BURPEE PROGRESSIONS AND A LOW IMPACT ALTERNATIVE are offered by Tony Bonvechio in a myfitnesspal.com blog. He demonstrates how burpee progressions might be performed instead of the traditional “squat down-and thrust back to push up-then jump up” version, while maintaining a good technique (he calls it “Hands Elevated Burpee”). He also demonstrates an alternate exercise (“Medicine Ball Thruster”) that is a “complex” routine like the Burpee, but which does not end in a jump, thereby making it low impact. A “complex” routine involves stringing several exercises together to get the entire body worked in one set of moves; many times one of the moves is plyometric (involves rapidly and repeatedly contracting and stretching muscles; usually with short jumps).
The burpee is a full body exercise used in strength training and as an aerobic exercise. The basic movement is performed in 4 steps and known as a "four-count burpee" (adapted from Wikipedia entry):
Begin in a standing position.
A very common version is the “bastardo”, which incorporates a pushup after count 2, before going on to count 3.
Short History of the Burpee on Wikipedia: “According to Oxford Dictionaries Online, the exercise was named in the 1930s for American physiologist Royal H. Burpee who developed the burpee test. He earned a PhD in applied physiology from Columbia University in 1940 and created the "burpee" exercise as part of his PhD thesis as a quick and simple way to assess fitness. The exercise was popularized when the United States Armed Services adopted it as a way to assess the fitness level of recruits when the US entered WWII. Consisting of a series of the exercises performed in rapid succession, the test was meant to be a quick measure of agility, coordination and strength."
Anyone who finds it difficult to perform jumping jacks or other jumping exercises, or has been told to avoid jumping exercises due to joint or other medical issues may wish to stick with the Medicine Ball Thruster.
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EARNED RUNS is edited and authored by me, runner and founder. In 1978 I began participating in 10K road races before 5Ks were common. I've been a dietitian, practiced and taught clinical pathology, and been involved with research that utilized pathology. I am fascinated with understanding the origins of disease as well as health and longevity.
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