Looking for the perfect exercise to superset with your Push-Ups?
In this straight-to-the-point guide, I will give you the 10 best exercises to superset with Push Ups. I will also detail why each of these exercises can be the perfect complement to Push Ups, and provide guidance on how to effectively incorporate them into your workout routine.
Whether you are looking to enhance muscle growth, boost functional strength, or achieve a balanced physique, this guide is designed to help you reach your goals effectively and efficiently.
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Keys to Choosing an Exercise to Superset with Push-Ups
Choosing the right exercises to superset with Push-Ups involves considering several factors to ensure that the superset is effective in meeting your fitness goals.
Here are the keys to selecting the appropriate exercises:
Muscle Group Targeting
Choose exercises that target muscle groups complementary to those engaged during Push-Ups.
Push Ups work the chest, shoulders, and triceps. Select exercises that will target the back, biceps, or legs to ensure a balanced workout.
Consider the equipment you have at your disposal. While some exercises may require weights or resistance bands, others might be bodyweight exercises just like Push-Ups.
Align the exercises with your training goals. Whether you aim to build muscle, improve endurance, or enhance stability, the exercises should cater to your objectives.
Form and Technique
Ensure the exercises chosen can be performed with the correct form and technique to prevent injuries and reap maximum benefits.
Exercises to Superset with Push-Ups
Here is a list of my 10 favorite exercises to superset with Push-Ups, along with the reasons why they make great options and how to perform each one.
Why: Pull-Ups target the back muscles and biceps, providing a balanced upper body workout by complementing the muscle groups worked during Push-Ups.
- Approach the pull-up bar and grab the bar with a pronated grip (palms facing away).
- Use a bench to get to the bar if it is too high.
- Later in the article, I will talk about variations, alternatives, and modifications where the supinated (palms facing in) grip will be discussed.
- Squeeze the bar and engage the core muscles and do not cross your legs.
- Engage the upper back and pull up until your chin is over the bar.
- Pause for 1 second with your chin over the bar.
- Slowly lower yourself back to the starting position.
Why: Barbell Rows work the back muscles, helping to create a muscular balance between your anterior and posterior upper body.
- Approach the barbell and take a shoulder-width stance. Your shins should be almost touching the barbell.
- Hinge at the waist and bend the knee until you can grab the barbell. Use a pronated grip (Knuckles facing the floor). I will talk later about the supinated grip (palms up) in this movement.
- Always keep a flat back, and a neutral spine, and keep your eyes focused slightly down about 1 foot in front of you.
- Take a deep breath, brace the abdomen, and pull the bar in until it makes contact right about the belly button.
- Pause for about 1 second. Squeeze the shoulder blades and lock in the rep.
- Slowly return the barbell back to the starting position.
Why: Mountain Climbers are excellent for engaging the core, improving stability, and offering a good cardiovascular workout.
- Begin in a push-up position – hands under shoulders, core engaged, body in a straight line
- Now raise one knee toward the chest and place the ball of the foot on the ground – from this position you’re ready to begin performing reps.
- Drive one leg up and place the foot right next to where the opposite foot just left.
- Simultaneously extend the ‘up foot’ back to the original starting position.
- Continue alternating back and forth until all reps are completed.
Why: Russian Twists target the obliques and abdominals, helping to build a stronger core which is essential for stability during Push-Ups.
Coaching Tip: Add a Medicine Ball (as pictured above) to quickly ramp up the difficulty of Russian Twists.
- Start by taking a seat on the floor and clasping your hands together.
- Slightly bend the knees and raise your feet roughly six inches off the floor.
- Start by rotating your torso to the left, taking your right elbow toward your left knee.
- Now turn your shoulders and rotate your torso to the right, now taking your left elbow toward your right knee.
- Keep legs mostly still and maintain the feet off the floor throughout the movement.
- Continue rotating back and forth until all reps are completed.
Why: Inchworms not only work the core but also enhance shoulder stability, improving your strength and form in Push-Ups.
- Start in an upright standing position.
