Score more reps (and calorie burn!) by following these burpee form tips. By Estelle Low
Once the exercise for sportspeople, burpees are now a staple in all strength workouts, from CrossFit to HIIT.
In fact, if you have time for only one exercise, the burpee would be it.
A full burpee consists of six movements, in this order: squat, jump, push-up, jump, squat and jump.
Those are all first-class moves that target the whole body, build muscles and increase calorie burn. Combine them and you get this explosive that will shoot your heart rate up in one rep.
Because burpees are done at a fast pace for best results, it’s easy to do them wrongly. Mistakes are likely to go unnoticed too.
I have been doing burpees regularly in the last few months, and only found out that I’ve been making these mistakes recently, while training for the Under Armour Test of Will 2017. That’s a regional fitness challenge that requires me to do as many reps as possible of four exercises in four minutes.
The Singapore heats are taking place on April 8 and 9 at Bugis Junction. Registration is free for Singaporeans and permanent residents aged 21 and above.
The Test of Will is designed to challenge your strength, endurance and power. Not surprisingly, the burpee is one of the four moves on the list.
To reap the most benefits from burpees and do them efficiently, it’s important to master the technique. I asked my trainer Latif Mirza, fitness team leader at TripleFit Singapore, for these pointers.
The Right Way to Do a Burpee
Photos: Vernon Wong
From standing position, lower into squat with knees pointing straight ahead. Look ahead, about a metre away. Lean forward and prepare to jump back with both legs.
With hands directly under shoulders, jump both legs back into plank.
Lower body to ground. Push back into plank in a swift motion.
4. Jump to squat
Jump both feet forward into squat. (Also read: The Right Way to Do Squat Exercises)
Rise from squat and jump up, clapping hands overhead to complete the burpee.
Common Burpee Mistakes
1. Collapsing knees
As you squat, avoid letting your knees cave it. This happens when you don’t engage your core and quads. Pointing your knees inwards is never ideal in a squat position, as that puts stress on your knees. Think of opening up your legs so your knees are pointing straight ahead. It’s okay to let them flare slightly; outwards is better than inwards. When knees are aligned with ankles, it’s easier for energy to transfer from bottom up: feet, hips, shoulders. Your jumps will become more powerful!
2. Arching back and sinking hips
When you jump into plank, keep the core tight so your body is in a straight line from ears to ankles. Tuck your tailbone in until you feel tension in your abs. Doing so protects your lower back, plus it gives you the energy to jump forward and upwards later.
This article is brought to you by Under Armour Singapore.