Its best to have clear full-body posing in your phrases at the expense of smooth transitions, especially early on. Animation follows beats and phrases, each with its own purpose. For a scene in which a store clerk is helping a customer, one phrase might be him waving as the customer enters; the next might be him putting his hands in his pockets as he listens to the customer.
Treat each phrase like its own shot. Reduce your timeline to display only the phrase youre working on, and create a beginning, middle and end to the idea being animated.