Five minute core

Five minute core

By Jessica Ward

A strong and fit body core is not just the way to a flat stomach. These central muscles support our spine and provide the ‘platform’ for most of our movements. Which is why it's important to ensure your core is strong. 

Great – but how do we strengthen our core?

You may be surprised to find that the core consists of much more than your stomach muscles. If it is a long time since those biology lessons, here is a non-technical primer on the body core. If you would like to get more anatomical, here are the details about all the muscles and plenty of exercises to work them.

You may know all that already. What may not know is that you can exercise your core sitting at your desk with our first exercise. You will have to get off that desk chair for the second (in fact you may prefer to wait until you get home to avoid strange looks).

Here they are - two simple exercises that take five minutes to do and are excellent for your core:

1. The knee lift

Sit on a chair, straight back. Raise one knee, keeping the other flat on the floor. Repeat.

2. The plank

Lie on the floor, upper body supported by your elbows, keeping elbows in line with your shoulders. Tuck your toes under your feet and lift your pelvis off the floor. Then push your legs off the floor to form a straight line with your back.

The following contains a useful demonstration of these two exercises:


No equipment is needed, just a spare patch of floor and a spare five to ten minutes, depending on the number of reps.

Go on – no excuses, sort that core!



Matthew C.
30 November 2014

Matthew C.

Liking the simple knee lift. Have just done it right now. Easiest exercise I've ever seen to do at the desk!

Tanya M.
17 November 2014

Tanya M.

I'm giving the Plank Challenge a go this month, holding it for longer each day, I can feel the difference now I'm passed half way but it's getting really hard!

Phillip H.
13 November 2014

Phillip H.

an exercise at the desk. I'm there!

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