XBX Workout Plan – 10 Exercises For Improved Fitness

Developed by the Royal Canadian Air Force, the XBX workout is a progressive bodyweight fitness training program. It can be performed at any age and it aims to improve mobility, muscle toning, and general fitness levels.

What is a XBX workout?

Based on fitness progression, the program is useful for busy mums or anyone not knowing where to start a workout plan. Around 10 exercises performed at high intensity for a growing number of repetitions as part of each workout.

Split into progression charts, these workouts require more repetitions to gradually improve fitness. Those who want an extra challenge can simply add a time cap on each of these workouts.

These workouts are performed daily. The idea of the XBX plan is to train for short periods every day instead of having one long workout each week. This has been based on fitness research data.

Progression is self-driven. This means those who find a certain workout easy on one day can increase repetitions the following day.

10 XBX exercises – How to perform and improve fitness

Toe touching

One of the simplest exercises to perform for fitness or for simple warm-up is represented by toe touches. This exercise can be performed slowly and controlled as part of a warm-up or faster as part of the workout itself.

How to perform – In an erect position with feet 12 inches apart, you will start to bend forward until you can touch the ground between the legs. The knees will start to bend when closer to the ground. You should not keep your legs straight when performing the exercise.
Progression – The XBX program begins the workout with a minimum of 3 toe touches and a maximum of 9 repetitions. But these numbers can just be used guidance and every trainee can do as many as they feel comfortable with as long as they log the number and keep progressing with more repetitions for the following workouts.

Knee raising

Knee raises are some of the best stretching exercises for the lower back and for hamstrings. They can be particularly helpful for those living a sedentary lifestyle working at the desk.

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10 XBX exercises - Knee raising

How to perform – You perform this exercise from the same erect position. You grab the knee and the shin with both hands while pulling it upward towards the chest. You then move on to the right leg and continue alternating each leg until you feel the legs are relaxed and properly engaged.
Progression – To track progress on this exercise, you need to write down how many repetitions you did per leg. You will start at a minimum of 4 repetitions per leg and move up to 8 repetitions per leg. The pace in which you perform this exercise per leg can increase once you’ve reached the maximum number of 8 repetitions.

Lateral bending

Lateral bending improves mobility and it’ popular among most XBX workouts. Lateral bends are among the movements also performed from an erect position without needing any special equipment.

How to perform – From a standing position with the feet 12 inches apart, trainees need to slide the left hand alongside the left leg as far as possible. The same movement is repeated on the right side.
Progression – At a minimum, these movements are repeated 5 times on each side. Those who’re already more experienced on the program might consider higher repetitions. XBX charts say this movement is mainly repeated up to 10 times on both sides.

Arm circling

Shoulder mobility exercises show the highest return in terms of flexibility and fighting bad posture. The workout plan includes such exercises. Also performed in gymnastics and other sports, the movement is simple and it is performed without weights.

How to perform – From an erect position with feet 12 inches apart, the exercise requires making air circles with the hands. These movements engage shoulders and for them to show the highest benefits arms need to be straight during the entire exercise. The exercises are performed alternating the left hand with the right hand.
Progression – Repetitions increase over time with arm circles. At a minimum, they are performed 6 times with the left arm and 6 times with the right arm. As fitness levels start to improve, repetitions on each hand go up to 10.

Partial sit-up

Partial sit-ups simplify the classic sit-up movement. They engage core muscles and improve their strengths. These sit-ups are among the most popular exercises performed from a lying position. They can be performed on a yoga mat for improved comfort and to avoid pressure on the joints.

10 XBX exercises - Partial sit-up

How to perform – Trainees start in a laying position. Hands need to be straight alongside the hips before starting the movement. To perform the movement, trainees need to raise the head and shoulders off the ground slowly until they reach a point where they can see their heels. The head is the bought back to a lying position slowly.
Progression – This exercise can be performed with any number of repetitions. Among those who start out, many note they can perform more partial sit-ups than full-sit ups due to the shorter range of motion. Starting with 50 partial sit-ups is where many begin. At the highest level of fitness, these repetitions can be increased up to 150 per workout.

Chest and legs raising

Chest and leg raises are beneficial for the back. But they’re also a bit more challenging to perform without proper coordination. Both the upper body and the lower body need to be elevated from the floor and this is the main reason the exercise is performed with a lower number of repetitions.

How to perform – Trainees need to lie on the floor with the hands alongside the body. From here, both the right leg and the chest need to be lifted off the ground without using the hands. The right leg and the chest as slowly lowered to complete one repetition. The following repetition is going to alternate to the left leg.
Progression – This exercise recruits a bit more muscles than others. Those just starting out on the program can begin with 2 repetitions. They then move up to 10 repetitions, 5 per leg at the highest fitness level.

Side leg raising

Hip joint mobility is directly addressed with side leg raises. This is another exercise performed from a laying position which means a yoga mat or a thicker carpet might be a good cushioning platform.

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How to perform – Lying on the right side with the right hand underneath the head for support, trainees begin to slowly raise the left leg as high as possible. The leg is then lowered slowly to a fully flat position. The movement is repeated on the left side and raising the right leg.
Progression – The movement can start with 2 repetitions per leg. In time, these movements become easier. They can reach up to 14 repetitions per leg in a single workout routine.


No workout plan can be complete without doing a push-up. XBX recommends push-up variations that are performed from the knees and not from the toes. This exercise benefits major muscles such as those of the back and those of the arms.

10 XBX exercises - Push ups

How to perform – Lying with the face down, users place their hands next to their torso, directly under the shoulders. From here, they push the body up while gaining support from the knees. The movement is considered complete when the torso is back on the ground.
Progression – To begin with, trainees can start at 3 repetitions, with pauses. In time, the exercise becomes easier to perform. Each day, trainees can add another push-up to the workout. Up to 14 push-ups can be performed in a single workout or even more, depending on the personal fitness level.

Leg lifting

Leg lifts target the muscles in the lower body. For this exercise, it’s also recommended to lay on the flat surface comfortably and try to increase the number of repetitions in time.

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10 XBX exercises - Leg lifting

How to perform – Lying on the ground looking towards the ceiling and with the hands facing down, trainees raise the right leg without bending the knee as much as possible up to a 90-degree angle. The leg is slowly lowered to complete the movement. The left leg is next in an alternating movement.
Progression – At least 2 repetitions per leg should be performed, to begin with. Moving on, this exercise can be performed with around 14 repetitions per leg, totaling 28 repetitions altogether.

Run and hop

This exercise benefits the cardiovascular system. It is the most demanding on the body and it is normally performed at the end of a workout.

How to perform – Running is made on the spot with alternative feet raises. Each rep is counted when one foot touches the floor. Hops are performed in-between running sessions or after a run. A hop is counted when both feet leave the ground and touch the ground again together.
Progression – 50 repetitions per one foot can be the starting point for running. This can go up to 180 repetitions per foot when the fitness level starts to improve.

Hey there, I'm Chris Jordan! I'm a certified personal trainer and dietician with over 11 years of experience in the fitness industry. I've helped thousands of people achieve better physical and mental health. When I'm not working, I love spending time with my dog.