I only had 10 minutes to work out, so I tried this core-strengthening Pilates routine and the benefits surprised me

Work on your posture, coordination and core strength with this bodyweight session

Woman at home exercising. She is on all fours with one leg raised and extended behind her. Her hair is in a bun and she is wearing black athletic leggings and a short-sleeve T-shirt.
(Image credit: svetikd / Getty Images)

I try to exercise for at least 30 minutes a day, but when life gets busy it can be hard to find the time.

Even when I can't carve out half an hour or more, I still try to fit in some activity. Regular movement is one of the most effective methods I've found for looking after my mental health. Plus, working a desk job means I’m more prone to losing muscle mass and mobility if I don't exercise.

That's why I was excited to see a 10-minute workout created by Pilates instructor Katy Bath on Instagram. Bath says in her post that this is the workout she would do if she only had 10 minutes, so I decided to try it and see if it was enough to challenge me.

How to do Katy Bath's 10-minute Pilates routine

The routine features six exercises done in a circuit format. Bath does 10 repetitions of each movement then performs a second round of exercises.

My experience swapping my usual workout for a 10-minute Pilates routine

I prefer to lift weights in the gym, but I've recently been trying Pilates, too. I can do Pilates from home and it’s an effective way to train my core muscles, which supports my weight training.

This routine certainly challenged my core. My mid-body muscles were engaged throughout and my abs were burning by the end. It's good to know you can challenge these muscles in just 10 minutes.

It’s also a great workout if you want to improve your mobility. The first move, the plank press-back, opened up the muscles in my upper body and relieved the tension built up from working at a desk.

Another thing I liked about this workout was that it was a great way to work on my coordination, with some of the exercises requiring me to move my body as one.

On top of this, I came away with a slightly less achy lower back than usual and I felt far more comfortable at my desk for the rest of the afternoon. I think this is because the core-strengthening exercises are great for supporting the spine and improving posture, which is ideal if you spend lots of time sitting down like me.

I was very impressed by how much I achieved in 10 minutes, not just working on strength, but coordination, posture and mobility too.

Shop Pilates mats

You don't need any equipment for this workout, but a Pilates mat will make the seated movements more comfortable. Here are three options to consider.

Alice Porter
Freelancer Writer

Alice Porter is a freelance journalist covering lifestyle topics including health, fitness and wellness. She is particularly interested in women's health, strength training and fitness trends and writes for publications including Stylist Magazine, Refinery29, The Independent and Glamour Magazine. Like many other people, Alice's personal interest in combining HIIT training with strength work quickly turned into a CrossFit obsession and she trains at a box in south London. When she's not throwing weights around or attempting handstand push-ups, you can probably find her on long walks in nature, buried in a book or hopping on a flight to just about anywhere it will take her.