Workout Tips

4 Bodyweight Finishers

After the heavy training is over, take your muscles to the brink with these challenging moves and techniques.



Heavy barbell squats require greater flexion at the hip, which places a greater amount of the load to be placed on the posterior chain, particularly the glutes, hamstrings and lower back. Because a bodyweight squat allows you to keep the torso in a more upright position, as in the barbell front squat, the quads become the main mover.

Execution: When performing bodyweight squats, the aim should be to keep your torso as upright as possible. Unlock your hips and shift the glutes back, then unlock the knees and drop into a deep squat. Do not let your knees travel too far forward – you should work on keeping your weight on your heels in order to achieve proper muscle activation on the quads and to avoid stress on the knees.

Implementation: Grab that deck of playing cards again. Line up 10 cards on the floor 2-4 inches apart. Squat down directly over the first card and pick it up, being careful to maintain proper body positioning – back straight, head neutral, heels planted. Pick up the first card, then move laterally to the next card and place the first card on top of the second card. After which, you squat twice more to pick up each card individually, before moving to the third card. Walk to the third card and squat twice to stack each card, then squat three times to pick up each card before carrying the cards to the fourth card, and proceeding with the pattern. You will continue this pattern of individually stacking and picking up the cards until you move through all ten cards in the line. At that point, you will have completed 100 squats. You can add cards as your strength and endurance increase. Your goal is to make through twice in 10 minutes. If this too hard, try once in six minutes. If the workout is too easy, try the squats with a one-second pause the bottom or opt for lunges.

Final Thoughts

Bodyweight finishers are fun, challenging, spark new growth cycles and are highly functional. Instead of pumping out light-weight reps on machines, try these techniques to add some finish to your physique.

Josh Bryant, MFS, CSCS, PES and Adam benShea are co-authors of the Amazon No. 1 seller Jailhouse Strong. 

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