Movement Snacks – Build strength, mobility, balance throughout the day

Last post, we looked at the key ingredient for building strength, according to the latest research, is getting to some fatigue. What some recent reseasrch work is showing is that there are big wins to dosing our day with what Frank Forencich some time ago called “movement snacks” in his book exuberant animal – and what the sports science community has joylessly called “exercise snacks.”

That is, short, relatively intense bursts, over the course of a day, are good things. Efforts that get you to that fatigue place in 3-5 minutes, every few hours, can be, it seems, super. One paper refers to Sprint Snacks of 30 second bursts with 30 seconds of recovery.

The thing is: not every snack break has to be the same – either the same intensity or the same plane of movement. It’s ok to mix it up. THe following offers a movement snack menu, followed by a small movement meal, just to push the analogy.

5 minutes of Core Snack (with kids) – the awesome thing here is that with two humans following along, you can see variations – and again the main thing – find your TOASTYness – getting to a happy fatigue place – in five – it can be done

A morning starter snack – Tested over Thousands of years – Some of Sunrise salutations

Nice movement snack way to start your day

Another Morning Movement Snack – animal moves
Tell me you don’t get to toasty good fatigue with this follow along

The Inner Strength Builder Snack: hit the stairs, or grab a stool and step up and down – breathing through your nose. UNILATERAL GOODNESS can also be explored, where you work one side of the body at a time. For example, if you have a box or chair or block you can step up to, you can also do this one leg at a time – and that will get fatigue going.

A DYNAMIC snack – up the INTENSITY/EFFORT with or without implements.
Now me, i love kettlebells – and if it were up to me i’d have them available everywhere, for everyone. This is long time KB buddy Steve Cotter showing you 2 minutes to toasty goodness.

As you can see the KB lets one go from dynamic movements like the swing that works up and lower body, gets pulling and pushing moves in, just for starters. It’s high intensity without high impact. 20 swings. a few presses, some squats, some more swings. THAT is both an upper, a lower and a core workout RIGHT THERE.

KB Alternative: HI LO speedy squat pushes
Without those beautiful KB’s – SPEEDY SORTA SQUATS is an option – here, i like putting my hands on my knees, and then squatting down and using my hands to help with the push back up – at a really good clip – my goodness that can get the tempo up and also let me sustain the movement. swapping 20-50 speedy squats – with 10- 20 push / presses back and forth – little bit of rest after each set – for about 5 minutes.

A SLOW and LOW SNACK. Do whatever you want, but GO SLOW, and GET LOW Doing 5 – 7 minutes of slow bodyweight squats – or bodyweight push ups – or slow spiderman pushes or whatever – that focuses on slow, concentration on contraction – breaking when needed but as little as possible – will cause mental and physical fatigue – and build mental and physical resilience too.

EDT SNACK BLOCK We have a great protocol that takes seven minutes (snack size) swapping ten reps of one move/ten reps of another (called escalating density training – described here under “block”). The rep scheme can also be adjusted. Here the goal is JUST seeing if each time you do the block you can add ONE MORE rep. Here’s an example of adapting squats and push ups for a 7 minute block.

BUDDY SNACKS – going right to the originator of the playful movement snack, here are some of Frank Forencich’s crew exploring pairs movement play – how bring these movement snacks to your office? The opportunity here is that these pair moves bring together strength, mobility, balance in order to coordinate with each other. 5 minutes to toasty fatiguey goodness.

you might consider these pair play snacks at work

A MINI MOVEMENT MEAL – The following is an example of more of a meal than a snack – a 20 minute on the ground exploration to build strength, mobility and balance, courtesy of the crew at GMB fitness. The high side over traditional RET is that it works multiple plains of motion: remember we’re use it or lose it, so working side to side, at odd angles – that is also protective. Where do we tend to get injured? at ranges of motion we rarely explore. So let’s explore!

See where you get to fatigue. It’s a great way to start the day. Personally, i use this kind of practice session in the evening to get in good fatigue before sleep. It’s awesome. Really if you do some physical movement a few hours before you want to sleep, you will be amazed at the effects.