It’s the exercise pretty much everyone loves to hate…burpees. If you don’t cringe just a little at the word, I think it may be safe to assume that you’ve never done one before. This exercise is a full body workout. It will utilize the pushing muscles of the upper body, all the muscles of the lower body and the core muscles. All of that and it’s a great way to increase your heart rate! Great stuff, right?
So, why do we avoid burpees or grumble about them? We respond this way because they are hard. If they were easy, we’d have no complaint. But because they are hard, we grow EVERY time we do them. We grow strong physically and mentally. Today I challenge you to do 30 seconds of burpees. Focus on good form while you’re doing them. It’s always better to do less repetitions with good form than to rush through the exercise using bad form. In order to use proper form, we’re going to break down this exercise and modify a couple of the steps so that it can be done by everyone, at every fitness level. Keep your core muscles engaged throughout the exercise so that your lower back isn’t swayed and compromised. Always remember, when working out more does not equal better. Better equals better.
STEP 1 : From a standing position with feet hip-width apart, squat down to place your hands on a sofa, chair or coffee table (any steady and sturdy elevated surface. Notice how I pushed my coffee table up against a wall to stabilize it).
STEP 2: First, step one foot back and then the other so that you are in inclined push up position.
STEP 3: Step one foot in and then the other so they are back in their original position.
STEP 4: Stand up tall and reach up to the ceiling.
If you’d like to increase the challenge of the burpee, hands can be placed on the floor rather than on an elevated surface. If you’d like to bump it up another level, you can jump both feet back into the push up position. Finally to add power to the burpee, you can also add a jump squat or a jumping jack rather than reaching for the ceiling in Step 4. The main thing to remember if you jump your feet back is to keep your abdominal muscles engaged. Give it a try. You can do it for 30 seconds.