[This post is written by John Grace, CSCS – Athletic Development Coach at Athletic Lab]
Those of you that have been with us for some time know that our movement standards are much stricter than many other places. One movement in particular we are much stricter on is the burpee. Burpees can be a great conditioning exercise if used and performed correctly. You may see people performing what we call ?flop burpees?? at other gyms and at CrossFit competitions. Although flop burpees may be faster, you put yourself at a much higher risk for injury as well as lose a majority of the training effect burpees are designed for. These are generally the two goals of most people when they go to the gym: bang-for-your-buck training and to NOT get injured.
When you drop into the plank of the burpee as well as through the pushup, from a side view, we like to see a straight line from the head to the toes. This ensures that the necessary musculature is engaged to perform the exercise. You want to avoid ever having a big dip in the hips or lower back. Any severe dip in the lower back or hips can put undue stress on the spine and raise the risk for injury. One way to correct this issue is to flex the abs and quads. Flexing the abs will lock the pelvis in place and keep it from dipping toward the floor. Also, flexing the quads will lock the knees in place to allow for a proper pushup.
These tips will help ensure you get the best workout while reducing risk for injury. Keep this in mind as you fatigue, because when you are in a state of fatigue most people just think about finishing the workout and not necessarily on how to perform the movement as safely as possible.