The Joint-By-Joint Superset Routine

February 23, 2015 | John Paul Catanzaro

Here’s a superset routine that attacks the entire body one joint at a time. It’s a split routine where the lower body is trained on Day 1 and the upper body on Day 2. Each day starts with a proximal pair of exercises and progresses distally with each subsequent pair. In other words, larger muscles are targeted initially and smaller muscles toward the end of the workout.

The exercises are paired by joint in the following manner:

Day 1 – Lower BodyDay 2 – Upper Body
A1. Trunk ExtensionA1. Shoulder Extension
A2. Trunk FlexionA2. Shoulder Flexion
B1. Hip ExtensionB1. Shoulder Horizontal Extension
B2. Hip FlexionB2. Shoulder Horizontal Flexion
C1. Knee ExtensionC1. Elbow Extension
C2. Knee FlexionC2. Elbow Flexion
D1. Ankle ExtensionD1. Wrist Extension
D2. Ankle FlexionD2. Wrist Flexion

Okay, here’s the routine now with the appropriate parameters in place:

Day 1 – Lower Body
A1. Bent-Knee Deadlift: 4 x 6-8 @ 3-1-X-0, 10s
A2. Decline Sit-Up: 4 x 8-10 @ 3-0-X-0, 180s
B1. Reverse Hypers: 3 x 10-12 @ 2-0-X-0, 10s
B2. Incline Two-Leg Lowering: 3 x 10-12 @ 3-0-1-0, 150s
C1. Seated Leg Extension: 3 x 12-15 @ 2-0-1-0, 10s
C2. Lying Leg Curl: 3 x 6-8 @ 4-0-1-0, 120s
D1. Standing Calf Raise: 3 x 10-12 @ 2-1-1-0, 10s
D2. Seated Cable Tibialis Raise: 3 x 15-20 @ 1-0-1-0, 90s

Day 2 – Upper Body
A1. Mid-Grip Pull-Up: 4 x 6-8 @ 4-0-X-0, 10s
A2. Standing Military Press: 4 x 6-8 @ 4-0-X-0, 180s
B1. Seated Cable Row: 3 x 8-10 @ 3-0-1-0, 10s
B2. Flat Neutral Dumbbell Press: 3 x 8-10 @ 3-0-1-0, 150s
C1. Kneeling Rope French Press: 3 x 10-12 @ 2-0-1-0, 10s
C2. Incline Dumbbell Curl: 3 x 8-10 @ 3-0-1-0, 120s
D1. Cable Reverse-Grip Wrist Curl: 3 x 12-15 @ 1-0-1-0, 10s
D2. Cable Wrist Curl: 3 x 12-15 @ 1-0-1-0, 90s

Perform each day twice a week (e.g., Day 1 on Monday and Thursday, and Day 2 on Tuesday and Friday). After a month, switch to a new routine. Make sure to keep the rest minimal (only 10 seconds) between the first exercise and the second exercise of each superset pair.

Always think of the results, not your ego! The key with supersets is to be successful each set, not to use extremely heavy loads. Put your ego aside and pick an appropriate weight to accomplish the task. It is not uncommon to lose a rep or two each set depending on your muscle fiber makeup, so adjust the load accordingly.