If you've been working out for a while, then you've most probably come across the term 'superset' at some point. However, you may not be familiar with the concept.
Basically, a superset it where you take two exercises, that you'd normally preform separately, and preform the second exercise immediately after completing the first. This method of training eliminates the element of rest from the workout and exposes your muscles to a whole new level of intensity.
Supersets are great for both toning and building mass because they are designed to exhaust the muscles, encouraging growth and repair. In this article I'm going to share and explain some of my favourite supersets for building bigger arms!
Superset 1: Skull crushers & alternate dumbbell curls
For this tricep exercise, start by lying on a bench with narrow overhand grip on the barbell. and position the barbell over your shoulders with your arms extended. Then slowly lower the bar to your forehead by bending your elbows. Extend your arms and return to the starting position.
It's especially important not to rush this movement as the last thing you want is the barbell crashing down onto your forehead! Be sure not to completely lock your elbows out when you extend your arms, so you're able to maintain the tension on your triceps.
Alternate dumbbell curls
Start by sitting upright on a bench, with a dumbbell in each hand. Hold the dumbbells in an underhand grip with your palms facing upwards and slowly lift the weight up towards your shoulder, isolating the bicep. When you reach the top of the movement make sure to really squeeze your biceps to put it under extreme tension.
Superset 2: Close grip bench press & barbell curls
Close grip bench press
This compound exercise is definitely one of my favourite triceps exercises! For this exercise you're going to want to move over to the bench press and position yourself underneath the bar. Use a close grip (roughly shoulder width) to lift the bar off the rack and hold the bar over you.
Next, slowly lower the bar until it just about touches your chest. Then bring the bar back up to the starting position, using your triceps muscles to lift the weight. Unlike the regular bench press, keep your elbows tight to your chest throughout the movement to put more pressure on your triceps as opposed to your chest.
This exercise is probably the most basic of all biceps exercises, but that doesn't mean it isn't effective. If you use proper form, this exercise can really maximise bicep growth. Start by gripping the bar at shoulder width, with your elbows tight to your torso, and your palms facing forward.
The most common error arises in the next step. Curl the weight upwards, moving only your forearms. Do not swing your arms! Yes, swinging your arms will allow you to lift more weight, but it also releases the tension from the biceps, incorporates other muscle groups and makes you more susceptible to gaining an injury.
Superset 3: Overhead dumbbell extension & hammer curls
Overhead dumbbell extension
Pick up a dumbbell with both hands and lift it over your head, so both arms are fully extended. The dumbbell should be held in the palm of your hands with your thumbs around it; this will feel a little unusual to begin with, but you'll get used to it! Your palms should be facing towards the ceiling. Next, lower the dumbbell behind your head until your forearms touch your biceps.
Like most other triceps exercises, it's extremely important to keep your elbows in, so the pressure is placed onto the intended muscles. Failure to keep your elbows close to your head results in bad form and the inclusion of other muscle groups. Then return to the starting position by raising the dumbbell with your triceps.
This is probably the most popular biceps exercise there is, so I won't go into detail about how to perform this. However, I will provide some tips on how to get the full effect of this exercise. When you reach the highest point of the movement, hold and squeeze for a second or two, so the bicep is under immense pressure. Also, don't start swinging the weights. If you need to swing your arms to get the weight up, the weight is too heavy for you!
I hope these supersets enable you to take your arm workouts to the next level! However, the growth of your arms is equally reliant on your nutrition as it is working out. It's extremely important to never neglect nutrition, especially your protein intake! Protein is responsible for the growth and repair of muscles, so it's vital you're hitting your protein requirements! Not sure what your requirements are? Use the GN Wizard to find out.