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Body weight training: warm-up or finisher?

Fitness professionals and dedicated sportspersons know that bodyweight training deserves a place among the most effective fitness plans. Apart from being convenient, you do not need expensive equipment. Body weight exercises can be modified for every fitness level. If you are a beginner, you can start with five push-ups and increase the number and types of exercises as you move up the fitness levels. Further, body weight training can be harnessed to achieve any conceivable fitness goal be it strength, mobility, balance, or endurance.

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There are different ways of tweaking body weight training to achieve maximum fitness results. Some trainers use bodyweight training during warm-up to prepare the body for the main exercise routine. For example, a trainer might ask you to perform one set of push-ups, squats, lunges, and pull-ups before the main workout. This way, bodyweight training improves your breathing and warms up your muscles for the coming exercise.

Although using bodyweight training as a warm-up is a standard practice in fitness routines, a secret that many fitness experts and trainers use to maximize bodyweight training is to include it as a finisher in your exercise. These experts have realized that you can maximize your exercise results when you use bodyweight training as a finisher.

A finisher is an intensive, challenging, lung-bursting, often short-term exercise that you do at the end of your workout. Ideally, a finisher should not last for more than ten minutes. The goal of a finisher is to maximize fat loss and promote muscle growth. Think of a finisher as the final push in your workout routine. You aim to maximize your gains by doing the most possible exercises in the least possible time. In just 5-10 minutes, you challenge your body to go beyond what traditional workouts achieve.

There are reasons why you include a finisher at the end of your regular exercise. First, you should start your workout when you are fresh and energized. Performing an intensive exercise before the main workout will rob you of the energy to complete the latter effectively. Beginning with an intensive exercise also makes you prone to injury because you lack the energy to perform the exercises of the main routine.

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Finishers are great ways to improve calorie burn after a workout. When you push your body to its limit, it releases the adenosine triphosphate hormone to burn calories for the working muscles. After a workout, the body uses more energy to repair the muscles and return to resting status. In the end, your body will burn more calories and build muscles when you perform a high-intensity exercise after an intensive exercise. When you are busy and short on gym time, adding a finisher to your workout is easily one of the best ways to maximize calorie burn.

Body weight training is also effective as a finisher because it offers a wide range of exercises. When you use your body weight as a finisher you can tweak the exercises to reap maximum benefits. For example, you can modify the movements according to your ability. If you are new to exercise, you can perform fewer pushups or pull-ups or you can take longer breaks. Bodyweight training is an excellent way to maximize your exercise routine without pushing your body to the limit.


Now that you know that bodyweight training is an excellent way to complete your exercise routine, here is a simple yet effective 10-minute finisher that targets the entire body:

Start with squats that increase power and strength in the lower body including the glutes, core, hamstrings, hips, and quads. Aside from strength and power, squats improve your balance, coordination, and stability. Perform 3 sets of between 10-15 squats with 30-seconds rest between each set.

After crushing the squats, move to exercises that target the upper body. Push-ups are classical exercises for the upper body, and work on the shoulders, chest, triceps, and core. Aim to complete 4 sets of between 10 and 15 minutes with a 30-seconds break between the sets.

The third finisher is designed to work on the back muscles and the biceps. Pull-ups are the most well-known exercises for your back. Choose an overhead bar, and hang with your arms and pull your shoulders up and down. Perform as many reps until you cannot do anymore, that is, to failure. I can guarantee you that this will be one of the most challenging finishers of your fitness journey.


As a bonus, you can engage in a rigorous one-minute cardio activity to completely push your body. Athletes, boxers, fitness aficionados, and enthusiasts have included jump ropes in their lists of the most powerful exercises. Continuous jump ropes until failure for the remaining time will leave you breathless having pushed your body to the limit.

A finisher might not be a pleasant way to end your body weight training exercise. It pushes your body and your mind to the limit at a time when you should be relaxing after a grueling workout. A proper punisher should have you questioning your ability to complete it. After all, a punisher would be pointless if you can complete it easily. Motivate yourself by seeing the finisher as part of the successful completion of an exercise. Push yourself to complete your workout with a bang knowing that every punishing workout is a step towards your fitness goal.

Photo by Gordon Cowie on Unsplash


There are numerous benefits for adding a finisher to your training regimen. Remember that your workout routine depends on your fitness goals. If you are looking to burn fat and lose weight, adding a finisher to your routine is a great way to meet your goals. Couple a finisher with other fitness tools including maintaining a consistent sleep routine, a healthy diet, and logging total-body workouts. I believe that you will consider including finishers in your next workout!!


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