How to Burpee Better…

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If the title of this blog has elicited a visceral reaction and or upset you then I deeply apologize. BUT I do hope that the information that follows is something that you will find helpful- maybe even something that excites you… 


These past few weeks I have been getting back into a normal routine of taking classes. This has been exciting but challenging for me as I spent so many months focused on endurance training. I forgot how time away can make coming back into our workouts feel like you have never exercised a day in your life- or at least that’s how I was feeling those first few days. ESPECIALLY on burpees. I mean come on there’s just no way to shake it they are hard. 


There was a moment last week that has stuck in my head up until now when I can finally get my thoughts on paper. It was something Caren said in the 11:30am class that was so simple yet so important… 


“Squeeze your butt.” 


Now pause, rewind. We were warming up the burpee. A tale as old as time that everyone wishes to avoid until the last possible second- or if you are lucky enough maybe your coach forgets or shows a sliver of heart by not making you do it. But in this case, I am really glad Caren did.


She asked us to warm up just a couple of reps, she even got on the ground and did them with us. As she was cuing us through the movement, jump or step out, get your chest to the ground, etc. the AHA moment happened. We were on our stomachs and I was about to half heartedly push myself back up to my feet when she said it. 


“Squeeze your butt.” 


This had genuinely never occurred to me. I have spent so much time just methodically popping up and down from burpees that I never even considered there was a better way to do it. Until I tried Caren’s request. And rest assured it helped! I felt like I had just hit the jackpot. That was all it took, from every rep thereafter and every time I have done burpees since then, I have thought back to that. 


And guess what? 


My burpees got better! The movement that we have done hundreds, if not thousands of times since I started working here, suddenly felt new and dare I say it… exciting! Don’t get me wrong there are days and moments where I find burpees just as unpleasant as the next person. However in changing my approach to how I do them and trying just one tiny thing, the results have been a game changer. 


Now I am obviously a Coach, I have been in fitness for years now but there are things to learn and take away from every single second we spend in the gym. There are certain things as athletes we just don’t think about. And sometimes all it takes is just that little word, reminder or cue that can change everything.  


This is a very specific example or something small that I found extremely helpful. And I think it’s awesome if the next time we do burpees every single person in the gym is thinking about squeezing booties. 


But I also want this to be a general challenge to all… to think. To reconsider what we already know. To open our minds to different ways to be better. To challenge ourselves to question what we feel, how we do things, and to try a small change that might make a big difference. As coaches, it is our job to provide you with these moments and chances, and as athletes it is your job to capitalize on them. So next time you are in the gym and you hear something that sparks your interest in this way, try it! You never know what might happen.

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