Tips from the Pros

Mistakes to Avoid for the Perfect Burpee

The burpee is a full body strength training exercise, but only if you do it right. If you’re tired, not paying attention or using poor technique, then this exercise loses a lot of its effectiveness and can even lead to injury. Our trainers will turn you into a burpee pro by helping you avoid the most common mistakes.

1 | PLACING YOUR HANDS TOO FAR IN FRONT OF YOU OR TOO FAR APART

Depending on the variation, part of the burpee exercise involves being in a plank/push-up position. Placing your hands in the right spot is the key to avoiding possible injury and correctly transferring the strength you generate when you push up from the floor. A common mistake is to place your hands too far in front of you or too far apart, putting excessive strain on your neck and shoulders.

The right technique: Make sure to keep your hands directly under your shoulders or slightly wider than shoulder-width apart when you’re in the push-up position.

2 | POINTING YOUR KNEES INWARD

When you’re in the squat position, your knees need to stay straight and not point inward. This can happen when you don’t engage your abs and glutes enough.

Never point your knees inward when you’re doing a squat. This makes it hard for you to move the power through your body and can hurt your joints, which can cause injury if repeated. 

The right technique: To avoid injury, remember to align your knees with your toes when you squat down or when you come back up to jump. When your knees are correctly aligned with your ankles and toes, it’s easier for the power to travel toward the floor and for you to stimulate and strengthen your glutes!

3 | FORGETTING TO ENGAGE YOUR CORE

You might forget to engage your core because you’re tired or because you’re focusing on other aspects of the exercise. Consciously keeping your core engaged helps you get the most out of your efforts and promotes the right posture. This habit also enables you to do multiple burpee repetitions thanks to a better transfer of force, protecting your back.

The right technique: Remember to engage your abs and pull your navel in toward your spine during the exercise.

4 | CURVING YOUR BACK

Curving your back is another common mistake trainers see with the burpee. When you “dive” forward to do a push-up, keep your hips in line with your spine and neck and pull your stomach in. This keeps your body from sagging toward the floor. Your lower back should form a straight line with the rest of your body. Doing this prevents back pain and ensures better performance.

The right technique: When you get to the push-up position, keep your abs engaged so that your body continues to form a straight line from head to toe. Keep your back flat and straighten your hips to avoid an exaggerated arch in your lower back. When you move to a push-up, feel free to do it on your knees if needed so that you continue using the right posture.

5 | USING POOR JUMPING AND LANDING TECHNIQUE

Once you do a push-up and get to the squat jump position, do you jump up using your toes and then land on your heels? Then it’s time to make a change! This only tires out your calves instead of working your legs when you thrust your body upward. Besides putting more stress on the joints in your knees and ankles, your jump isn’t nearly as powerful as it could be.

The right technique: Position your feet hip-width apart and use your heels to start your jump. Gently land on your toes, then on the balls of your feet. This puts some extra spring into your jump to propel you as high as you can go. It’s a great way to fully extend your hips and put more muscular and explosive power into the burpee.

Now that you’ve mastered the burpee technique like a pro, from the squat to the push-up to the jump, try out some other bodyweight strength training and cardio exercises from other programs in the FizzUp catalog!

The Author

FizzUp Staff

FizzUp Staff

As passionate bloggers, the FizzUp Staff’s sole purpose is to motivate the community with insightful and fun articles. Team spirit is one of our core values, whether we’re at work or exercising together in the FizzUp Box.