Everyone has a love/ hate relationship with burpees. Most CrossFitters dread them, but at the same time embrace the misery. Burpees require no equipment and deliver a massive metabolic effect. They mimics a important movement pattern found in many sports. So where is the drawback? Recently on the CrossFit message board, someone brought up an old quote from Coach Glassman. Coach himself had some reservations about the movement, but conceeded that they were very popular. For some people the aggressive driving of the knees forward from the pushup position is a risk. The dynamic spinal flexion puts the lower back at risk. While watching burpees done en masse, or in the midst of a nasty metabolic mix, its easy to see the posture go downhill quickly.
So, how do we improve one of our “favorite” moves? The first step is to break it down, and explain that it requires precision, like any of the other exercises. Last night we did a warmup of PVC overhead squats and burpees, to work on the form. After that we went to the main session, incorporating the same movements, but at pace and under load.
OHS (75 lbs) burpees
All burpees done as: squat, reach to floor, jump back, pushup, jump to squat (arching back as you come up, jump from squat.