Lower Body Pre-Exhaustion Supersets

Thanks so much to those of you who left comments on Sunday’s post and/or reached out to me after I announced my quest to lift heavier. You are so supportive! Also, nothing gets past you guys. I mentioned that one of my favorite strength workout formats lately is to do 3 rounds of supersets where the first move is a pre-exhaustion isometric hold exercise, followed by 8-10 reps of a heavier main strength exercise. Several of you emailed me asking for the workout, so here’s an example of one I did the other day.

Lower Body Pre Exhaustion Supersets n

For anyone unfamiliar with working isometrically, the best way to think about it is to picture someone holding a plank. Isometric actions or exercises are when the muscle produces force but there is no change in the length of the muscle. Basically an exercise that requires you to be still while still working hard.

Hotel Plank

You could also think about trying to push against an object that simply won’t move or budge. In this instance, you are working your muscles by pushing against that resistance, but your muscles aren’t moving. Make sense?

In this workout, the first exercise in each superset is an isometric one: weighted wall sits, weighted bridges, and weighted plie squat holds. For the first two exercises, I used a 45 pound weight plate, and I used a 45 pound body bar for the plie squat hold. I would not recommend starting out with that weight if you aren’t used to using that much. For the main strength exercises, focus on form and executing through the entire range of motion. Don’t rush through the movement.

Leg Day

This workout can also be adapted if you are using lighter weight by doing the main strength exercise for 12-15 reps instead of the 8-10 like I’ve been doing. I imagine you could go even heavier if executing for 4-6 reps instead. You could also flip flop the exercises so the isometric move is second, although then I’d call the workout post-exhaustion supersets instead of pre. 🙂

Play with it, and see what works for you! Like I always say, what matters most is that you are challenging yourselves.

Let me know if you try it!

–Let’s chat–
What’s your favorite isometric exercise? Lower body workout? Have you worked with this type of workout format before? Or just tell me something you are looking forward to today.

11 thoughts on “Lower Body Pre-Exhaustion Supersets

  1. Favorite isometric move would be holding a push-up at half way in the middle!! Oh baby!
    Looking forward to my Body Toning class I teach tonight, great bunch of ladies. Maybe I will have them do that move! :0)


  2. Love supersets! I’d do them the opposite way though. Getting the big compound move in first then burn out with the iso hold. So there’s another technique that is called Iso-dynamic. We just started incorporating these. Killer! When you have bilateral moves, you’ll hold one (isometric) and then do work on the other one (dynamic). For example with side lat raises – hold on arm up in position and do the regular full ROM with the other then switch sides. It’s crazy. Let me know if you try it! It can be used with other things too like bicep curls, etc.


  3. Those wall sits look killer! I’ll have to try them in my next workout.

    I love doing planks and these things I learned in college called “Single Leg Hops”. You hop on one leg 3x and then FREEZE while standing on one foot for 15sec. They are super hard and awesome!


  4. I love the idea of this superset! I have been trying to up my weights, but it’s hard to do it consistently with my teaching schedule… meaning, it’s hard to pick 2 muscle groups to work one day and then two others the next day. I find I have to do fully body or just upper/lower body in order to fit everything in. *sigh* if only I just taught classes and blogged…. then i’d have all the time in the world to get on track with heavier lifting!


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