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Jason Hodge | 07855 465 872


Tuesday, 07 March 2017 13:56 Written by

Military Burpee – why you're doing it wrong

Military BurpeeWhat is a Burpee and why do it? 

Burpee is an amazing exercise that uses the body as a single unit. Burpee is classified as a high intensity and high impact exercise that can get you fit quick. The main reason this exercise will get you fit quick is because not only is it just a high intensity exercise but it's also a metabolic exercise too.


What is a metabolic exercise?

A metabolic exercise is when a high number of muscle groups are used to perform a movement.

Your heart then has to supply blood and oxygen to multiple muscle groups at the same time putting a great demand on your body and heart. Other exercises, such as abdominal sit ups or squats, use less muscle groups and the blood supply is directed to just one area of the body.

Why you're doing it wrong

There are many styles of Burpee and many people too often cannot perform them incorrectly, which can end in injury. Exercise is meant to enhance your fitness and well-being, not create injury! People try to jump the gun and go for gold when they haven't even mastered the basic move and correct technique of Burpee. Techniques like the ‘Military Burpee’.

What is a Military Burpee?

The Military style Burpee is the original basic version and should be perfected before moving on the any other styles. I first experience this amazing exercise when I joined the Royal Marines. It was also used as one of the many daily punishment exercises (ouch). During the early days of training in the gym with the PTIs (Physical Training Instructors) Burpee was taught with Military precision.

The whole troop would do Burpee (among other exercises) in perfect Military style with everyone performing the movement at the same time, and at the same pace. If we got this wrong then we would continue until we git it right!

How do you do it?

  1. From a standing position, crouch down by bending your knees and place your hands on the floor (notice your heels come off the floor).
  2. Without pausing jump your legs back so you are now in a prone press up position with your body straight and your shoulder over your hands.
  3. Again, without pausing jump your legs forward back in to the crouch position.
  4. Now push your body weight back onto your heels and stand up straight.
  5. One repetition down, now repeat. Strict Military form.

If you noticed there are four parts to the Burpee – the down, the jump back, the jump forward and the stand up. You need to aim to get all four parts the same speed and as equal to each other as you possible can.

Training tips

Being a master of this exercise I can offer you some great training tips to help you perfect your Military Burpee.

  1. As you perform the jump back and forward parts of Burpee try to keep as much body weight forward away from the legs so you're holding as much of the body weight with your arms. Not only with this help to improve the strength of your arms it will also help to keep your legs lighter so they'll become easier to move back and forth.
  2. Feel for the natural spring and bounce as you perform your Burpee and try not to stop. The more you stop and pause then the harder it is to get going again. Try to keep the flow of movement and energy going from repetition to repetition. The more flexible you can become then the easier Burpee will become.

REMEMBER: Your joint movement is only as flexible as the muscle groups around them.

Low and high impact exercises:

Burpee made up of many movements performed on a rapid rotational basis sequence and you may find parts of the movement harder then others. We can therefore divide the movements into individual exercises and also practice low impact exercise and flexibility work to help increase the strength of any weak areas you may have.

  • Low impact exercises: Press-ups, Dips, Sit-ups, Dorsal Raise, Plank, Dolphin Press, Squats, Lunges, Calf Raises and Donkey Calf Raise.
  • High impact exercises: Power Press-ups, Squat Jumps, Power Squats, Jump & Reach, Squat Thrust.

You might also like our Daily 5 Minute Exercises available for download. Alternatively, we’d love to hear how you tackle your Burpee routines, please get in touch and tell us all about it.

Jason Hodge

Personal Trainer & Boot Camp Instructor | 07855 465 872

Hodge Health & Fitness | Taking your fitness to the next level

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