- Hinge forward at the hips and reach the hands down to the feet while keeping the legs straight. (Basically, it’s a standing hamstring stretch)
- Now, place your hands on the ground just in front of your feet. Bend your knees only the amount necessary to get your hands to the ground.
- Keeping the legs straight, brace the core and walk your hands out until you end up in a Push-up position.
- If doing Inchworms for distance, begin taking very small steps, slowly walking your feet back to your hands. Once you get your feet back up to just behind your hands walk your hands back out again to a pushup position.
- Repeat until you complete the designated distance.
Why: Bicycle Crunches target the core and obliques, offering a complementary abdominal workout to balance the upper body focus of Push-Ups.
- Lay on your back with your knee and hip flexed to 90 degrees
- Raise your shoulder blades off of the ground several inches and put your hands behind your head.
- Keep your chin off of your chest and keep your left leg off of the ground.
- Straighten your right knee while simultaneously driving the left knee in the opposite direction toward your shoulder.
- Touch your left knee to your right elbow and immediately repeat to the other side.
Reverse Dumbbell Lunges
Why: Incorporating a leg exercise helps in achieving a full-body workout, and Reverse Lunges are great for targeting the glutes and hamstrings.
- Grab two dumbbells, one in each hand
- Squeeze the shoulder blades and engage the lats to create a stable back to help with bracing the upper body
- Once you’ve created enough room for yourself from the dumbbell rack (or wherever you pulled them from) you can begin the movement.
- Step backward with one leg, giving yourself enough room to be able to drop into a lunge comfortably without feeling overextended.
- Keep the chest as upright as possible and drop the back knee to roughly one inch from the floor.
- Now drive through the heel and midfoot of the front foot to drive yourself back up tall.
- Repeat on the opposite leg and alternate back and forth until all reps have been completed.
EZ Bar Curls
Why: Push-Ups predominantly work the triceps; adding an exercise for the biceps like EZ Bar Curls can help in maintaining a balanced arm development.
- Stand tall*, back straight, head up, feet shoulder-width apart.
- Hold the EZ Curl Bar with both hands, palms up (supinated grip).
- Start with the bar at arm’s length against the upper thighs.
- Curl the bar up towards the shoulders until the forearms touch the biceps.
- Keep upper elbows close to the side.
- Lower the bar back to starting position using the same path.
Why: Even though Push Ups work the triceps, Dips can further isolate this muscle group, enhancing arm strength and definition.
Coaching Tip: This type of superset – where both exercises target similar/same muscle groups is called a compound superset.
Learn more about the differences between Compound Sets and Supersets and how to best utilize each one.
- Attach your dip rack to your rack. This process will vary based on your rack and dip attachment. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions closely.
- Set your dip rack just above waist height. This will allow enough room for your feet not to hit the ground while doing reps, but not so high you feel you have to jump up into your first rep.
- Starting position is hands on bars, arms extended, knees slightly bent and feet crossed (crossing feet is optional but does help with unwanted swinging in my experience.
- Descend down by bending the elbows and slightly leaning forward.
- Lower yourself under control until the triceps become parallel with the ground and then drive yourself back up to the starting position.
Why: Bird Dogs are excellent for improving core strength and stability, which are vital in performing Push-Ups with proper form.
- Start on the ground, on your hands and knees.
- Simultaneously lift one arm and the opposite leg.
- Lift the arm straight out in front of the body, palm down. It should finish parallel to (or slightly higher than) the torso.
- Lift the leg straight out below the body, squeezing the glute at the top. It should finish parallel to (or slightly higher than) the torso.
- There should now be a (relatively) straight line through the ankle, knee, hip, shoulder and hand.
- Reset back to the starting position and then repeat the movement on the other side.
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Mastering the art of the perfect superset pairing with Push-Ups can pave the way to more effective and efficient workouts.
The exercises highlighted in this guide have been chosen for their complementary benefits when paired with Push-Ups, promoting balanced muscle development and aiding in the enhancement of your overall functional strength.
By incorporating some of these proven supersets into your training program, you are setting yourself up for success with continual growth and progress.