Movement Minute - Minimalist Conditioning

Thanksgiving is over and winter is officially knocking at the door.


The summer months supply a generous amount of daylight and warmth that make outdoor excursions a pleasure.  Even this fall was kind enough to keep the party going. Now, it’s just dark and cold and my routine is in serious shift.  It's not without it's least that's what I tell myself.  


Anyways,  I thought it would be a good time to share a simple, no-equipment conditioning workout for this week’s Movement Minute.


I’ve said it for years, training fluctuates with the different phases of the year.  Better to roll with it that than to resist. The biggest changes I find myself adapting to right now are more time indoors and the craziness of the holidays.


As temperatures drop, training outdoors is more of a personal challenge than something I can’t wait to do.  Running, jumping, tree climbing, rock hopping, it’s just not as much fun outside when you’re all layered up. I’ll get outdoors some but when the choice comes down to frigid temperatures and the gym, I’ll usually take the gym. The challenge is figuring out how to move more when you’re confined to a smaller space.


Accounting for the holidays and all the eating and drinking that come along with them is a legit struggle too. I end up doing more conditioning work in the winter just to compensate for the fact that everywhere I turn are cookies, pies, and delicious sweet treats.  Turn around again, and there’s just booze…Wisconsin’s #1 coping strategy for the winter.  Sure, pour me another.



Minimalist Conditioning

Keeping fitness simple to stay consistent for the long haul is one of the most important factors to long-term success. This 23-movement sequence is an example of what I call “minimalist conditioning” and it's a great way to avoid paralysis by over-analysis and over-complicating your training. Just do it...mindfully. 


This is all context-free movement goodness. No equipment necessary, but a timer and towel could come in handy.  This is a great practice to get your fix of nutritious movement and while also getting in an effective, time-saving workout.  Bonus: if you find yourself frozen at your desk or on your couch, this is a really quick way to thaw out. 


In the list you’ll find a blend of calisthenics and natural movement patterns. I perform each movement for 60 seconds (30 seconds per side for unilateral movements) before moving on to the next.  This template is a flow from one movement to the next, but you can build in rest intervals.  


I keep the focus on my breathing and performing the reps as consistently as possible from start to finish. Thinking about of the potential practical application of each movement will keep you engaged and keep the movement quality high.  


I stayed in the shot for filming purposes only; I recommend that you branch out and explore all the space you have. Don’t think of these as exercises to be performed the same way every time.  Instead, think of it all as movement research and figuring out these patterns for your body. 


  1. Arm Circles
  2. Shuffle Steps
  3. Standing Cross Crawl
  4. Skipping
  5. Step Overs
  6. Shoulder Pitch Rotation
  7. Squat Rotations
  8. Tripod Get Ups
  9. Side Sit Switches
  10. Plank Shoulder Taps
  11. Sprawls
  12. Single Leg Hinges
  13. Tuck Jumps
  14. Crossback Lunges
  15. Crawl Pass Under
  16. Reverse Plank to Pike
  17. Rolling Squat Get Up
  18. High Knees
  19. Squat Spirals
  20. Lateral Shuffle Crawl
  21. V Sit 
  22. Hollow / Arch Roll
  23. Side Plank Star 


This holiday season, don't overcomplicate your life and risk giving yourself an excuse to not move. Keep this routine posted and get it in anytime you need a quick boost.  Set the timer and go, you'll be glad you did.


  If you're looking to take your movement & health game up a level for 2017, I am so down to help.

Schedule a consult with me and learn more about online training here.