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The Burpee

ByCrossFit August 10, 2019

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Comments on The Burpee

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Bengi GoecekAugust 12th, 2019 at 6:52 am

I've got a question regarding the phase from the plank - lowering the chest to the ground - back to plank. I imagine doing the strict pushup with the spine neutral and not moving is the safest method, however I see ALOT of people coaching the method of doing the burpee as a kind of "wave" from plank to the floor back to plank. Is the "wave" more stressful for the lower back and should coaches teach the safer method? Any evidence or experience? Because alot of people can't to a regular pushup. And confronted with the "strict pushup" burpee, they simply can't do it.

Karl EaglemanAugust 12th, 2019 at 5:27 pm

Hey Bengi, this post may help, specifically the check out the caption:

Michael LibbieAugust 14th, 2019 at 12:16 pm

I noticed the same thing, Bengi. I have been coaching and CrossFitting for 10yrs and am unfamiliar with a burpee requiring a rigid body (as in a push-up), and this includes the Open. My guess is that one can improvise the ground portion based on their fitness. I do see folks who are very fit utilize a push-up and seem to have extraordinary efficiency with it, but I, personally, can’t. I have always performed and coached the burpee as 1) get chest and thighs on the ground 2) get back up to your feet 3) get some daylight under your feet. Furthermore, I prefer touching my fingers to a target in the burpee to ensure a reach to the sky during the jump. Either way, variety is the name of the game, and there’s room for lots of burpee variations. Sometimes we even do “sprawls”, where the body doesn’t go to the ground at all as a burpee variant. As for avoiding flexion/extension through the burpee for safety, as a general rule, it’s horseshit. Spinal flexion and extension in this manner is fine for a healthy spine.