July 6, 2022

Upper Body Superset Workout With Anissia Hughes| Well+Good

Each month, a new trainer takes us through four of the best workouts they have…

Each month, a new trainer takes us through four of the best workouts they have in their back pocket. Follow along weekly for new ways to sweat it out with us. See All

When you’re short on time but still want to get a workout in, it’s important to use the time you’ve got as effectively as possible. Enter: supersets.

A superset consists of two movements performed back-to-back. “I love training with supersets because it’s quick, it’s efficient, and it’s challenging,” says Anissia Hughes, NASM-certified trainer, and creator of the Bodyweight Strength with Anissia on the Sweat app.  “There’s no need to spend extra time on anything.”

If you want to try training with supersets, this episode of Trainer of the Month Club is for you. In it, Hughes demos an upper-body superset workout that’s easy to squeeze into a busy day. Consisting of two rounds of three supersets, the workout is designed to build upper body strength without having to log tons of time at the gym. “It’s nice when you’re doing two sets of two, you’re allowed to focus on one muscle group,” Hughes says. Once you finished one muscle group, then you can move on to the next.

Ready to sweat? Grab some 8-10 pound weights, press play on the video above, and follow along with the movements below.

Upper body superset with Anissia Hughes

Perform two rounds of each superset before moving on to the next one. Take a 20-30 second break between rounds. 

Superset #1

Do 12 reps of each movement.

1. Military press: This movement is also known as a shoulder press. Grab your dumbbells and get into a standing position. Bring the dumbbells up just over your shoulders. Your palms should be facing forward and your elbows out to the sides. Engage your core and press the dumbbells up overhead, then bring them back down to your shoulders.

2. Alternating front raises: Stay standing, and keep your dumbbells in your hands. Bring your arms down so that they are by your sides with your palms facing in. Lift one arm straight out in front of you, then return it to your side. Do the same with the other arm. (“It’s kind of like you’re serving drinks,” Hughes says.) continue alternating for a total of 12 reps (six on each side).

Superset #2

Do 12 reps of each movement. 

1. Dumbbell row: Start standing, holding your dumbbells by your sides, then hinge forward at your hips. Keep your elbows tight to your sides and your back straight, and look at the edge of your mat to help keep your neck in alignment. Engage your lats to pull the dumbbells up, then return them to your sides with control.

2. Superman pull-backs: Set your weights off to the side. Lay down on your chest, with your legs right behind you and your arms reaching out in front of you. Raise your arms and legs up, like you’re flying through the sky. Be sure to squeeze your glutes to engage your quads. Your chest should also be slightly lifted off of the ground. From there, pull your elbows back, keeping your arms nice and wide. Bring your arms back in front of you.

Superset #3

Do 12 reps of each movement. 

1. Alternating bicep curls: Start standing, holding your dumbbells by your sides. Lift one dumbbell up to your shoulder, keeping your elbows pinched to your sides. Bring it back down to your side. Do the same on your other side, and continue alternating for a total of 12 reps (six on each side).

2. Push-ups: Set your dumbbells to the side. Get into a plank position, with your hands stacked under your shoulders. Lower your body to the ground, then push yourself back up. You can modify this by going onto your knees.

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