You are here

Try This 5-Day Workout Challenge From Olympian Emma Coburn

If you don't have the attention span to stick to an entire 30-day long workout challenge, we've got the plan for you. (Though we happen to be quite fond of this 30-day option.) Pro-steeplechaser, Olympic bronze medalist, and Red Bull athlete Emma Coburn created her own 5-day workout challenge, and it's comin' straight from her own personal workout plan. 

The super-efficient, all-about-basics challenge is made up of Coburn's favorite drills and exercises that she does on a daily basis, compiled from a decade of training with both strength coaches and physical therapists. It's adaptable to any fitness level, and you definitely don't have to be an Olympic-level athlete to benefit from it. "Implementing an all-around full-body strength, balance, and dynamic movement workout is a great foundation for any athlete," she says. "No matter the sport or ability level, every person needs to have that foundation to stay healthy and increase their performance."

Each day's workout can be completed in less than an hour with no equipment required, so it's really adaptable regardless of what you have going on. And yes, while the the 5-day challenge promises to strengthen your entire body and improve your balance, the real goal is to make this program a sustainable part of your weekly workout routine—even after the five days are over.

Day 1

Start with a 20-30 minute run at own pace. Then do 3 sets of the following:

Downward Dog Push-Ups


A. Start in plank position with hands directly under shoulders and legs extended, holding body up.
B. Raise hips up so body is in an inverted V position.
C. Bring body back to plank position and lower body to ground by bending arms at 90 degrees. 
D. Push body back into plank position. Repeat.

Do 5 reps.

Lateral Jumps


A. Stand up straight with legs spread out.
B. Push hips backwards and place body weight into right leg, bending knee.
C. Then jump and shift body weight into left leg, bending knee. 

Do 5 reps on each leg.

Squat Jumps


A. Stand with feet shoulder-width apart.
B. Start by doing regular squat, then jump up.
C. When landed, lower body back into squat position.

Do 10 reps.

Day 2

Start with 1-mile jog, 10 hill sprints that are 10-30 seconds each, and walk or jog downhill between reps. Then do 3 sets of the following:



A. Standing in front of a bench, chair, or block, place right leg on top of it.
B. Using weight in right leg, lift left leg up to meet right leg. 
C. Alternate between legs.

Perform 10 reps on each leg.

Hip Bridges


A. Lay on back in front of bench, chair, or block, with left knee bent on top of it and right leg straight up. 
B. Push through your heel to lift your hips up, while squeezing glutes, and lower back down.

Perform 10 reps on each leg.

Around the World Plank


A. Begin in a plank position with hands directly under shoulders.
B. Shift weight to the right to balance on right hand and right leg; keep feet stacked with left arm and left leg raised.
C. Lower left hand behind body to balance on palms and heels.
D. Shift weight to left to balance on left hand and left leg; keep feet stacked with right arm and right leg raised.
E. Come back to starting plank position.

Day 3

Start with 2-mile jog. Do 8 sprints, and after every odd sprint, do:

Forward Lunges


A. Stand tall with legs hip-width apart.
B. Take a big step forward with right leg and shift weight forward.
C. Lower body until right thigh is parallel to floor and shin is perpendicular.
D. Return back to starting position and lift right leg up high into 90-degree angle.

Perform 5 reps on each leg. 



A. Stand up tall with right leg up into 90-degree angle.
B. Jump up with left leg.
C. When landed, switch left leg to up into 90-degree angle
D. Jump up with right leg.

Perform 5 reps on each leg.

Continue with a 1-mile jog. Then do 2 sets of the following:

Flutter Kicks 


A. Begin on back with arms by your sides. 
B. Lift legs up about 6 inches off ground.
C. Make small, rapid scissor-like motions with legs.

Perform each for 30 seconds.

Day 4

Start with a 20- to 30-minute run. Then do 2 sets of the following (as shown above):

  • Step-Ups
  • Lateral Jumps
  • Around the World Plank

Day 5

Start with a 1-mile jog, 10 hill sprints that are 10-30 seconds each, and walk or jog downhill between reps. Jog again for another mile. Then do 3 sets of the following (as shown above):

  • Downward Dog Push-Ups
  • Hip Bridges
  • Squat Jumps


Kylie Gilbert

Kylie is the associate editor for and She is a graduate of Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism and Integrated Marketing Communications.

 More →
More from Kylie
  • Caudalie Eau des Vignes
  • PHLUR Olmsted & Vaux
  • With Love, Natalie Eau de Parfum Purse Spray