In addition to at home workouts simply saving time from preparing for and driving to and from the gym, you can further cut time in those exercise sessions done in your comfy confines.
It’s called supersetting, and it’s also a very sensible approach to training, because it helps ensure much better body balance, which not only looks good and provides greater functional fitness, but even more importantly acts to prevent injuries.
You do, however, need to be highly familiar with the home exercises you’ll be using, since you will be moving more rapidly and switching movements frequently. This will require concentration, familiarity, and decent cardio capabilities, especially the faster your pace.
The basic concept is to work a particular muscle group for a set, for instance, the chest press (eg, dumbbell bench press or pressing laying back on an exercise ball–more on chest exercises here). Since your chest needs a little time to rest in order to effectively handle another set, shift to the opposite side and work that, in this case your back.
You can do dumbbell rows, for example, or use exercise bands, creating a pulling movement; the exact opposite from the pushing done with the chest exercise.
After doing one “round,” (a set of chest followed by a set for the back), do a second and then a third round of this same combo before going to two totally different body parts.
Another superset example would be doing an exercise that works predominantly your quadriceps (front muscles of your upper legs) followed by a hamstring exercise for the back of your upper legs.
For the front, you can do squats, either bodyweight or holding dumbbells (or even adding a weight belt if desired). These do hit the back of the leg some, but still work the quads more. Follow that up with doing something like a glute-hip raise (see pic immediately above), as the movement has various names), where you start off lying on the floor, elevate your feet on something like a bench or exercise ball, and then raise your hips off the ground by utilizing those hamstrings.
After doing one round of squats followed by glute-hip raises, you should then be ready to do another set of squats, followed by the glute-hip, etc, for a total of three rounds.
This front-back concept also would apply for the arms, where you can do a set of dumbbell curls, followed by tricep extensions or kickbacks.
Another superset can be shoulder presses matched up with pull ups or a lat pulldown (if you have a home machine; if not, you can use exercise bands for the same effect).
Yet one more superset would include your all-important core, where you’d do a set of crunches followed by a set of hyperextensions (note pic below). I’ve found personally the most readily available way to do this is with the ever portable exercise ball.
Here’s an example superset workout for the whole body, albeit a fairly abbreviated one. Remember, in this article, we’re here to save time!
3 rounds of each superset—
Dumbbell bench press (or pushups) followed by dumbbell rows
Shoulder press followed pull ups or lat pulldown with bands
Bicep curl followed by tricep extension or kickback
Bodyweight squat (or holding dumbbells for added resistance) followed by Glute-hip raises.
Exercise ball crunches followed by Hyperextensions
*If you have done three rounds of each of these supersets with minimal rest between rounds and supersets, you should be reasonably tired. However, if you still have something left in the tank and feel the desire, re-do Superset #4 (legs), since the first three supersets were upper body.
Hopefully, you’ll find this type of home workout both challenging and refreshing, especially considering the amount of physical activity and resulting health benefits you can achieve in a relatively short amount of time. Home exercises allow for many possible superset combos, so you can obviously modify based on what you have available or simply what you feel like performing at the moment.
I have plans for a new article soon that lists many at home exercises to choose from, virtually all of which can be used in some combo with another to create any number of possibilities for superset based home workouts.