Ginger Daniels Movement Specialist
What is a burpee, you may be asking yourself? Well, a burpee is a great way to activate a lot of large muscle groups in your body at once, and get your heart rate up pretty fast. It is usually a dynamic, explosive movement where in which you jump down and out into a push up plank position, jump back into a squat position, and then burst into a jump up with the arms shooting up much like a starfish shape. Sadly, this movement is very often performed incorrectly, in fact, I have had many clients tell me that their "other trainer" had them doing burpees, and they hurt their back. SO, I decided to teach ALL OF YOU the correct way to execute such a powerful movement because it is indeed a good one to include into your repertoire if you do it right.
FIRST OFF, you need to step it first. What do I mean by that? Well, get the movement down by stepping instead of jumping...I have executed this stepping myself in the video below. You want to carefully plant your hands, fingers facing forward, right in line with your feet. As you step back one foot at a time into a push up plank pose, you want to keep your shoulders over your wrists and engage your core. NOW, your core includes your abdominals, your lower back muscles, your hips...so try to engage your pelvic floor too by squeezing your kegal wall like you are holding your pee. As you step back in toward your hands, step your feet right behind your wrists and find a squat position. A squat should have your toes facing forward, heels on the ground, your knees over your ankles, but not in front of them, and you should first feel your glutes engage before you stand up. As you stand, reach your arms up over your head, squeezing your butt, but don't jump yet. Now you've got the form! This may be enough for you in the beginning, by the way. The movement is still dynamic because it is getting your heart rate up already. REMEMBER, if you're going to jump the movement, you MUST keep all of those form elements working throughout your body in order to create the most beneficial and effective burpee for yourself. NOW WHAT ABOUT BREATHING?? You want to exhale as you step out into the plank, and exhale as you reach up over your head. Take a breath as you go down, exhale as you step out, inhale as you step back in, and exhale as you reach up. Breathing is important. Your exhale will help you to engage your core even more.
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