#BaptistHealthy In Motion: Burpee Breakdown

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September 12, 2019

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Burpees are considered a cardio-strength exercise that increases your heart rate while building muscle. Burpees involve your entire body, particularly your arms and shoulders. This powerful exercise is an excellent warm-up because it engages many muscle groups, while raising your core body temperature and getting your whole body ready for a workout.

“You can do burpees several times a week, as long as you have strong and healthy shoulders,” says Chantis Mantilla, Ph.D., community health manager at Baptist Health South Florida. She offers additional tips on how to perform the perfect burpee.


  • Avoid hips sinking down or piking in plank-push-up position.
  • Engage abdominal muscles throughout the movement.
  • Land softly on your squat jump.
  • To lighten your load a little, skip the jump in and out of the push-up position and instead step your feet back from and into the low squat.

Part 1: Stand to Floor

  • Stand with feet hip-width apart, arms by your side.
  • Drop your body down into a low squat position, with your hands touching the ground.
  • With your feet hip-width apart, sit your hips back and bend your knees, placing your hands on the floor in front of you.

Part 2: Plank-Push-up

  • Jump or step your feet back into a plank position.
  • Face down, arms shoulder-width apart with your palms and toes on the floor.
  • Engage your abdominal muscles, drawing your navel toward your spine.
  • For an added challenge, you can complete a push-up.
  • Push-up:
    • Lower your torso to the ground until your elbows reach a 90-degree angle.
    • Keep your elbows close to your body.
    • Face and gaze forward.
    • Keep your body in a flat plank—try not to drop or pike your hips.
    • Remember to breathe.
    • Correct breathing during push-ups to help prevent fatigue.
    • Breathe in as you lower your body and exhale when you push your body back up.

Part 3: Squat Jump

  • Jump or step your feet forward to the outside of your hands so you are in a low squat position.
  • Then press through your heels and raise your arms overhead to jump off the ground, landing softly.
  • Make sure to use your whole foot to jump (not just your toes). Try not to let your shoulders lean out beyond your knees, as this can strain and injure your back

You should aim for 2-3 sets of 10 to 15 repetitions each.

For more information on free wellness classes and healthy lifestyle tips, please check out our Community Health page at BaptistHealth.net/wellness.

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