Cardio finishers are something that most of us dread. You’re soaked in sweat, you’re tired, you’re hungry and your body’s already been going at it hard for 45 minutes. Although brutal at times, cardio finishes are designed to help you get the very maximum growth from any workout.
They are usually specific exercises that add great volume to your workout session and don’t take a tonne of skill or coordination. This is because movements that do require a great deal of either skill or coordination should be left to the beginning of your work out when you are not fatigued.
In this article, we have compiled 9 killer cardio finishes, that you might hate us for at the time, but will definitely be thanking us later!
1) Box jumps
Simple box jumps are an awesome addition to any exercise routine. Performed correctly, they build power and increase your speed and agility, not to mention increase your heart rate!
Oh, the dreaded burpees! Burpees are hated by most people, but even more so when you have already been breaking a sweat for 45 minutes! However, they aren’t thrown in at the end just to torture you. Burpees are actually a great way to polish off an intense workout. This fast-paced, high-intensity movement added to the end of your workout will help you get the most out of your fitness class, and cut body fat.
3) Kettlebell swings
Kettlebell swings both help you boost your body’s power, work capacity, and fat burning. While challenging, the benefits outweigh the pain. The best part about kettlebell swings is that they fit a whole heap of hard work into a short period of time, maximizing your workout and more importantly, your results!
4) Treadmill Sprints
Sprinting at the very end of a workout is an absolute killer; however, this metabolically spiking finisher will kick your calorie burn into high gear both during and after your workout, thanks for the EPOC (excess post-exercise oxygen consumption) phenomenon. Basically, it takes energy to return your body to its pre-workout state, thus increasing your metabolism for hours after your workout.
5) Battle ropes
Nothing, and we mean, nothing will have you crawling out of your cardio session feeling like you gave it absolutely everything like battle ropes! Build next-level muscular endurance and cardio with a brutal battle-rope finisher, and you will truly leave feeling like you gave the workout your absolute all!
6) Med ball throws
Med ball throws are an explosive way to finish off your cardio and really boost your aerobic endurance. They are also a great way to get in a full-body, core-intensive sweat.
Push-ups are an essential tool in your workout repertoire, but pumping out reps at the end of fitness classes can help you burn more calories and develop greater cardiovascular fitness
8) Jump Squats
Just about your whole core and lower body is involved in a jump squat; you’ll recruit your abs, glutes, hamstrings, lower back to do it right. What a way to finish off a fitness class!
9) Mountain climbers
While it sounds simple, mountain climbers exercise nearly the entire body and are sure to get your heart rate up. Your quads and core get an especially good workout, too.
What effect do cardio finishes have on the body?
By increasing intensity at the end of your fitness class, your body finds it harder to provide oxygen to fuel the muscles, which puts the body into an anaerobic state. This not only helps burn extra calories but also offers unique heart-health benefits you can’t get with aerobic exercise alone.
Another reason to add the burst of exertion at the tail end of a workout is that it helps fire up the glorious fat-burning engine known as excess post-exercise oxygen consumption. This is when your body has to expend more energy after strenuous activity in order to return the body to its normal resting state, which basically means that your body continues to burn calories up to 24 hours after your fitness class has finished.
Are they safe to add to your exercise routine?
Yes, cardio finishes are safe to add to the end of your exercise routine! Just make sure you follow the correct technique and form because sometimes when we are fatigued our form becomes messy which makes you more prone to injury. If you feel lethargic, dizzy, or light-headed, that’s a sign you need to rehydrate and refuel before you continue any exercise.