Building the perfect V-shaped torso is a balancing act: you need to add size to your chest and shoulders without expanding your waistline.

“Freestyle kayaking is great for working the entire upper body,” says Quinton Marcus, winner of the South African Freestyle Kayak Champs held in Durban recently. “You’re able to do gymnastics without ever hurting yourself because water is a great, soft cushion!”

The kayaks are short, so Marcus can pull off somersaults, air screws, helixes and other acrobatic moves. For more info on this new sport, check out www.kayak-freestyle.com. But, if you want to create a big upper body without getting wet, use this workout from certified personal trainer Nick Tumminello. By overloading your upper body with muscle-building reps and eliminating rest periods, it ramps up your metabolism.

Workout

Begin with Round 1. Do all reps for both exercises in set 1, then do the same for
sets 2 and 3 without stopping. Rest one minute, then repeat with Round 2.

Push-up-position dumbbell row Reps in set 1: 10 Reps in set 2: 8 Reps in set 3: 6
Dumbbell push-up Reps in set 1: 20 Reps in set 2: 16 Reps in set 3: 12

Kneeling dumbbell curl Reps in set 1: 10 Reps in set 2: 8 Reps in set 3: 6
Kneeling dumbbell shoulder press Reps in set 1: 10 Reps in set 2: 8 Reps in set 3: 6