How To Do The Perfect Burpee

I've been doing at least 10 burpees every morning since we started the burpee challenge. (One day of 10, actually, and the rest at least 30.) I've also spent a lot of time thinking, "Is this the right way to do a burpee?" and, "Is this the best way to do a burpee?"

This June, We're Going To Do Burpees And Like It

Sure, fine, burpees are tough and we hate them. But they are a phenomenal full-body workout, and it won't kill you to try just one. Maybe two. (Or 10. You know where this is going.) We're all going to be so strong by the end of the month!

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The truth is, there are multiple best ways. I like this video (above) from 12 Minute Athlete, which shows the three most popular options in a non-judgemental way. And if you'd like a breakdown of each, here you go:

How to Do a Push-Up Burpee

  1. Put your hands on the ground.
  2. Jump your feet back to a push-up position. (Lower your knees, if needed.)
  3. Do a push-up.
  4. Jump your feet back to the starting position, and then jump with your hands in the air.

This is how I did my first set of burpees at the beginning of the month. That push-up can be tough, so this is a good option if you can already do push-ups and you want to use this exercise to get some extra arm/shoulder/chest work in.

How to Do a Crossfit-Style Burpee

  1. Simultaneously put your hands on the ground while jumping your feet back. Land (softly!) on your torso.
  2. Jump your feet back to their starting position, and then jump with your hands in the air.

This is the same basic motion as the push-up burpee, but you smush a bunch of the separate movements together. It's faster and more fluid, and takes some of the weight off your easily-fatigued arms. I've settled into doing these for my morning burpees.

You have to be careful of your back when you do these, though. If you let your lower back sag - easy to do when you're tired - you can hurt yourself. The proper position is to keep your lower back strong, and your pelvis tilted backward. This video explains how.

How to Do the Original Burpee

  1. Put your hands on the ground by your feet.
  2. Jump your feet back into plank position.
  3. Jump your feet back to the starting position.
  4. Stand up.

This is the original movement used in Royal Hiddleston Burpee's fitness test. It's also called a four-count burpee, or a squat thrust.


If one of these burpees doesn't work for you, there are other variations. A friend of mine with back problems prefers to step back rather than jump back into the plank position, for example. Which burpee do you prefer?


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