Burpees: Tips, Technique, Correct Form, and Benefits
Burpees get a bad rep because they’re extremely intense, but they are meant to be done as part of a challenge.
If you feel the burn, congratulations, it’s working. Burpees combine the benefits of an upper-body push with a lower-body exercise. Since the exercise is multi-muscular, it makes it easier for your cardiovascular system and lungs to keep up.
Burpees are a popular exercise, but if done incorrectly, they can make you weaker. So follow these steps to ensure you’re doing them safely and effectively.
What is a Burpee?
Burpees are a full-body strength workout that allows you to perform pushups, lift your body off the ground, and jump back into a plank-like position before jumping up in the air. The two-part exercise — burpee plus backward leap into a plank — is often used to assess overall health and fitness, since it trains the entire body.
Burpees are a unique, challenging exercise that works in major muscle groups in your body. They work the posterior chain of muscles, which are on the backside of your body—your glutes, hamstrings, and calves. The quadriceps in your front thigh are also used when jumping up. Burpees also work your torso muscles because every time you land from a jump, you’re absorbing force from that landing.
How to do Burpees the right way
Burpees are tricky, right? They seem simple, but if you’re not doing them right, you might not see the results you want.
Burpees are all about speed. You’ve got to push hard and move fast to get the most out of them. But if you don’t hit the basic positions correctly, it can throw your whole form off—and then you’ll be working harder than ever for no payoff.
Follow these easy steps to perform a perfect burpee:
- To start the burpee, place your hands on the floor and jump into a plank position.
- Your body should form a straight line from your shoulders to your ankles and your arms should be in line with your ears.
- From this position, lower yourself to the ground by bending at the waist until your chest almost touches the floor.
- Then, push yourself back up to the first position.
- Repeat this movement for as many repetitions as you like.
Correct form & technique
Burpees incorporate several moves into one, so there will definitely be some snags along the way. Here are some of the tips and techniques that you can implement to avoid the common mistakes made while doing them:
- Try to maintain your feet flat on the floor as you begin the first squat.
- Squat all the way down instead of just bending down at the waist. When you put your hands on the floor for a pushup, your hips should be below the level of your knees.
- Quickly but carefully descend - don't just collapse into a low squat or your knees will suffer.
- Maintain a firm core and avoid allowing your hips to fall out of good alignment.
- Do not bounce your chest off the floor; instead, lightly contact the ground without allowing your lower back to arch excessively.
- To absorb the force, always land with slightly bent knees; otherwise, you risk injuring your feet, ankles, knees, hips, or back.
Benefits of Burpees
1) Promotes faster weight loss
While any exercise can help you lose weight, high-intensity workouts like burpees can help you burn more calories in a shorter amount of time. Several studies have shown that high-intensity interval workouts can help you burn more fat than traditional cardio.
2) Helps in building stamina
Burpees not only improve your cardio endurance but also your muscle endurance. Muscular endurance relates to how long your muscles can continue to move under a certain load for an extended period of time. In the case of burpees, the load is your own body weight.
3) Build body coordination
Burpees appear simple on the surface, but they take a great deal of coordination. Timing your movements is very crucial or else you might end up landing flat on your face. Regular practice of burpees can help you enhance your coordination and awareness.
How to perform burpees safely?
Burpees are a great part of any workout plan, but there are some precautions you need to take before you dive right into them.
One of the great things about burpees is that they require no special equipment. So even if you're in a rental gym without your own barbells or dumbbells, you can still make this move. But that doesn't mean that you should skip the warm-up. Just because it doesn't require any equipment doesn't mean they aren't taxing on your body. Your hips and knees will bear a lot of the brunt of the impact, so make sure to focus your warm-up on those areas.
Take your time
No one likes to think a simple exercise is complicated. However, burpees are not such an exercise. It requires attention to detail, which can be compromised if you rush through the movement.
If you’re new to burpees, these tips suggest that you should slow down and focus on proper techniques, particularly in the areas of position and breathing.
With the right form, they are a great addition to your workout routine. Just remember to go slow and listen to your body as you exercise.