It turns out, however, that endless hours spent slouched over a stationary bike or leaning over the stepper are not only terribly boring but also not the best way to lean out, tone up, and look sexy.  Steady-state exercise, such as 45 minutes on the elliptical trainer, does not torch as many calories as would a session of similar length spent lifting weights in a circuit.

Since the total amount of calories you burn is what’s important (not the percentage that comes from fat), you should increase your exercise intensity with routines – like the exciting finishers we’ve provided for you here.

A finisher is basically a circuit done at the end of a regular workout. These two finishers mesh body-weight, free-weight and band exercises to improve upper-body strength and definition. Add one (or both!) of these to your programme when your metabolism needs a boost; the best part is, they can be tacked onto the end of any routine.

Seal Jump:

Target Muscles: whole body

How to:

  • Stand with your feet together and your arms extended in front of you; your palms should touch as shown.
  • Jump, bringing your legs out to the sides as if doing a jumping jack.
  • At the same time, move your arms out to the sides.
  • Land with your body in a “star” position, then jump your legs and hands together; repeat.

Tip: make your reps explosive and speedy!

Related article: 5 Dumbbell Exercise Upper-Body Workout for Sculpted, Strong Shoulders

Incline-Bench Dumbbell Curl:

Target Muscles: biceps brachii, brachialis

How to:

  • Lie face-up on an incline bench, holding a dumbbell in each hand with your palms facing forward.
  • Bend your elbows to curl the dumbbells.
  • Squeeze your biceps hard at the top, then lower until your elbows are semi-straight.
  • Repeat.

Related article: 8 Powerful And Effective Yoga Poses For Perfectly Shaped Arms In 1 Workout

Barbell Overhead Press:

Target Muscles: anterior and lateral deltoids, triceps brachii

How to:

  • Hold a barbell, keeping your hands shoulder-width apart and your palms facing forward.
  • Keep your elbows pointed down while maintaining neutral wrists.
  • Press the bar overhead; your arms should finish beside your ears.
  • Lower to chin level and repeat.

Related article: 6 Exercises To Beat Bra Bulge And Target Your Awkward Armpit Area

Walk-Out Plank:

Target Muscles: scapular stabilisers, abdominals

How to:

  • Stand tall with feet together, then squat down as shown.
  • Walk your hands forward until they are in front of your shoulders.
  • Carefully reverse, stand and repeat.

Tip: As you walk forward, brace your core and squeeze your glutes.

Related article: Love Your Upper Body With These 6 Muscle Defining, Body Toning Exercises

Mountain Climber:

Target Muscles: abdominals

How to:

  • Start at the top of the push-up position.
  • Keep your elbows locked, with your hands directly under your shoulders.
  • Quickly alternate bringing one knee towards your chest, maintaining a neutral spine as you “climb.” Continue alternating for your entire set.

Tip: Your back should remain flat as you move your legs forward and back.

Related article: The 4 Minute Solid Abs Blast Workout For A Tighter Toned Tummy

Rolling Triceps Extension:

Target Muscles: triceps brachii

How to:

  • Lie face-up on a bench.
  • Hold a dumbbell in each hand straight over your chest, with your palms facing each other.
  • Without moving your upper arms, lower the weights towards your forehead. Roll your elbows behind your head in the bottom position, then reverse fluidly. Repeat.
  •  You’ll press up rather than extend your elbows if the weight is too heavy.

Related article: The No-Nonsense Five Sets Five Reps Routine That Focuses On A Full-Body Strength Workout

Push-Up Plus:

Target Muscles: pectoralis major, triceps brachii, anterior deltoids, serratus anterior

How to:

  • Get into a push-up position, with your hands slightly turned out and roughly shoulder-width apart.
  • Brace your core, and keep your legs and feet together.
  • Bend your arms, keeping your elbows slightly tucked, to lower towards the floor.
  • Extend your arms, then protract, or press your shoulder blades away from each other; it will look like you are slightly rounding your upper back.
  • Repeat.

Tip: the rounding of your back is subtle, but you should feel it.

Related article: A 20 Minute Indoor Cardio Workout For Losing Fat And Shaping Up

Band Face-Pull:

Target Muscles: rotator cuffs, posterior deltoids

How to:

  • Anchor a band at a point higher than your height.
  • Hold one end in each hand, with your palms down, facing the floor.
  • Pull the band towards your face, leading with your thumbs.
  • Flare your elbows out and rotate through your shoulders.
  • Finish with your hands near your head.
  • Extend your arms to return to the starting position, then repeat.

Tip: Don’t pull too low towards your chest because you will not externally rotate your shoulders, and you will lose the effect on the rotator cuff muscles.