Written by Coryn Littler

January 2, 2020

Gymnastics Movements - Foundations | Strength Exercises

The burpee would have to be one of the most challenging exercises out there. It looks like it shouldn’t be hard to do, but it’s actually a complex movement combining a push up, an air squat and a jump into sequential movements.

It also involves a mix of many flexions and extensions of the hip.

The great thing about practicing efficient burpees is that we can increase our muscular endurance as it’s a very practical and functional movement as it simulates being on the ground and having to get up as quickly as possible.

In theory, if you can get onto the ground and get up, you can do a burpee.

This movement can be scaled at several points where you are using each hand and foot as a point at a time.

Below is an example of an efficient burpee.

Start with your feet under your hips (jumping stance).

Put your hands on the ground and then push your feet back into an extended position.

As soon as you put your feet back, you can start coming down into your push up.

Hit the bottom of your push up – in this case, the standard was chest to ground.

On the next stage, either push-up and bring your feet in, or combine the next two steps into one smooth movement.

Whala, you are in the bottom of your jumping air squat position, so brace yourself to jump.

A standard burpee is a fully locked out position finished with a hand clap above the head.

Below, shows am almost fully extended position.

Scaling the burpee:

Ways to scale the burpee include:

  • Depth of push up – either:
    • 90 degrees
    • 180 degrees (no push up at all)
  • Jump
    • Set a target for the jump (this may be progressing the movement)
    • Setting to a jumping height target (eg. a weight plate to jump on or a box (burpee box jumps) with either no lockout on top or a full lockout
  • Modify to more points in your burpee so instead of a 6 or 7 point burpee as above, move one leg or arm at a time when dropping down and getting up.

Remember to seek the advice of your fitness trainer, medical and/or allied health professionals, if you are new to exercise or have an injury or medical condition to consider.

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