Mechanics of a BURPEE

If you have ever done a circuit class or boot-camp, you are likely to be familiar with the “Burpee”. It is loved by personal trainers worldwide as it is a great exercise for building power, cardiovascular endurance and it uses nearly all of the muscles in your body.

The classic burpee can be broken into 4 steps:

  • Squat to hands on the ground
  • Jump back with the feet into a plank position
  • Jump the feet back into your starting squat position
  • Either standing up from the squat or push up into an upright jump

Depending on the evilness of your training that day, there are multiple variations including press-ups, single legs, forwards jumps, boxes and multiples of repetitions.

The important thing with the burpee is to work to your individual level and consider the control you have over every aspect of your movement.

The initial part of the movement is the squat.  Like every squat you need to have control over your knee alignment as you lower your hips down, at the same time maintaining your back position. This requires good hip and ankle flexibility, and reasonable hamstring and calf length.

To bring the knees back you need good low back and hip flexibility, abdominal strength to tuck the knees into the chest and the same shoulder blade control to maintain the shoulder position until the feet land. The final straightening of the legs to jump needs those glutes turning on again to help the drive upwards.

With the Burpee there plenty of opportunities during the movement to train the muscles but also stress or injure the joints and muscles.  If you feel that, during any part of the movement, you lose stability or control, or you feel pain, you need to stop and consult your Physio to do some local stability work to prevent injury! Come and see one of our Bend + Mend Physio’s at our Sydney CBD practice.

Kirsty Wall

About Kirsty Wall

Kirsty graduated from the University of Otago in 2004, and has worked in private practice in New Zealand and England, before moving to Sydney. She has spent the last three years becoming a certified Pilates instructor alongside her physiotherapy work, and recently became a Master instructor on all apparatus. Kirsty really enjoys bringing Pilates and Physiotherapy together, as she feels they have a symbiotic relationship, guiding patients back to their pre-injury activities as well as preventing re-occurrence. As Kirsty is new to Sydney, she is spending her spare time get to know the city, going on big walks and generally just enjoying the sunshine.

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