5K Makeover

    By 24Life

Novice or competitor, every runner’s secret weapon is total-body strength. If you’re preparing for your first 5K, the right training can help you feel confident and run injury-free. If you’re aiming for a new personal record, these compound movements can tone your entire posterior chain and boost your agility for that extra edge you need to shave off the seconds.

  • Perform the warm-ups for 30 seconds on each side.
  • Perform 12 reps of each movement in each workout circuit.
  • Complete Circuit 1 three times, and rest for two minutes before you perform Circuit 2 three times.
  • Allow at least a full minute for the cool-down.


1) Standing Warrior Balance Quad Stretch

  • Stand tall, with your feet hip-width apart.
  • Lift your right arm directly in front of you. Bend your left knee and grasp the top of your left foot behind you.
  • Find your balance, then slowly tip forward from your hips, extending your right hand toward the floor as you pull your left foot straight behind you to stretch your quad.
  • Go as far as you can, hold, then come back up to stand and switch legs.

2) Seated Toe Stretch With Eagle Arms

  • Sit on your heels, then rise enough to tuck your toes under and sit back on your heels.
  • Bring your right arm up so your elbow is at shoulder height and bent 90 degrees. Wrap your left arm under and around to form eagle arms.
  • Hold the stretch, then release your arms and wrap them the opposite direction, right arm around left.


Circuit A

1) Bird Dog

  • Begin in tabletop position, with your knees under your hips and your hands under your shoulders.
  • In one move, bring your right hand out in front of your shoulder so your arm points straight in front of you as you extend your left leg behind you, pointing your left toes away from you.
  • Keep your core braced to keep your spine long and back flat as you hold.
  • Release and repeat with opposite arm and leg.

2) Long Jump

  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart.
  • Sit your hips back to squat down, swing your arms back and then forward as you leap straight ahead.
  • Land softly in a squat. Jump up and spin around to face the opposite direction and repeat.

3) Bent-Over Reverse Fly

  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart, holding a dumbbell in each hand.
  • Hinge forward from your hips, letting the dumbbells lower in front of you, keeping your spine long and knees soft.
  • Squeeze your shoulder blades together to lift the dumbbells up and out wide, stopping just below shoulder height. Keep a micro-bend in your elbows.
  • Bring the dumbbells back down and together. Repeat.

4) Bridge Slide

  • Lie on your back with your knees bent, feet flat on a towel and hands by your sides.
  • Lift your toes, keeping your heels on the towel. Lift your hips up toward the ceiling, squeezing your glutes as you lift.
  • Lower your hips, then press your heels into the towel and straighten your legs.
  • Press into the towel and pull your heels back to your glutes. Repeat.

Circuit B

1) Dumbbell Mountain Climber to Standing Shoulder Press

  • Begin on your hands and knees, grasping a dumbbell in each hand. Your wrists, elbows and shoulders should be stacked over each dumbbell and your toes should be curled under.
  • Pop up into a plank, drive your right knee to your chest and then straighten it as you drive your left knee to your chest. Repeat four times.
  • Return to plank, then jump both feet forward into a wide squat. Curl the dumbbells up in front of your chest as you stand.
  • Hop your feet together as you press the dumbbells directly overhead. Reverse the move and bring the dumbbells back down, hopping your feet wide to squat and place the dumbbells on the floor.
  • Jump back to plank and repeat.

2) Reverse Lunge to Triple Flex Hop

  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart.
  • Step your right leg back into a reverse lunge, then press through your left heel and drive your right knee and left hand toward the ceiling as you spring up off the floor. Flex your right foot at the top of the move.
  • Land softly on your left foot, with your right foot stepping back into the reverse lunge and repeat.
  • Switch legs.

3) Reverse Crunch With Dumbbell Lat Pullover

  • Lie on your back with your feet flat on the floor and knees bent. Grasp the ends of a dumbbell in each hand and hold it above your ribs.
  • Straighten your arms to press the dumbbell up over your chest. Lift your feet so that your shins are parallel to the floor and your hips and knees form 90-degree angles. Bend your elbows to 90 degrees and lower the dumbbell toward your forehead.
  • Holding your elbows and knees at 90 degrees, engage your core and crunch your elbows toward your knees, bringing your shoulders up off the ground.
  • Release the crunch as you lengthen your legs and pull the dumbbell back over your head. Continue to crunch and straighten.

4) Medicine-Ball Rotation V-Sit

  • Sit on the floor with a medicine ball between your legs and your heels planted, toes up.
  • Pick up the medicine ball and bring it to your chest. Engage your core and lean back to form a V with your torso and thighs, lifting your feet to hover off the ground.
  • Rotate your torso to the right, bringing the medicine ball over and down toward the ground. Your entire upper body should rotate with the movement.
  • Rotate back to center, then rotate all the way to your left with the ball. Continue, alternating sides.


1) Knee Pull Hip Flex Release

  • Lie on your back with a medicine ball under your tailbone, knees bent, feet flat on the floor and arms by your sides.
  • Extend your right leg, flexing your right foot so your toes points up, and bring your left knee toward your chest.
  • Grasp your left shin and gently pull your knee to your chest.
  • Release your left leg and switch legs.

Photo credit: dabldy, Thinkstock
GIFs: Tom Casey, box24studio.com
Hair and Make-up: Chanel
Model: Vicki Walker is a GX24 Instructor at 24 Hour Fitness


Don’t leave without becoming a 24Life Insider! Get free 24Life workouts, recipes, lifestyle hacks and more direct to your inbox.



A mighty and fiercely curious team focused on creating stories and curating ideas for you.