Five-minute kitchen workout for runners: get strong while you cook supper

bodyweight strength

If there’s one thing most of us can relate to, it’s feeling short on time. Many runners want to add some strength training to their schedule, but an hour or two at the gym can seem impossible to fit in. A five-minute bodyweight strength workout is perfect for any busy runner to slide into their day, and it can be done while you are cooking supper.

British physician and podcast host Dr Rangan Chatterjee often shares his five-minute routine. Chatterjee notes that the kitchen can be a very productive way to fit in bursts of exercise–while waiting for a kettle to boil or the oven to heat up, opt for this strength routine instead of scrolling your phone.

runner's kitchen unsplash:jason briscoe
Photo: Unsplash/Jason Briscoe

Five-minute kitchen workout

5–10 bodyweight squats

Stand with your feet slightly wider than your hips, toes slightly pointed out. Keep your back straight and squat down as far as you feel comfortable. Aim to do 5–10 each time, and add more as you get stronger.

5–10 calf raises

Find the edge of a step for this one, although you can do it on the kitchen floor if you’re step-less. Lift as high as you can onto your toes, and then lower your heels down as much as your ankles will allow. Push evenly through the entire width of your foot–Chatterjee suggests holding onto the wall if you’re having trouble balancing. If you have stairs, you could add 10 step-ups on each leg at the base of your stairs.

5–10 press-ups

Press-ups (or push-ups) work your chest and arm muscles. Place your hands roughly shoulder-width apart, and lower your chest down between them before pushing back up again. If you’re new to these, start by doing them against a wall. Eventually, graduate to the floor, and know that you can always modify by dropping your knees to the ground.

Man doing pushups Unsplash: Abdalla M
Photo: Unsplash/Abdalla M

5–10 tricep dips

Tricep dips tone the backs of your arms and can be done against the kitchen counter or a stable kitchen chair. Hands should be shoulder-width apart on the chair or kitchen counter behind you–move your bottom off the bench, extending your legs in front of you. Lower your body as far down as you can go and then push back up until your arms are close to straight (try to keep a small bend in the elbows).

5–10 bodyweight lunges on each leg

These work your glutes, quads, hamstrings and core muscles. Aim to keep your back straight throughout the entire movement, and hold on to a countertop for support if needed. Chatterjee suggests adding in a side rotation or lifting jugs of olive oil above your head as you gain strength.

BONUS: Watch Chatterjee guides you through the exercises once, and you’ll have them memorized in no time.

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