Episode 017 - Supersetting the right way with agonist antagonist pairs

Episode 017: Supersetting the right way with agonist-antagonist pairs

Today’s podcast episode is a deep dive into agonist-antagonist pairs and how you can use this knowledge to create effective agonist-antagonist superset workouts.

You’ll learn how you can create a whole-body workout made purely of supersets which will help you with your L3 Personal Trainer Assessment portfolio and planning for client sessions.

Hayley divides this podcast into 6 key joint actions in the body, and their opposing joint actions; which are then mapped to the prime mover of that action.

Also, join us at the end for the revision power hour, as Neale adds a clear structure to your revision session ahead.

Click the PLAY button below to listen to the entire episode

Episode 017 Supersetting the right way with agonist antagonist pairs

Grab the FitPro Sessions Podcast show notes:


1:00 Intro to today’s FItPro Session Podcast – What are the agonist-antagonist pairs in the body?
1:43 Horizontal Flexion and Extension of the shoulder for Horizontal push and pull exercises. A superset example is Bench Press into Seated Row
4:00 Shoulder Flexion and Extension for vertical push and pull exercises. A superset example is Shoulder Press into Lat Pull Down.
6:00 Elbow Flexion and Extension for bicep and tricep exercises
6:45 Spinal Flexion and Extension to work the Abdominal Crunch and Erector Spinae
8:40 Hip Flexion and Extension including working the Hip flexors and the glutes
10:30 Knee Flexion and Extension to work the Hamstrings and the Quadriceps
11:30 “Find the joint that is moving and what is the Prime mover in the concentric phase. Then do the opposing joint action to find the muscle that is the antagonist pair”
12:20 Start of the Revision Power Hour

The Revision Power Hour Cheat Sheet:

Supersetting the right way with agonist-antagonist pairs

In the podcast video, you learn about 6 key joint actions and the main muscle prime mover responsible for each action. Knowing this will help consolidate what you learned for your Level 2 or 3 anatomy and physiology exam, and it will also help you relate anatomy to planning.

This knowledge is key in helping you understand WHY you are programming certain exercises for your client based on the client’s goal and physiology.

Here are a summary of the 6 key joint actions to be aware of foe effective agonist-antagonist supersetting:

Pair 1:

Shoulder Horizontal Flexion (Working the Pectoralis Major) and
Shoulder Horizontal Extension (Working Trapezius and the Rhomboids)

These are Horizontal push and pull exercises; A superset example is Bench Press into Seated Row

Pair 2:

Shoulder Flexion (working the Deltoid) and
Shoulder Extension (working the Latissimus Dorsi) for .

These are Vertical push and pull exercises; A superset example is Shoulder Press into Lat Pull Down.

Pair 3:

Elbow Flexion (working the biceps brachii) and
Elbow Extension (working the triceps brachii)

An example agonist-antagonist superset would be cable biceps curl into cable overhead extension.

Pair 4:

Spinal Flexion (working the Rectus Abdominus) and
Spinal Extension (working the Erector Spinae)

An example superset would be Ab Crunch into Back Raise

Pair 5:

Hip Flexion (woking the hip flexors -iliopsoas) and
Hip Extension (working the glutes)

A superset example would be hanging leg-raises into kettlebell swing

Pair 6:

Knee Flexion (working the Hamstrings) and
Knee Extension (working the Quadriceps)

A superset example would be a leg curl machine into an extension machine.

Agonist-Antagonist Pairs – Mock Questions

Test your knowledge by answering these three mock questions: answers are at the bottom of the blog.

Q1: Which of the following is the antagonist if Biceps Brachii is the agonist?
A. Triceps Brachii
B. Rectus Femoris
C. Biceps Femoris
D. Brachioradialis

Q2: According to the rule of Recipricol Inhibition, what happens to the antagonistic muscle when agonist concentrically contracts?
A. Eccentric Contraction
B. Concentric Contraction
C. Relax and lengthen
D. Relax and shorten

Q3: What would be a suitable agonist-antagonist pairing if the Shoudler Press was the first exercise ?
A. Biceps Curl
B. Lat Pull Down
C. Leg Extension
D. Seated Row

Test your knowledge, by reading the answers below.

Download More Mock Questions for FREE just link these by clicking this link: MOCK QUESTIONS


Q1 = A
Q2 = C
Q3 = B

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See you on the inside

Dedicated to More

Hayley “agonist-antagonist pair supersetting” Bergman

Parallel Coaching

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