Train to be fierce like Elyse Knowles

Elyse’s busy schedule doesn’t always allow for lengthy training sessions and hours spent in the gym. The workout below was created by Fitness First’s National Fitness Manager Michael Cunico, to provide the essentials for anyone with a busy lifestyle who needs maximum bang-for-buck from their time in the gym.

With only seven exercises, you can use this workout to build a toned and strong body, condition your core musculature and provide a short and explosive aerobic challenge to get your heart pumping.

If you’d like to hear more from Elyse, check out our interview with her here.

 1A  Reverse lunge with knee lift

3 sets – 6 per side

Begin standing with your feet together. Step back with one leg into a deep lunge position, tapping your knee on the floor. Push up with your front leg back into standing, raising your rear leg so your knee is level with your hip. Move fluidly back into the lunge. Repeat all reps on one side before swapping legs.

 2A  Push up with rotation

3 sets – 3 per side

Begin in a tall plank position. Perform a push up as deep as you can. As you reach the top of the push up, twist your upper body and raise one arm above your head, following your hand with your eyes. Hold this position for a second. Return to start and repeat on the opposite side.

 3A  Renegade row

3 sets – 6 per side

Begin in a tall push up position, feet wider than hip-width apart and with hands gripping a pair of dumbbells. With control, row one dumbbell up to your side and lower back down. Try to keep your hips and shoulders stable throughout the movement. Complete all reps on one side before switching sides.

 4A  Hollow body rock

3 sets – 30 seconds

Lay on your back on the floor. Raise your arms and legs off the floor slightly, making a soft U shape with your body. Keeping your core activated, rock your body back and forth like a boat, keeping your arms and legs steady and off the ground.


 1B  Left/right/uppercut/hook combo

3 sets – 45 seconds

Wearing boxing gloves, square up with a partner or a bag. Moving your whole body with the movement, punch with power from the shoulder and perform a left/right/uppercut/hook combo. Begin slow until you feel comfortable, focusing on proper technique and whole body movements, then aim to go as fast as you can while still remaining accurate and with good form.

 2B  Up/downs with right/left combo

3 sets – 45 seconds

Set up a knee-high box or step between you and your partner or bag. With control, step up onto the box with your right foot first and perform a right/left/right/left punch combo, moving your full body with each movement and punching from the shoulder. Aim for slow and steady until you’re comfortable with the movements, then speed it up. Step back down from the box and repeat with the right foot stepping up first. On the next set, step up with your left foot first and start the punch combo with your left hand.

 3B  Turkish get up

3 sets – 2 per side

Lie on the floor with a kettlebell held up above your shoulder in your right hand and with your right leg bent. Keeping the kettlebell above your shoulder at all times, sit up then use your left hand to push into a side plank position, your bent leg behind you for support. Move into a kneeling position before pushing up into a stand. Reverse the movement to return to lying, keeping the kettlebell above your head and repeat.