Tip: Superset for Spinal Health & Increased Strength

Do an exercise that deloads the spine immediately after one that loads it heavily. You'll get stronger and keep the spine healthy. Here's how.

Tags ,

The spine can get easily compressed during heavy lifting. Big exercises like barbell squats, standing presses, and deadlifts all create a lot of force on the vertebrae. This can contribute to limited blood flow through the spinal column, lowered electrical stimulus to muscles, and even set the stage for injuries like herniated discs.

When choosing a superset, deciding to simply combine a "pull" with a "push" is only half the battle because both the pulling and pushing exercises could still be compressing the vertebrae. Attention needs to be paid to deliberately unloading the spine with the second exercise of the superset without interfering in the performance of either exercise.

From a health perspective, anything from the first list below can be very effectively supersetted with anything from the second list as a way to handle spinal compression issues. This doesn't mean the superset will be "easy" by any means, but your spine will thank you.

Compressional Movements

  • Squat (All Variations)
  • Deadlift
  • Bent-Over Row
  • Standing Press
  • Sit-Up
  • Loaded Carry
  • Jump

Decompression Movements

  • Pull-Up
  • Pulldown
  • Parallel Bars Dip
  • Hanging Leg Raise
  • Cable Pullover/Stiff-Arm Pulldown
  • Reverse Hyper
  • Hamstring Curl