Hi and welcome to the third fitness mission article.

If you have followed my two previous fitness programmes you should by now feel fitter, healthier and ready for this new workout. 

Miss the first two articles from Kris? catch up on Kris' first article and second article

This programme is set to challenge you with a circuit training routine. Circuits comprise timed bursts of exercises with short periods of rest. By using short bursts, you can exercise at higher intensity than during continuous exercise.

This type of training can maximise your workout time, boost cardiovascular fitness and metabolism, increase muscular endurance and to some extent improve strength.

There are numerous combinations of exercises that can be utilised to create a circuit routine and it is difficult to get bored as you try a different exercise every 20 or 30 seconds.

Circuits are often hard but they do come with a sense of achievement when they are completed. You can also take satisfaction in the knowledge that the post exercise calorie burn can last for up to 48 hours - meaning you could be losing body fat even whilst you are sleeping.

To complete the circuit below you will need water bottles or dumbbells, a thick towel or exercise mat to lie on, and a watch.

Try 20 - 30 seconds of each exercise, rest for 15 - 20 seconds, then move on to the next exercise. After finishing all the exercises below, rest for up to 90 seconds before repeating the next circuit. You are aiming to complete between one and four circuits. It can help with motivation to count your repetitions for each exercise, trying to equal them during the next circuit. As you improve you may wish to increase exercise time and reduce rest time.

Remember all exercises carry risk and if you have any contra-indicatory factors or are unsure of your health you should consult your GP. If you feel unwell, experience dizziness, chest or joint pain then stop exercise immediately and seek assistance.

Click this link to see the warm up for this workout

Exercise: Press up

Muscles worked: Chest, front of shoulders, back of arms

Bournemouth Echo:

Bournemouth Echo:

Avoid this exercise if you have any wrist injuries. You can try the easier version starting and finishing on your knees, or try the full version for a harder workout. Keep the spine in its natural alignment and lower your body until your upper arms are parallel with the floor then press back up. If you have good shoulder flexibility you may wish to go past parallel.

Exercise: Speed skaters

Muscles worked: Thighs, hips, bum, core

Bournemouth Echo:

Bournemouth Echo:

Assume the start position with the front knee bent and opposite hand touching the floor by your front foot. Stick your bum out and keep your chest up throughout this exercise. Switch the front and back legs creating a side to side motion that looks exactly like a speed skater. Start by stepping slowly and as you feel more comfortable speed up. If you have any back problems, try touching your knee instead of the floor.

Exercise: Bent over reverse fly

Muscles worked: Upper back, rear shoulders and postural muscles

Bournemouth Echo:

Bournemouth Echo:

Avoid this exercise if you have a history of back pain. Assume the start position, maintaining good spinal alignment. With elbows slightly bent, raise the arms toward the ceiling moving only from the shoulder, control your movement and use weights when you feel confident

Exercise: Step-ups

Muscles worked: Legs and bum

Bournemouth Echo:

Use the stairs in your house and try an alternating step-up step-down movement. Start slowly and eventually build up to a fast pace. Use a wall or banister for support if necessary. Please take care not to trip.

Exercise: Bicep curls

Muscles worked: Biceps and postural muscles

Bournemouth Echo:

Bournemouth Echo:

Take two weights or suitable objects. With your knees slightly bent and a nice upright posture, flex your arms to approximately five inches away from the front of your shoulder then lower to the start position.

Exercise: Elevated hip extension

Muscles worked: Bum, hamstrings and lower back

Bournemouth Echo:

Bournemouth Echo:

If you have any neck problems do not try this exercise with your feet elevated. Lie on your back with legs bent - tightening your bum muscles. Push your hips straight up towards the ceiling and squeeze your bum even tighter at the top of the move before lowering back to the floor.

Exercise: Tricep dips

Muscles worked: Back of arm, front of shoulder and chest

Bournemouth Echo:

Bournemouth Echo:

Avoid this exercise if you have any wrist injuries. Use a chair or bench and start with legs bent to 90 degrees. When you dip down your elbow should be well below your shoulder, with your elbows tucked into your body. This exercise is harder the straighter your legs are.

After you have finished your circuit session, try to complete three minutes of gentle marching on the spot to cool down and reduce your heart rate. Then click here for a stretch routine to improve your flexibility.

At the end of the workout you could add some of the bicycle crunches and back extensions from my previous fitness programme to work your abdominal and back muscles.

Well done for sticking with me on the fitness mission workouts, keep trying the circuits for the next three weeks and see how many repetitions of each exercise you can do by the time my next article is available.

See you next time, stay fit!

Kris Cann

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