower body gains. We have just the thing for you... lower body superset workouts!
Superset workouts involve two exercises paired together with little to no rest in between, so since you don't rest in between exercises you can accomplish more in less time. However, you do need to take an adequate amount of rest in between your work sets!
There are different types of supersets, but in this article, we'll be focusing on exercises that work opposing muscle groups. That way you can hit all the major muscles in your lower body on your leg day. So, grab your UPPPER Barbell Pad, Lifting Straps, and Ankle Straps, and get ready to do the best supersets for legs!
Superset 1: Dumbbell Romanian Deadlifts and Step-Ups
This is a great combination because dumbbell Romanian deadlifts work your posterior chain (hamstrings and glutes) while step-ups focus more on your quads. That way you'll be able to do these exercises back-to-back without getting too tired.
We love a barbell Romanian deadlift but the dumbbell RDL is just as good, and it'll be easier to do these exercises back to back. Set up your pair of dumbbells next to a bench that way you're ready to do step-ups right after. And don't forget to use Lifting Straps for your heaviest RDL sets!
Dumbbell Romanian Deadlifts:
- Hold a dumbbell in each hand with a pronated (palms facing your body) grip and stand with your feet hip-width apart. Let your arms hang in front of your thighs, and keep your shoulders pulled back and chest up.
- Begin the movement by pushing your hips backward while keeping a slight bend in your knees. As you hinge at your hips, maintain a neutral spine (keep your back straight with a natural arch in your lower back).
- Lower the dumbbells until you feel a good stretch in your hamstrings. Make sure you don't round your back or let your shoulders slump forward.
- To return to the starting position, push your hips forward, engaging your glutes and hamstrings. Keep your back straight and use the power from your hips and hamstrings to bring your torso back up.
- Stand up straight, squeezing your glutes at the top to fully extend your hips.
- Perform the desired number of reps and move to your next exercise.
- Stand 6 inches in front of a bench or raised platform. Grasp a pair of dumbbells so that one is in each hand.
- Step onto the bench with your right leg, while making sure your foot is flat against the bench and your left foot is on the floor.
- Lean forward slightly and push yourself upwards through the heel of your right foot, so your left leg can come up to the bench. Make sure you're not using your left foot to push yourself up, instead focus on your right leg doing the work.
- Slowly and in control step down with the right leg so that your left foot is on the floor again.
- Repeat for the desired reps, then do the same movement on the other leg.
Superset 2: Barbell Hip Thrusts and Split Squats
This combination of exercises works your glutes and quads to avoid fatigue. Barbell hip thrusts are a pretty heavy compound exercise so follow it with bodyweight split squats or you can add dumbbells on each hand if you're up for more of a challenge.
- Load your barbell with the appropriate weight in front of a bench, and place a Barbell Pad on the barbell to help minimize discomfort.
- Place your shoulders and upper back against the bench. Roll the barbell into the crease of your hips, or have a spotter help place it comfortably on your hips.
- Plant your feet firmly on the ground a few inches ahead of you and place them shoulder-width apart, making sure your knees are bent.
- Engage your core and glutes, maintain a forward gaze with your neck slightly tucked in your chin, and begin to push your hips up towards the ceiling bringing the bar with it.
- Stop the movement once you've formed a straight line from your knees to your shoulders. Pause for a moment, and then begin to descend slowly back to the starting position.
- Stand with your feet together, and take a step forward with one foot (your dominant or non-dominant foot, it doesn't matter which one to start with).
- Position your feet far enough apart so that when you lower your body, your front knee forms a 90-degree angle. Your back foot stays on the ground. Keep your chest up, shoulders back, and core engaged throughout the exercise.
- Lower your body by bending your front knee. Your back knee should also bend as you descend, and it should come close to, but not touch, the ground. Lower yourself until your front thigh is parallel to the ground or as far as comfortable without losing balance or form.
- Push through your front heel to rise back up to the starting position. Keep your back straight and chest up as you ascend. Focus on using the muscles of your front leg to perform the movement.
- Complete the desired number of repetitions on one leg before switching to the other leg.
Superset 3: Cable Hip Abductions and Monster Walks with Resistance Band
This combination actually works similar muscle groups back-to-back as opposed to opposing. Cable hip abductions work your hip abductors, outer thighs, and gluteus medius while monster walks works the gluteus medius and minimus. There is some overlap in the muscle groups, but it's a great combination for those wanting to maximize glute growth!
We highly recommend using a pair of comfortable Ankle Straps so you can seamlessly complete this superset. As for the monster walks, we suggest using a light to medium short resistance band, but you can go with a heavy resistance if you're up for the challenge.
Cable Hip Abductions:
- Stand shoulder-width apart with one shoulder next to the cable machine. The ankle cuff will be on the leg opposite from the cable machine.
- Place one hand on your hips and hold the machine with the other for support.
- Lift your weighted leg out to the side as far as possible, but avoid leaning into your standing leg to try and raise your leg higher. Concentrate on only using your outer thigh and gluteus medius muscles.
- Lower your leg down and complete your set reps before switching to the other leg.
- Start by placing the resistance band around your ankles or just above your knees, depending on your comfort level and the intensity you desire. Stand with your feet hip-width apart and your toes pointing forward.
- Maintain a slight bend in your knees, keeping them soft but not locked.
- Take a step to the side with your right foot. Step outwards to the right, keeping tension on the band. As you step to the right, focus on pushing your knees out against the resistance of the band. This helps activate your hip abductor muscles (outer thigh and glutes).
- After stepping to the right, bring your left foot in to meet your right foot, maintaining tension on the band throughout the movement. Your feet should end up hip-width apart again.
- Now, take a step to the left with your left foot. As you step to the left, push your knees out against the band's resistance. Bring your right foot in to meet your left foot, keeping the band taut.
- Continue stepping side to side, maintaining tension on the band with each step.
- Complete the desired number of reps.
Superset 4: Leg Extension and Leg Curl
This combination involves two isolation exercises back to back! Leg extensions focus on your quads while leg curls focus on targeting your hamstrings. It might be tricky doing this superset combination because it requires two exercise machines. We suggest placing your gym bag or water bottle on the other machine while using the other, or simply letting anyone who's waiting know that you're doing a superset.
- Select the desired resistance on the weight stack and insert the pin. Sit down and position your shins behind the pad at the base of the machine.
- Take a deep breath and extend your legs as you flex your quadriceps so that they are lifting the weight. As you lock out the knees, exhale to complete the repetition.
- Slowly lower your feet back to the starting position.
- Adjust the machine lever to fit your height and lie face down on the leg curl machine with the pad of the lever on the back of your legs (just a few inches under the calves).
- Keeping the torso flat on the bench, ensure your legs are fully stretched, and grab the side handles of the machine. Position your toes straight. This will be your starting position.
- As you exhale, curl your legs up as far as possible without lifting the upper legs from the pad. Once you hit the fully contracted position, hold it for a second.
- As you inhale, bring the legs back to the initial position.
The best superset for leg days
There you have it, a complete lower body superset workout that will have your legs sore the next day – but a good type of sore! You can do this superset workout altogether or incorporate one or two supersets on your leg days while still performing regular leg exercises. And if you're not sure how many sets and reps to do, here's a tip:
- For building muscle, do 3 to 5 sets of 8 to 12 reps with 30 to 60 seconds of rest between each superset.
- For cardio endurance, do 2 to 3 sets of 10 to 20 reps with limited rest.
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