Why are we throwing all this shade at burpees?!?
By Coach Kavin
Remember the Chipper that alternated 50 Calorie rows and Burpee Box Jumps (21/15/9). Good times right?! Or maybe not…As coaches we always see a little bit of inefficiency on burpee box jumps. Most people don’t like the burpee or potentially the box jump, combine the two – forget about it! I personally love burpees because they are one of those movements that you just have to turn your brain off and grind through, not only that but they work everything in your body – shoulders, core, legs. I actually really believe that more people could come to appreciate burpees if they dialed in their technique, breathing strategies, etc. Here are some of our thoughts…
Where is technique going wrong?
When we watch people do burpee box jumps and bar facing burpees in particular we commonly see two things – when folks are down on the ground their head is way too far away from the box/bar and we also notice that they don’t jump their foot close enough to the bar/box and/or they try to jump both feet forward at the same time.
Here’s a picture of two head positions, one less than idea (far away) and one that will lead to greater efficiency (head is close).
Additionally, breathing plays a huge role in burpees. Often newer athletes or those not thinking critically about their strategy start off way too hot! They go out at a pace that they might only be able to sustain for 20 or so reps but the set they are working on might be much bigger. This inevitably leads to a big slow down and feeling mentally defeated.
Lastly is how you kick up to the box. This requires some hip flexor mobility (even more reason to do a little couch stretch at home 🙂 but getting your foot close to your hands allows you to step right up to your jump. See the two positions below, one will require an additional step and match.
How to find some love in your heart for the burpee.
We have a few recommendations for getting you moving more efficiently and more sustainably.
- Breathe twice for every rep. The more the better here.
- Drop with your head right up close to the bar/box. Doing so allows the next step to be successful.
- When you are peeling off the ground, jump one leg forward so that when you match with the opposite leg, you are in a position to jump over the bar or onto the box and don’t need any additional steps.
- Pace your effort according to the size of the set or the length of the workout. If it’s 100 burpee box jumps, don’t go out like you are doing a sprinty set of 20.
So give it a try next time we have burpees in a workout, maybe you too can enjoy them a little bit more by making them less torturous!