Week #1

Big Sur in the Morning

How to do a 4 Minute Morning  

Week # 1

Do this at a low to moderate effort.  It is first thing in the morning after all.  After a week or so, you will notice improvements and with that your level of intensity will increase, naturally.

Follow this progression.  Besides building on your physical strength, we are also building on your mental strength.  You will start with a little each day and add a little more the following day.  Don’t skip ahead. We are doing these exercises in bare feet, but, of course wear running shoes if you have a pre-existing condition which requires you to do so during exercise.

Below is what Week #1 looks like.  Keep a log of what you’ve done.

Day 1 (approx. 1 Minute)

  1. 50 Marching On the Spot (knees up high).
  2. Rest 10 seconds
  3. 50 Marching On the Spot (knees up high).
  4. Rest 10 seconds

Note: you should be able to do 50 Marches in 20 seconds.  Each knee up counts as one repetition.

Day 2 (approx. 2 Minutes)

  1. 50 Marching On the Spot (knees up high).
  2. Rest 10 seconds

Note: 50 Marching on the Spot + 10 second Rest = one circuit.

3.  Repeat this Circuit 4 times, to equal 4 rounds.

Day 3 (~1 Minute)

  1. 50 Marching On the Spot (knees up high).
  2. 10 Bend Down & Reach Ups

Begin standing with legs and feet together. Bend down at the knees and hips (feet stay flat on the ground –like squatting on a very low stool, chest lifted.  Touch the ground with your fingertips (or just as close to the floor as possible), then straighten up to standing.  Reach arms up to ceiling.  Repeat.

Day 4 (~2 Minutes)

  1. 50 Marching On the Spot (knees up high).
  2. 10 Bend Down & Reach Ups
  3. Repeat circuit twice, to equal two rounds.

Day 5 (~4 Minutes)

  1. 50 Marching On the Spot (knees up high).
  2. 10 Bend Down & Reach Ups
  3. Repeat circuit four times, to equal 4 rounds.

Days 6 & 7 (~4 Minutes each) = Same as Day 5

Depending on your speed/pace, this circuit (repeated 4 times) should take about 4 minutes.

You can set a stopwatch to see how long it takes.


Go easy on yourself.  This is not a race.  By doing these exercises you are being kind to yourself.  Many people have the belief that a workout has to be a punishment or must hurt.  It doesn’t.  There is a difference between working hard in a good way and working hard in a bad way causing injury.  I have a safe progression for you to follow which will establish a solid foundation.  Just do not skip ahead.  You have to put in the time in order to prepare your muscles, ligaments and tendons.  Within three to six months you won’t believe what you will have accomplished.  A big part of this is the self-discipline needed to actually do these 4 minutes of exercises every day.

Seems simple enough, doesn’t it?  In fact, you probably think it looks too simple to be effective at all.  Try it for one week, every morning.  Let me know how it goes.

Demonstration video, coming soon.

For week #2 click  here .


  1. This is really a good idea. I’m 45 and I haven’t been committed to a good workout routine in some time, this is a really, really good way to ease into it.

    1. I especially appreciate the reference to tendons and ligaments which used to stop me from working out when I pulled one or injured it. Very nice… Nice and completely doable. I had an afterthought LOL 🙂 so I came back to write more…

  2. With the bend downs, do you bend your knees, i.e. squat down or just roll down your spine and then roll up?

    1. Hi Megan,
      Yes, BEND your knees for sure.
      BEND DOWN & REACH UPS: Begin standing with legs and feet together. Bend down at the knees and hips (feet stay flat on the ground –like squatting on a very low stool, chest lifted. Touch the ground with your fingertips (or just as close to the floor as possible), then straighten up to standing. Reach arms up to ceiling. Repeat.

      You can view the video of Week 1 – DAY 3, which will illustrate the movement.


  3. Today was my day 5 of the 4 minutes morning. I do it as part of my warmup before Bodyrocking. The front of my legs(chin) were sore the first day after the 10 bend & reach up, but I get sore there too when I used to jog.

    Lvette #1

    1. Hi Lvette #1,

      Regarding your shins – it sounds like you might have some limitation in your ankles, but it could be coming from as far up as your hips…everything is connected. Consider working with an RMT/ Rolfer/ bodyworker of some sort to free up whatever is restricting proper functioning of your joints.
      Are you stretching enough? Be sure to incorporate the 3 hip stretches, and if you have a foam roll, roll out the muscles of your shins and gently stretch your calf muscles.

      Let me know if that feeling in your shins goes away on it’s own or if you end up seeing someone about it.

      “One of the biggest misnomers is that tight muscles are ‘strong’ and loose muscles are ‘weak.’ In actuality, the strongest muscle is one that is the perfect length.” – Katy Bowman from http://www.alignedandwell.com

  4. Hello,

    I’m a fellow 40 year old bodyrocker. I will be adding 4minutes morning to bodyrocking starting tomorrow morning.

  5. I am happy I stopped by! I have 6 kids; I have no time to plan or execute exercise right now, but this is something I can get started on, even when I am in the hospital caring for a sick kid!

    1. So glad you did stop by. With a big family like yours, you know how much they depend on you. It is so easy to shelf our health while caring for our dependents; I did just that when my kids were infants and very young, because of course, they were all that mattered. Once my health really started to deteriorate it became shockingly clear that not taking care of myself was in fact impacting my ability to take care of and teach my children what they needed to learn. These little bouts of exercise are simple to add to one’s day. Be consistent with it, is my only advise.
      Also, you jogged my memory when you said hospital…when my daughter was 5, she woke in the wee hours of the morning unable to breath. H1N1 was at it’s peak and so I rushed her to the hospital. Turned out it was croup, and I could have just taken her out into the cool morning air which likely would have done the trick. However, we spent nearly 7 hours in emergency, because as a secondary, she complained of pains in her heart area…we ended up waiting for an EKG or something or other. Long story short, I looked around me and was just amazed at how many people with a not-so big emergency like ours were waiting for hours and then those with real emergencies or chronic conditions sit around the hospital caring for loved ones. Because I’m a physical person, I was about to lose my mind just sitting there, with a few intermissions of exercise walking to feed the parking meter. It occurred to me that it would be great if doing these little bouts of exercise could become common place at the hospital – for everyone, medical staff included!

      Good luck with finding a way to incorporate this into your busy life.

  6. Super excited to start doing this! I do Bodyrock workouts fairly regularly, but I never know how to start out my mornings (because I’m usually getting ready to jump out the door — I generally leave the Bodyrock workouts until nighttime). So stoked for this! Thanks so much!

    1. Awesome! It’s great how one thing leads to another. Everyday will be different and that’s ok. Go with it, give it a shot and please report back.
      Thanks for taking the time to check in.

  7. Okay, this is just what I needed today. Somehow I missed this the first time I saw the website. Okay, I will try this daily body maintenance in addition to my training program. Thanks!

    1. okay, I just did day 2, at 6:30am here, and it was fun to see my abs as I did the high knees! I’m really excited about this!!!

  8. Thanks for telling me about the blog Congratulations! It looks amazing and I’m going to start using it! You are what you say you are and I know this, but folks are cynical, my only suggestion is that you may want to include some personal photos in your Bio.

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