Soapbox time, sorry. Just buckle in because here it comes…
Every coach and athlete has their pet peeve. Mine is form. And today I want to address burpees specifically. Good timing, because the Open is about a month away and you can bet on them popping up somewhere during the month.
MBSers are known to have great form. Our athletes get complemented on it at competitions across the Front Range and beyond. As coaches, we drill it into our athletes from the beginning. And as athletes we hold ourselves accountable for our movement standards. Why oh why then, do we continue to accept the form shown on the left as a legitimate rep? You know who you are.
In this example, hips and shoulders are NOT open. What’s the reason for shorting the movement? Do we hope to save fractions of a second off each burpee? Are we simply tired and can’t manage to finish the movement? It does take significant extra effort to stand up all the way, making sure hips and shoulders are open and we clap above our heads as we jump. Our back and abdominal muscles must work to bring the torso to full extension and we must use our lats and shoulders to raise our arms completely overhead. Yes, it’s more work. But isn’t that what we’re here for? Between these two examples also note how closed the chest is in the first picture. This position does not allow the lungs to expand to full capacity. The second image shows chest up allowing the lungs to expand fully, i.e.: you get more oxygen.
The reason for movement standards is to ensure we are getting full benefit from the exercise the way it was intended; working both sides of the joint to ensure work is distributed in a manor allowing our body mechanics to function as intended. The image on the right is how a burpee should finish. Hips and shoulders open, chest up.
So let’s get dialed in and looking sharp because the burpee train is a’comin.