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9 intense cardio finishers

Try them: 

There are a few ways you can add these exercises to your routine, Nina says.

1. Superset the finishers with your regular strength exercises, so that you do one lift followed by one finisher, then move on to the next pair. This adds cardio and calorie-burn to your workout. Use the same set-rep scheme for the finishers as you are for the strength moves.

2. Perform four or five finishers Tabata-style after your strength or cardio routine. Work for 20 seconds, rest for 10, then start the next move. Complete 3 to 5 rounds. 

3. Choose three finishers and perform 3 to 5 sets of 20 reps for each after your strength or cardio workout. 

To keep your body guessing, avoid doing the same moves two days in a row, Nina says. 

Reverse plank to 3-point plank 

Start in a reverse plank, facing up. Drive your right knee up so there’s a 90-degree angle at the right hip, then simultaneously lift your left arm and rotate your body to the right, pivoting on your left foot and landing in 3-point plank. Place your right foot on the ground to assume a high plank. Reverse the motion to return to start. Repeat on the opposite side for one rep. Continue, alternating sides.

Squat to knee drive

Stand tall with arms by your sides and feet together. Lower into a squat, bending your arms so they’re in an active position. Simultaneously press up to standing and drive your left knee up, your left arm back, and your right arm forward (as if running). Lower into a squat and repeat on the opposite side for one rep. Continue, alternating sides.

Pike to side kick-through

Start on all fours in pike position, with hips in the air so your body makes an upside-down V shape. Bend your knees to lower yourself into active beast, with knees hovering above the ground. Simultaneously raise your right hand to your shoulder, thread your left leg under your body, and kick it out to the right. Keep your hips off the ground throughout. Reverse the motion to return to start. Repeat on the opposite side for one rep. Continue, alternating sides.

Lunge jack with overhead clap 

Stand tall with arms by your sides. Simultaneously jump into a lunge with right foot forward, left leg back, and extend your arms overhead, clapping your hands together. Jump back to start and repeat on the opposite side for one rep. Continue, alternating sides.

Frogger to side plank

Start in a deep squat with feet wider than hips, hands planted on the ground between and slightly in front of your feet. Jump back into high plank. Extend your left arm overhead and rotate your body so your torso faces the left. Return to high plank, repeat with the right arm, then jump back to start position for one rep. Continue, alternating sides.

Lateral lunge with hand shuffle 

Stand tall with feet wide. Lower into a left lateral lunge and place your hands on the ground in front of your left foot. Shift your weight onto your hands and lift your feet, landing in a right lateral lunge with your right foot behind your hands and the left leg extended to the side. Stand tall, then repeat in the opposite direction for one rep. Continue, alternating directions.

Beast plank to crab plank 

Start in active beast on all fours, with knees hovering above the ground and bent at 90 degrees. Simultaneously lift your left arm up and over you and thread your right leg under your body, landing on all fours facing up. Reverse the motion to return to start. Repeat on opposite side for one rep. Continue, alternating sides.

Crab hand walk to reverse plank 

Start on all fours facing up, with knees bent and arms straight. Walk your hands backwards until your body forms a straight line. Hold in reverse plank for 3 seconds, then walk your hands back to start for one rep.

Loaded beast cross with knee tuck 

Start on all fours with glutes pressed back by your heels and arms extended in front of you, as if in active Child’s pose. Simultaneously shift your weight forward onto your hands and tuck your right knee to your left elbow. Return to start, then tuck your right knee to your right elbow. Switch sides and repeat for one rep. Continue, alternating sides.

Photography by Carissa Gallo

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