Antagonistic In-Set Superset for Back and Chest

By Nick Nilsson
Author of Time-Volume Training


The In-Set Superset is a great training concept that I normally use for hitting a single bodypart from a couple of different angles in one set.

All you need are two exercises that share a similar start position, then you alternate reps of each.

A good example is the lying tricep extension and the close-grip bench press. Both share the same position with the bar locked out over your chest.

The In-Set Superset is a powerful technique that can save you training time and really allow you to hit a target muscle VERY hard and very efficiently.


So why not do it with two DIFFERENT bodyparts.

In this, it's for two antagonistic bodyparts...back and chest...going back between dumbbell flyes and dumbbell pullovers (they share a similar top position, with your arms directly over your body).



This is going to allow you to target a lot of upper body muscle mass in one set, really demanding a lot from your back and your chest.

The reason I went with dumbbell flyes over presses is that the dumbbell pullover is most likely going to be the weaker exercise of the two for you. If you use a heavy weight for the presses, then you won't have a prayer of doing a rep of the pullovers. Using the flye for the exercise will be your best bet. Even then, it's not going to be easy.

Also, I prefer to do these on the Swiss ball because of how you can easily adjust your body position for both flyes and for pullovers (especially pullovers).

So here's what it looks like:

Then back up to the top of the flye.

Now push the dumbbells together and hold them together to begin the pullover.

You'll see in this one, to counterbalance the weight behind my head, I'm dropping my hips down. If you're using lighter weights, this won't be as much of an issue (meaning I probably should have used lighter weights)...

The nice thing about this combination is that the pullover does, to some extent, also hit the lower chest, so you're getting the chest in both exercises.

I have to say, I was really impressed with how tough this one turned out to be and I'm absolutely going to be working up some combinations with other antagonistic bodyparts.

And as I mentioned above, this is a great way to hit multiple bodyparts in one shot. One of the benefits of hitting antagonistic parts is the reduction of reciprocal inhibition in the nervous system, i.e. when you work the chest, you'll be a bit stronger in the back right after and vice versa. This combination takes advantage of that.

To complete your workout, next try Countdown Alternating Sets for legs.



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