Finishers: What Are They? Why Do Them? | Leg & Glute Finisher

How many times do see the word "finisher" for a workout and you have no idea what it is or what they actually do. Personally, I have a love-hate relationship with finishers, sometimes I have no inclination to want to do them, some days I think they are the best thing ever. I think most people have the same kind of relationship with them.

What are finishers?

A finisher, as you may have guessed from the actual name is a set of exercises or just one move that you complete at the end of your session to really fatigue your body, to get it working to its absolute maximum. Some finishers are designed to burn fat, some are designed for a "metabolic hit", some are designed to improve your cardio and conditioning, some are simply to get a quick pump on before you leave the gym.

Finishers can also be of use for your mental health, it can make you mentally tougher. Pushing yourself to the brink can help you realize how tough you really are and how much more capable you are than you think you are.

Hot tip: when designing a finisher for yourself make sure you are only doing moves that you know you have exceptional form while doing. 

How often do you have to do finishers?

I used to be under the assumption that for a training session to be "complete" you had to be out of breath, sweating profusely and have no energy left. I was wrong. Finishers do not need to be incorporated into each and every session that you complete. Add them in say once a week, or every few weeks when you really feel like it.

What are some types of finishers?

  • Matrix finisher.
    If you have a single muscle split and want to really finish off, say your legs (like the example below) you can add in an extra finisher set to really complete the day. 
  • Tabata finisher.
    For a quick metabolic hit, a Tabata is what you want to be doing, it will improve your cardio capacity and help to burn a little extra fat. When I do Tabata finishers I usually stick with 20 seconds work: 10 seconds rest. 
  • Ladder finisher.
    One rep of one exercise to two reps of another exercise. Keep going up by one rep, one exercise after another until you reach 10. Once you get there you can work your way back down, going down by one, or you could just leave it there- all up to you. 
  • Walker finishers.
    Grab a weight and walk with it- simple as that. You could use a kettlebell, a set of dumbells, a sandbag, do a sled push- whatever you really feel like doing. 
  • Complex finishers.
    This is where you string together several exercises that when put together form one complex move. This one is designed to hit the whole body. 

Leg & Glute Finisher 

I did throw together this leg and glute finisher after leg day when I felt like I hadn't really maxed out my effort. I was having a shitty mental day and it had transpired into my training session, I put this in at the end as a Tabata type session: 20 seconds of one move, 10 seconds rest, move on to the next exercise, repeat 4 times. The full thing only went for 6 minutes and then I was done. 

THE BREAKDOWN

EXERCISE 1:  Squat Pulse x 2 -> Squat Jump

Stand with your feet in between hip width and shoulder width apart, sit back into the squat, instead of coming the full way back up, come up to about half way and then go straight back down, do that twice. Go straight from two squat pulses into a squat jump. 20 seconds of this after leg day will burn. 

EXERCISE 2: Wall Hip Raise 

God, if you thought hip raises on the floor were bad, you have seen nothing until you do it on a bloody wall. 

Place the heels of your feet against the wall and bend over to place your hands on the floor in front of you. Bend your legs down to almost touching your knees to the floor and spring back up. Look your hammies and entire legs to be real are going to be burning. 

EXERCISE 3: Lunge Switch Jumps with Pulse

Jump out into a lunge, pulse down slightly, on the way back up, jump in order to alternate your back foot to the front and your front foot to the back. If you need an extra hand with balance (like me) hold onto something with one arm or steady yourself on the wall. 

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