It seems to be in fairly common agreement that no- one likes burpees. There are a couple different theories out there on where they came from, but a plausible theory is that the exercise may have been originated by a man named Lieutenant Thomas Burpee who was an officer in the New Hampshire Militia during the American Revolutionary War and was described as “having the "innate Burpee” fondness for martial exercises”.
Lt. Burpee may have used the combination of pushups and squat thrusts as a means of drilling, conditioning, and disciplining the troops under his command. In addition, the exercise was also been used by the troops as a way to stay warm during the winters in wartime New England.
There are a number of different ways to perform them. Some of our O.G. members might remember doing burpees without a pushup in the parks with Guerrilla Fitness.
Now, some CrossFit gyms demand strict form on the pushup portion of the movement, and some even jump to a target at a prescribed height. At CFNZ we favour chest to ground anyhow, in order to make it faster and more cardiovascular, rather than limit the speed and volume through muscle fatigue of the chest and triceps.
But however you do it, we need to address another part of the movement - the jump from plank to squat.
I see too many people landing on their toes, knees pushed well forward, back curled over. Imagine if you tried to do an air squat like that in class, we'd pull you up for dangerous form in seconds! And the fact is, that because of the ballistic nature of the jump up, the burpee squat has far more potential for injury.
What you need to do is create space under the hips for the feet to land nice and squarely. When you push away from the floor, think about maintaining a strong body position, load up your abs and hip flexors, and then pop your hips high as you bring your knees towards your chest.
Let your hands come off the floor even as you land in a sweet looking squat position, possibly even with your hips higher than your knees already, meaning you only have to extend minimally to finish the movement.
More efficient, faster, prettier, safer.
Check out THIS VIDEO from Carl Paoli, where he broke the burpee movement right down for the recent CrossFit Open.
CONGRATS TO ADAM MEYER, AND TO CFNZ INTERNS KRISTA SANDFORD-HILL AND DANIEL RANKIN FOR PASSING THEIR CROSSFIT LEVEL ONE COURSE!!
3 position snatch (high hang, above knee, ground) 5 sets.
Squat Snatch 40/25kg
2 position power snatch (high hang, above knee) + overhead squat
5 Hang Power Snatches
5 Burpee Toes to Bar
AMRAP in 10 mins