Strong and Gorgeous. What the Burpee?

By | September 14, 2018

The dreaded Burpee.

No, the magical Burpee.

Relationship: It’s complicated.

Whether you love them or hate them they are a pretty serious exercise.

Stand up, drop on the floor, get up, and clap in joy! That is how we approach a burpee at Kaia! With the upmost appreciation and respect.

Burpees are a staple at Kaia, and most all fitness and Boot Camp workouts. But why?

The burpee is a full body exercise. That means that it works each body area. Your legs, arms, core, cardiovascular output, mobility and strength. Let’s break it down and look at all the pros, and possible cons.

Step 1: The burpee starts with a squat touchdown. This is first off, a movement that is done each day numerous times. Picking things up off the ground, hauling your kids, your groceries, your laundry, the list goes on. This movement takes core stability, hip and hamstring mobility, leg and back strength. Put an emphasis on bracing your back, keeping your core tight and back flat, and support your torso with nice bent legs, protecting your knees.

Step 2: Hitting your plank. Once your hands reach the ground, you get to step or jump back to a plank. The goal is to keep your shoulders stable over your wrists, you control your core as you get into the plank without sagging your hips and keeping your glutes engaged and supporting your low back. Be sure you keep your shoulder blades stable and move in control to a soft landing.

Step 3: Drop it to the floor! The goal is to lay on your belly with your thighs and chest touching the ground. Sounds easy right? This is the best part… soak it in… for as little time as possible!

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Step 4: Push your body back up to a plank. The second you hit the floor, you get to get yourself back up again. Here you are using your arm strength, shoulder stability, and lots of core control to push yourself back up to that perfect plank. Watch peeling your torso off the ground, and be sure to pull your belly button in tight and try to press up in your Push Up position on your knees before you lift up to your toes.

Step 5: Walk or Jump your feet back up to your hands. This takes a lot of core strength and major hip mobility. This is one of the biggest challenges for a burpee, and it is performed incorrectly often. If you can’t get your feet in between your hands (which is quite rare) then step your feet to the outside of your hands in a nice wide stance. The biggest thing to watch out for is jumping your feet up and letting your knees bounce forward. The trick? Keep your hips up high and don’t let your weight go into your toes. Protect those knees at all costs!

Step 6: Squat back up to standing, just like your first step, but backward! Add a big jump and clap overhead! Don’t forget to squeal with joy for all the hard work… and get ready for another… and another… and another!

In all reality, the Burpee is a dang good workout. Like it or not, it is going to stick around so might as well practice the perfect burpee and soak in its effectiveness in your workout routine!

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Burpees for Boobs? October is breast cancer awareness month, and for the last 2 years, we have been doing a fundraiser to raise money for women who have been through treatment. We do burpees to raise money, because why not? We embrace the fact that we HAVE the mobility to do one, we HAVE the strength to do one, we HAVE the heart to do one, and we HAVE the tribe to do them together in order to help others during a hard time. So next time you do your burpees, think of the people who might not be able to do one right now and be thankful you CAN!

Raina Munson is the Head Coach and Manager of Kaia Fit Petaluma.


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