What is a Burpee? (From The Article Archives)

This is definitely not me demonstrating a Squat-thrust, promise!
PK:          "Okay today we're going to do a ladder set of sprints and Burpees. We..."
Trainee:  "What is a burp-ee?"
PK:          "Here we go again..."

I have been asked so many times throughout my training career by all comers, what a burpee actually is.

A highly valuable exercise, but consistently used, abused, and misunderstood. I have loved this exercise from the very first rep I ever did. It has had a rough history with many so called 'experts' bad mouthing it and putting it on the banned-list because it is 'dangerous'. But like anything you must first learn to do it properly before you cast it aside.

The Burpee comes in many forms and variations, most of which I use in my programs regularly. The 'Squat Thrust' is the basic version, starting with a standing position you deep squat into a crouched position then kick your legs out into a push up/plank position then kick them back into the crouched position and then return to standing.

The True Burpee is my eyes incorporates a push up at the bottom of the movement and a jump at the top. This is an extremely difficult exercise one of which requires a lot of stability and mobility throughout all the joints. You can do these two different ways - the first is a great starting point which is clearly and thoroughly explained by Steve Maxwell in the video below...

The second is the what I consider the true version, which is well demonstrated by the Lord of the Burpee, Ross Enamait (I couldn't find a video with burpees only, note this is one hell of a workout).

This next video is myself at the 2011, Burpees for Bubs fundraiser.

I hope this gives you some insight into one of the premier bodyweight exercises.



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