Burpee Workout Deconstructs the Exercise for Safe Home Fitness

Men’s Health/Eric Rosati

You’re likely doing most of your workouts at home still, and that means that you have less space, less equipment, and a less ideal setup than you would in your old gym from the before times. For some people, that might mean lots of bodyweight routines and high-energy jumping moves like burpees. You might be trying to avoid jumping around in your house to be courteous to everyone around you—but for other people, including top trainers, you might be even more deliberate in your decision to skip out on the burpees.

“If there’s one move that has the fitness world polarized, it’s the burpee,” says trainer Charlee Atkins, C.S.C.S. “I believe the burpee doesn’t translate well to every day use, and therefore I don’t include it in my routines.”

Instead of totally ignoring the exercise, though, Atkins puts the focus on the burpee’s component parts. “Most people still need to master the basic exercises that burpees utilize: jump squats, pushups, and planks, along with hip mobility,” she says. “These foundational exercises, and the effect that they have on the active joints/muscle groups, are used more widely in life (and sport) than the combination of all of them together.”

“Instead of including burpees in my routines, I’ll instead put together HIIT sessions of the exercises. I call it the “Burpee Deconstructed.”

Rather than huffing and puffing through sets of burpees (and potentially hitting the floor too hard and smashing up your wrist), give Atkins’ deconstructed session a try. Still want to get the heart rate-ramping benefits of the full movement? Just make sure you’re doing them the right way.

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Perform each exercise for 45 seconds, then rest for 15 seconds

  • Jump Squat
  • Pushup
  • Plank Hold

    Take on the workout for 3 to 5 rounds. Don’t just rush into the session, though—Atkins advises that you get prepped first. “I’ll also make sure to go through a mobility routine pre-workout to open up the hips and shoulders,” she says.

    Want to learn more moves from Atkins? Check out our series full of her workout tips, Try Her Move. You can also take on her new 30 day challenge in our streaming All Out Studio app, check out her Le Sweat workout app, and follow her on Instagram to find out when she’s hosting live workouts from her living room.

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