The 5BX Exercise Plan


The 5BX (5 Basic eXercises) plan is a combination of aerobic exercises and stretching exercises. It was created by the Royal Canadian Air Force to increase fitness levels in its pilots. You will find this very useful because:

  • You only need 11 minutes each day to complete it.
  • It is a whole body workout involving all muscle groups.
  • You can do it in a room without any equipment at all.
  • You can gradually increase your fitness levels as you progress through the charts.

People all around the world have been using it for more than 60 years. For example, Prince Philip  (the husband of Queen Elizabeth of UK ) said it was one of the reasons for his good health. He continues to do these exercises at the age of 97!

How to do the exercises

You can do the 5BX exercise plan at home in your room. There are 6 charts, which are arranged from least difficult (Chart 1) to most difficult (Chart 6). Each chart has 5 exercises. You will be doing a particular exercise for a few minutes each. As you progress from one chart to the next one there will be slight changes in each basic exercise. As you will see, there is a gradual demand for more effort.

You only need to do one chart in a day. You can complete any chart in 11 minutes. Start with Chart 1. You should only progress to Chart 2 after you can do all the exercises in Chart 1 with ease. You can progress like this to Chart 6. On the other hand, if you feel uncomfortable doing some of the exercises you can move to the chart before it.

With each chart, you will see a table at the bottom.This will vary with each chart and it shows the number of times you have to do each exercise. For example, here is the table for Chart 1:

5BX Chart 1

If you are unable to do Exercise 5, there are 2 alternative options listed in the last 2 columns: you can either walk or run. Do either one of these options in the time stated.

You should progress from D- or C- to A+ in each chart before moving on to the next chart (see below).

5BX Progression