How To Nail Your Burpees
You may not know this about me, but burpees are one of my favourite exercises. I know that sounds crazy, but there are a few good reasons I love plyometrics like these, I promise!
Yes, burpees are tough. But they are tough because a burpee combines several exercises into one move — it’s a mixture of a squat, a plank and a plyometric jump. This means they work multiple muscle groups at once, and that’s exactly WHY they’re tough. The good news is that this combination means burpees really work your abs, legs, AND arms!
While I love them, I know burpees can be intimidating, especially if you’re starting a new exercise routine or returning to training after a break. You’ll find burpees in many of my High Intensity with Kayla Itsines (formerly BBG) programs, including High Intensity Zero Equipment with Kayla, so I want to explain how to do a burpee, along with some modifications to help get you started.
How to do a standard burpee
These are the steps you need to follow for a ‘basic’ burpee (yeah, there isn’t anything very basic about a burpee!). Get ready to master a tough move!
- Plant both feet on the mat shoulder-width apart. This is your starting position.
- Bend at both the hips and knees to place your hands on the mat on either side of your feet, ensuring that your spine remains in a neutral position.
- Jump both of your feet back so that your legs are completely extended behind you, resting on the balls of your feet. Your body should be in one straight line from your head to your heels.
- Jump both of your feet forwards in between your hands, once again, ensuring that your feet remain shoulder-width apart.
- Propel your body upwards into the air. Extend your legs below you and your arms above your head.
- Land in the starting position, ensuring that you maintain “soft” knees to prevent injury.
How to make burpees easier
If you’re having difficulty, try these burpee modifications to make it easier.
The first variation to make a burpee easier is to step, rather than jump, your feet forward and back again. You may step faster with practice and eventually progress to jumping.
Another way you can modify a burpee is by placing your hands on a bench instead of on the floor. That way you aren’t going right down to the floor. You complete the rest of the burpee in the same way. As you practice, you may be able to lower to a step and even to the floor!
You can use burpees to measure your fitness progress
Burpees are such a great full-body exercise! You might not love doing them, but I’m sure you can appreciate how good they can be to work multiple muscle groups.
You might even use a burpee challenge to track your fitness progress.
For example, if you started out doing five easier, modified burpees, you know that you are really getting somewhere when you can progress to 10 standard burpees. Remember to be patient with yourself, because change takes time. If you are persistent, you WILL reach your goals!
* Results may vary. Strict adherence to the nutrition and exercise guide are required for best results.