20-Minute Upper Body Workout | Ultimate Finisher

The path to large bize and trize that fill up sleeves is an arduous task. Of course, one can always cheat and purchase a shirt that is too small to give the impression of large arms, but that is the easy way. We’re all here because we want to put in the work. Long sets and large reps are where it is at when filling up the muscle tank. The all-mighty pump of the upper arm muscles of the bicep and tricep are the greatest shirt-on show-off muscles in existence. 

Strength Training for Athletes

With that all in mind, let’s take a look at three upper body workout moves to swell up the triceps and biceps and get huge! 

3. Clap Push-Ups & Zottman Curls

This first set of finishing movements are great for athletes. They are a great way to get a pump as a bodybuilder, old man, or whoever is looking to get a pump as well. So after a whole upper body workout, we love performing clapping push-ups superset with zottman curls for a tricep and forearm pump.


The tricep movement of the clap push up for five sets of fifteen to seventeen reps will give a huge pump, recruit a ton of motor units, and help us get swole. We’re also going to learn how to be explosive and extend the tricep. It will also develop great strength endurance with elbow extension movements.


The movement can be performed with feet elevated or on the ground. Be explosive when performing the movement and try to get fifteen to seventeen reps. In addition to getting a massive pump, this movement will increase an athlete’s bench press, especially once the athlete demonstrates the ability to perform five sets of fifteen to seventeen reps.


Once the set of clapping push-ups are complete, rest twenty seconds and walk over to the dumbbells and perform twenty reps of zottman curls. What is so cool about this movement is that it will smash the biceps and forearms. So while this movement is being performed the pecs and triceps are able to rest.

It is key to understand that when we talk about finishers we are talking about thirty to sixty-second rest between sets and being done the grouping of movements in ten minutes. Get a ton of work done in a short time. It gives just enough time to B.S. with a buddy and then start the next set.

2. Contralateral-Antagonistic Banded Simultaneous Extend And Flex

Using bands for finishers is great. This might be a little redundant, but we love this movement that is a contralateral-antagonistic movement in which we have one arm in extension through the tricep and the other is in flexion at the elbow, but both arms are in an extended position, like a T. Both arms are then flexed in towards the head at the same time. Use a three-finger grip on the extending hand and a full finger grip on the flexion hand. 

Use a light band and set a timer for four to five minutes and go. Amrap that exercise and get as many reps as possible. Then go ahead and switch sides and repeat. This way both arms get an extension resistance and a flexion resistance.


The reason we like this movement so much is that it helps with coordination between the upper body. Think about it like patting your head and rubbing your belly at the same time. It can be a little confusing at first, but it leads to more neural muscular activation. All we need is a little bit of tension, a little bit of load to get a ton of blood rushing to the elbows, bize, and trize to get a stupid pump. It also gives some great hypertrophic gains.

1. Dips & Push-Ups On A Dip Bar

This, in our Garage Strength opinion, is the greatest tricep finisher in the history of strength and conditioning. This is a movement that will absolutely destroy the athlete. Not only will this movement improve an athlete’s performance in sport, but it will also improve the bench press drastically.

At the end of an upper-body workout, we recommend doing dips into push-ups. Don’t even lock out the dip and keep under constant tension. Keeping under constant tension is a big goal of this combo of movements. Immediately following the dips, go ahead and put the feet up on a box of essentially equal height (or use a partner’s shoulders) and perform push-ups. But here is the craziest part. Decrease the reps by a third and go ahead, without resting, and perform the movements again! Once done that set, decrease the reps by a third again and continue with the next set. Think of it like this for reps to be performed: 15/15, 10/10, 5/5.


The beauty of the combination of movements is that the tricep is being hit from multiple different angles so all three heads are being targeted. The pecs are also getting hit a little more. The fatigue adding up is legit.


This can be done in different ways. There is the 15/10/5 pyramid. There is also the method of doing 15/15 reps, let a partner go, then go 12/12, rest, 10/10, rest, and all the way down. If in a high volume phase for upper body strength training, this is a finisher that gets a ton of reps in a very short time. It leads to help to gain weight, getting stronger, and increasing size in the arms.

Recap

Finishers need to be done with minimal rest and ideally are completed in under ten minutes. Finishing movements are a great way to get a pump, indulge the inner meathead, and greatly impact sports performance by adding strength, lean muscle mass, and greatly improving muscle endurance. Next time putting in work during an upper-body split, go ahead and hammer some clapping push-ups with zottman curls or dips and push-ups on a dip bar or go ahead and complete some contralateral-antagonistic band work (sounding fancy at the same time).


DANE MILLER

Dane Miller is the owner and founder of Garage Strength Sports Performance. He works with a select handful of clients on building comprehensive programs for fitness and nutrition. Several times a year he leads a workshop for coaches, trainers, and fitness enthusiasts.

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