Conditioning – What we do, why we do it

I’ve gotten a lot of people lately asking me about what our teams do for conditioning so I thought it was about time I made a post about it.

We’ve got a lot of kids in the gym every day (more than our space can probably handle well) so we have to get a little creative. Also we have a huge Xcel team 140+ kids, so we have to stick to rotation schedules pretty diligently.

This is a sample of our optional conditioning on Tuesdays. They also do a 10-15 minute cardio/leg warm-up. I also threw in a couple videos of our kids conditioning.

So with everything in the circuits we do 1 minute rotations unless it’s the level 2s or pre-teamers in which case they will do a modified circuit by either changing the exercises or doing 45 second rounds. The focus is quality over quantity.



Some of the exercises:

Squat jumps between mats (3rd exercise):

Side squat walks:

Butterfly crunches (we have them lift their feet as well):

Bent knee hollow holds (after rocks):



I’m sharing these circuits for a couple of reasons.

1) It’s hard to figure out a conditioning program that you like that ALSO fits into your schedule, so I wanted to show some of the things that have worked for me. I like circuits because the kids don’t have to count, they move fast, they don’t get bored, and I find that they get a lot more done.
2) The right conditioning makes all the difference – lacking performance often comes from lacking conditioning. CONDITIONING IS THE FIFTH AND MOST IMPORTANT EVENT.
3) I wanted to show you a plan – if you don’t plan it, it doesn’t happen. During summer we had a great conditioning plan – then the school year hit. I still had a plan for what I wanted to do every day – but not exactly WHERE, WHEN and WHAT MATS to use. I still thought it was fine. IT WASN’T. After two weeks of being frustrated with not getting the conditioning done that I wanted – for any number of reasons, I was too focused on skills, it took too long to move mats, I didn’t know where in the gym to do it etc. – I went back and outlined it to the minute. Boom. Problem solved. Now all groups know WHEN, WHERE and WHAT their conditioning is.
4) Our optionals come 5 days per week. Right now I have them doing legs and core 3 days and arms and core 2 days. Three of the events require legs so we have to make sure that our gymnasts are super strong in all of their leg and glute muscles. That being said we can’t pound on them too much. So some days we have a leg circuit like the one above where several things involve jumping and landing – and others I have them set up what we call the “non pounding” circuit, which can involve anything leg or glute related that doesn’t jump or pound.
5) so many people don’t know if they are going the right way with their conditioning. THat’s OKAY! Part of the point of this is that no one has it figured out instantly. we are always evolving. but if you want some help – i would be more than happy to help you set up your conditioning plan email for more info.


– MAKE A PLAN, any plan. But make it down to the minute and the exercise. Don’t wing it – or you won’t like the results.

– You have to find what works for YOU. There is no BEST conditioning plan out there. Find what works for you and your gymnasts.

– Be ready to have some things not work. There have been some conditioning things I’ve tried and hated – don’t be afraid to say no.



Part 1: In the comments tell me what has and hasn’t worked for you conditioning wise? What do you love and what do you struggle with?

Part 2: Take a good hard look at your conditioning and see if it’s getting you where you want to go. If it is, perfect, KEEP IT. If not, change it up. Look around for ideas and inspiration.

– If you need some extra help, or are just flat out out of ideas – email me at I’ll show you not only exactly what I do, but EXACTLY what I would do if I were in your shoes.



  1. Alie Fowler says:

    Conditioning is a always super important for us! At my former gym, all of our teams came in at the same time and we’d actually demonstrate the items in the circuit at the beginning of the week, then every coach would take a group and we’d all do the conditioning together. We modified for lower levels but everyone was expected to do the conditioning and it became almost a competition to see which group would work the hardest at it. (We used something set up similarly to Geddert’s circuit: Arms, Legs, Back/Hamstrings/Calves, and Core. We’d alternate that 2 days/week and once a week we’d do event conditioning which involved specific skills on each event, and once a week we’d do a flexibility circuit. It works great! We’ve also done some of the Shaun T Beachbody workouts in the summer.

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  4. Este says:

    I love this post because I’m an all-star cheerleader, soon to be coach, and I’ve always thought that my team’s downfall was a lack of conditioning. I don’t want my athletes to have that problem so I want to teach them that the body comes before the skill by conditioning regularly and examining the technique of compulsory skills. If you have any suggestions for adapting the plan to fit the cheer gym environment I’d love to hear them!

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