You look your best at the end of a workout when your muscles are filled with blood, making your frame look bigger, stronger and harder – that’s the famed “pump”. Sadly it doesn’t last forever, but you can harness its power on holiday this summer, even when you don’t have access to a gym. Just do this speedy pump-up workout before you leave your hotel room or apartment, then head out to the beach or pool and watch heads turn.
How it works
The aim of this five-move, high-rep circuit is to flood your major upper-body muscles with blood so you can showcase your body at its peak. Don’t worry if your muscles start to burn or feel like they are going to burst – that’s what you want to make them look huge. The circuit starts with an explosive press-up to fire up your fast-twitch muscle fibres, followed by three more pressing moves that target your chest, shoulders and triceps, then ends with a biceps isolation hold.
Do these five moves in order without stopping, and rest for 60 seconds after completing the last rep of the last exercise. Do four circuits in total. Use a bed or chair to elevate your hands and feet, and a towel for the biceps hold if you didn’t pack a resistance band.
1. Explosive incline press-up
Start in a press-up position with your hands elevated. Lower your chest, then press back up explosively so your hands leave their surface. Lower back down.
2. Decline press-up
Get into a press-up position but with your feet elevated on the bed (shoes off, you animal). Start with your body in a straight line from head to heels, then bend your elbows to lower your chest all the way to the floor by bending your elbows. Press back up powerfully to return to the start.
3. Inverted shoulder press
Get into a press-up position with your feet on the bed, then shuffle your hands back towards your body so that your arms and upper body end up aligned in a straight line. Keeping your head tucked in and your core braced, bend your elbows to lower your head until it’s almost touching the floor. Then press back up powerfully to the start.
Start in a press-up position with your hands shoulder-width apart. With your core braced and body straight, bend your elbows to lower your chest towards the floor. Press back up to the start.
5. Biceps isolation
Hold for 30secs
Hook a resistance band or towel under your thighs, then try to curl your hands up towards your shoulders. Pull as hard as you can to increase the amount of tension in your biceps, which will increase blood flow to the muscles.