A girlfriend recently introduced me to the concept of workout Finishers and my mind was blown. Have I been living under a rock? After doing some research I’m honestly wondering how I worked out so long without incorporating them into my regimen.
Have you ever had days where you complete your workout and even though you put in your all – you still have energy remaining? If so, a finisher is for you. We all like to end our work outs strong and with intensity and they pretty much guarantee that every ounce of energy is left in the gym and you get the most out of all your exercises. A workout that has the potential to leave you with gas left in the tank doesn’t stand a chance with a finishing technique.
Workout finishers are sets added to the end of a workout to provide a metabolic boost to your training. They can be HIIT focused, or a single joint movement to burn out a muscle group using higher rep sets with lower weights. Typically, they work one or two body parts and are body weight focused or have one piece of equipment.
Choosing Your Finisher
Select (or create) your finishing sequence carefully. If your workout consisted of doing all deadlifts and hamstring focused drills, a finisher that only targets hamstrings or glutes may not be for you. If the muscle group experiences excess fatigue you could be headed towards an injury. Instead, select a plyometric or HIIT finisher. If you’re doing an upper body set you may want to focus on a combination of two upper body muscles to distribute the heat. See where I’m going with this? In my opinion, full body exercises done at high intensity, alternating from a lower body exercise to an upper body exercise are the way to go. Your heart rate will sky rocket, you’ll be pouring sweat and you’ll experience enough variety to avoid boredom.
Finishers will result in more calories burned as your blood has to travel from the lower body to the upper body, and so forth. The intensity of each finisher will have an effect much like HIIT, boosting your metabolism for up to 24 hours (maybe even longer!) after you’ve finished training.
When to do Them
After you workout, duh. But not EVERY workout. Workouts should be intense, you should feel spent after them and if you’re not on a consistent basis it may be time to reevaluate your fitness plan. Finishers are like the special occasion where you’re really feeling yourself and have time for a little something extra.
Here are three finisher workouts to try when you’re in the mood. Good luck because these will have you suckin’ wind and seeing stars.
- Squat jumps
- Mountain climbers
- Opposite skips in place
Perform 2 cycles of each of the following exercises back to back for 20 seconds of activity and 10 seconds rest. Total for 4 minutes.
In the Air
- 100 jump rope rotations
- 40 mountain climbers
- 100 jump rope rotations
- 50 mountain climbers
Repeat 4 times total with minimal recovery
Descending to Ascending Push*
- 10 push ups, 1 tuck jump
- 9 push ups, 2 tuck jumps
- 8 push ups, 3 tuck jumps
- 7 push ups, 4 tuck jumps
- 1 push up, 10 tuck jumps
The push-ups descend, and the tucks ascend. If you’re questioning whether or not you’ll vomit, you’re doing it right.
*I cannot take credit for this one, but it is TOO GOOD not to share. My girl Jennifer Becker hooked me up and I love to hate her for it. Peep her schedule at Shred415, she’s a killer.
Finishers are fast, effective and the cherry on top of a great workout. Do them a few times a month to fire up your muscles and take your fitness to the next level. Remember, the pain they inflict is only temporary. Wink!
Image via Popsugar.