Be Well: Burpees

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I will be the first to admit it: I am no expert at burpees. My first exposure to them was when I was on my high school's dance team, where we were forced to do them as punishment for talking or being lazy. Not fun. After I graduated from high school, I avoided them at all costs given the negative associations I made with them during those formative years. They were finally introduced back into my workout routine when I did my first CrossFit workout with my siblings. Burpees are an absolute mainstay in CrossFit because they keep your heart rate up while strengthening pretty much every part of your body. Although they're still painful, I now try to include them in my workouts on a regular basis in order to keep my heart pumping during weight sets. Read below for a description of how to do them, and then give them a shot yourself!

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Start in a normal standing position, feet hip-width distance apart.  Next, squat down into a ball, primed to jump out into a pushup position. People who are really good at burpees can go smoothly from standing to a pushup position, but we'll take it step-by-step for now (because I am definitely not one of those people who is really good at burpees yet).

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From here, jump your feet back and into a pushup position. This is the part that I do incredibly awkwardly, as evidenced by the next picture.

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Land in your pushup position, then do a pushup. Remember - abs tight, back flat, head in line with spine, and dip down until your arms form 90-degree angles.

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Now jump back into a ball.

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And now jump up! The higher the harder, so aim high!

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DSC_2085_2As you can tell by my face, these are so much fun. After jumping up, go back to step one. Burpees are supposed to be strung together, so go directly from your jump up to your jump back into a pushup position.

Try doing sets of 10 burpees until you can do them smoothly and in a row. Then, start increasing the number of burpees you do in each set. CrossFit workouts often call for 50 burpees at a time - see if you can work up to that! I know that's a goal I'm still working towards.

Have a very healthy Wednesday!