BY BRAD SCHOENFELD, PH.D
Here's one way to make leg day even better: Supersize it. “Reciprocal supersets increase training density, allowing you to pack more volume into less time. This not only makes your workout more efficient, it also means you’re increasing training volume within a given session, which can enhance muscle development,” explains Brad Schoenfeld, Ph.D., C.S.C.S, an assistant professor of exercise science at Lehman College in the Bronx, N.Y. The concept is fairly simple: Work one muscle group (agonist) while the opposing one (antagonist) rests, then switch the order. For legs, this may mean focusing on quads for one move (with squats or a leg press), followed promptly by a hamstring-centric move like a deadlift or ball curl. “Studies indicate that by contracting an agonist muscle, you can actually increase force output during subsequent contractions of the antagonist,” adds Schoenfeld.
These two workouts are based on Schoenfeld’s book, Strong & Sculpted. Warm up with five to 10 minutes of light cardio, then do one set of the first exercise, followed immediately by its superset pair. Rest 11⁄2 to 2 minutes, then repeat with the two additional supersets. You can also sub in other moves to progress the workout.
SEE ALSO : A 3-MINUTE WORKOUT THAT BURNS BELLY FAT
Our model: Yanyah (Janji) Marija Milutinovic, NPC figure competitor, fitness model. (Hometown: New York City via Eskilstuna, Sweden)
MORE WAYS TO SUPERSET
Looking for more variety in your workout? Try subbing in some of the moves below. Just make sure you’re adding a balance of quad- or hamstring-focused exercises where appropriate.
SUPERSET A (Quad-dominant)
- Barbell Front Squat
- Bulgarian Split Squat
- Dumbbell or Barbell Lunge
- Dumbbell Stepup
- Leg Extension
SUPERSET B (Hamstring-dominant)
- Glute Bridge
- Cable Glute Kickback
- Machine Kneeling Leg Curl
- Seated Leg Curl
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