The best things in life are worth waiting for. Slow and steady wins the fat-loss race. Rome wasn’t built in a day. We get it! You have to stick with a fitness routine to get long-lasting and dramatic changes, but what about when you want to see a difference right now? Is it really possible to get results on demand?
There is a phenomenon known as “the pump.” Maybe you’ve heard of bodybuilders and fitness models using it before a show or a shoot or maybe you’ve seen the clip of Arnold Schwarzengger from “Pumping Iron” talking about it being the “greatest feeling you can have in the gym.”
You might not get as much satisfaction from it as Arnold does, but it is an effective way to look and feel more toned instantly. In order to rush the maximum amount of blood into your muscles, train with higher repetitions in the range of 12 to 15 reps per set. Read on for eight incredible exercises that will have you on the fast-track to looking like a knockout in that bikini.
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We like to perform this exercise with a log-like piece of equipment called a ViPR. If your gym doesn’t carry this item, you can also substitute a barbell. The ViPR was inspired by farm kids who moved heavy loads in daily life, but you don’t have to get your hands dirty on the farm to do this workout.
Get instant results: With a shoulder-width overhand grip, bring your elbows forward so your palms are facing upward and the ViPR is resting on your front shoulder muscles. With a neutral spine, lower yourself as if you are going to squat and explosively press up while extending your arms. The movement is a triple extension. You are going from your starting position to a shoulder press without stopping.
2. Bear crawl
This exercise is hard—way harder than it looks, and for good reason. It works!
Get instant results: Summon your inner beast by getting down on all fours and keeping your hands underneath your shoulders and your knees underneath your hips. Lift your knees a few inches off the ground, being sure to keep your back flat. Move forward for 30 seconds. For an added challenge, perform this movement in reverse.
3. Goblet squat
How low can you go? This move allows you to get really low.
Get instant results: Stand holding a moderately heavy kettlebell by the horns or a dumbell by one end close to your chest. This will be your starting position. Your feet should be slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Keeping your chest up and your back flat, squat down between your legs until your hamstrings are on your calves. The kettlebell is going to help counterbalance your weight. You may be surprised how low you can get with this one!
4. Plank squeeze
We’re all familiar with the plank, but plank progressions is where it’s at. The plank squeeze will turn this classic move into a full-body exercise.
Get instant results: A proper plank includes more than just holding yourself off the ground. You need to put your mind in your muscles. In addition to squeezing the glutes, flexing the quads and bracing the core, you also need to make sure your spine is in a neutral position. This will ensure your abs are engaged as well. If you can feel it in your lower back you have improper form.
Read on for four more exercises to give you an instant pump.
5. Tricep dips
Ladies, we all want tight, sexy arms, but thanks to a little hormone called estrogen, we tend to hold on to fat in our triceps. This move will tighten your arms in no time. Bonus, you can do these almost anywhere.
Get instant results: Find a bench or chair and position your arms shoulder width apart behind you. Extend your legs out in front and straighten your arms, keeping just a slight bend in your elbows. Lower your body toward the floor by slowly bending your elbows until they are at about a 90-degree angle. Remember to keep your back close to the bench. Press down to straighten your arms and return to starting position. Do 15 reps. To make this exercise easier, you can bend your legs.
6. Shadow boxing
Shadow boxing is both a fun and effective way to get your blood pumping. A classic combo is the jab, cross, hook and uppercut, also known as 1-2-3-4. Here’s how to do it.
Get instant results: Traditionally the jab is a straight punch thrown with the lead hand. Put some power into it by stepping into it. The cross is a power punch thrown with the opposite or rear hand. Another power punch, the hook is most commonly thrown with the lead hand. Keep it tight and clean by imagining you’re quickly stirring a bowl of soup.
Finally, the uppercut, as its name suggests, is thrown by moving the fist in an upward motion. To put power into your uppercut, lower your shoulders with the knees and propel your body forward and upwards while extending the fist. Put these moves together for a killer combo. Once you get the motions down, you can practice these on a bag for even faster results.
7. Side lunge
The side lunge allows you to work your body in the frontal plane (side-to-side), whereas most exercises are commonly performed in the sagittal plane (front-to-back). It is important to train in all planes of motion.
Get instant results: You’re probably familiar with the lunge, but many people make the mistake of collapsing at the knee instead of the hip when trying to perform a side lunge. This puts a lot of pressure on the quads without much help from the glutes or hips. Focus on bending at the waist by engaging the glutes, allowing you to keep the back straight. You are sitting back into the lunge, almost as you would when performing a squat.
8. Medicine ball floor slams
Power exercises like box jumps and Olympic lifts can be intimidating. But medicine ball slams are a safe and effective way to turn up the intensity and whittle your middle.
Get instant results: Grab a medicine ball between 10 and 20 pounds. You might find a soft-shell one is easier to work with. Quickly raise the ball overhead and slam it to the floor by driving the ball downward. As you do, follow the ball with your body. Avoid bending too far forward at the waist, and end in a low squat position with head up, chest and glutes low. Catch the ball on the first bounce and repeat for 10 to 12 reps.