There is always at least one Crossfit Open exercise that makes you cringe and groan, and for many, that is performing burpees. For most people, burpees are the one exercise that slows them down in competition, but if you know how to do a burpee efficiently, it may just help you to beat your competition and climb the charts.
An incorrectly performed burpee will not only slow down your time, but it will also exhaust your muscles, and waste a ton of valuable energy.
Every Crossfit Open to date has included burpees, so it’s not like they will disappear anytime soon. So your only option is to improve your burpee efficiency so that next time this exercise comes back to haunt you, you’re ready to bring it!
So how exactly do you properly perform a Crossfit burpee, and how can you improve efficiency so that you can get a better score?
Keep on reading to learn how to rock burpees like a champ, so good that they may just become your new favorite exercise!
Pay Attention to the New Crossfit Burpee Standards
As of 2018, Dave Castro decided to announce a new standard for performing the burpee, pay close attention as the last thing you want to do is make a mistake which could cost you both time and wasted energy.
The old style of the Crossfit bar facing burpee was:
- Chest to the ground
- Jump over the bar with both feet
- Land with both feet.
Now it has changed to:
- You have to jump back with both feet
- You have to jump up out of the chest to the ground position with both feet
- Jump with both feet over the bar (or box)
- Landing with both feet on the other side of the bar or box
The changes make for a more “stiffer” body position, reducing the chances of people stepping in and out of the burpee position, therefore increasing the level of fatigue on the core.
Step 1. Gravity Is Your New Best Friend
Getting to the ground is in one single action. Let gravity assist you and take care of the lowering action as you land in the bottom position, with your feet and your hands landing at the same time.
Do not land with your arms straight, feet down, and try to lower yourself to the ground, this will put too eccentric loading on your triceps, slow you down and tire you out fast! In other words, you basically need to fall into the bottom position.
Step 2. Make Use Of The Rebound
Once you are on the ground, make use of the lowering impact in one of two ways:
- Use the momentum to pop back up very quickly.
- Worm your way up off the ground by only pressing your upper body off the ground, followed by the legs up after.
Then in one swift motion, pop up from the prone position with your feet as close to your hands as possible. Look ahead as you pop back up, this will help you to keep balanced and help to pop your hips up quickly.
*If you have poor hamstring and hip flexibility, you may have to jump as close as you can, then make a little step before you jump with both feet over the bar.*
Step 3. Use Momentum to Hop Over the Bar
As you pop your feet up, use that momentum to continue moving your body towards the bar, so you are falling forward over the bar than actually wasting energy to try and “jump” up and over it.
Basically, you are falling forward over the bar, and pulling your feet back with a little hamstring curl to avoid touching the bar with your feet. Leaning forward slightly will enable that momentum of body weight to keep you going over the bar.
This will take some practice to get used to, so do not go trying this in the Open or else you could be landing on your face and ruin your score!
Step 4. Watch Your Feet
Do not, we repeat, do NOT try and spin in the air to get yourself over the bar. As you get tired this will end up in you not only getting dizzy but also, landing unevenly and the judge will call you out on it and give you a no rep!
If you want to do a minor twist, make sure you are attempting to land with your outside leg first, then this will ensure that both feet actually touch the ground at the same time. Also, pick a side to face and stick to it, do not spin in circles!
Step 5. Back to the Burpee
From this side standing position, you need to get back to the chest to ground position as quickly as possible. All you have to do is take a big sidestep, then turn and face the face the bar as you fall back down to the ground, rinse and repeat.
Tricks to Make the Bar Facing Burpee Easier
There are a few tricks that will help you rock your burpee exercise and shave time off your final score. Remember to try these in practice before you attempt them in the Open or your competition.
Draw it Out
Before you begin your workout, do a practice round to figure where your body will be in relation to the bar. Then draw circles on either side of the bar for where your hands should be landing every time. This keeps every rep consistent and stops you from moving around, again wasting both time and energy.
Start the Auto-Pilot
Don’t even think about the fact that you have a ton of burpees to do, just focus on the movements, drop to the floor, pop or worm up, land with both feet by your hands, fall over the bar, land with both feet, and fall back down again.
You want to almost be “robotic” with your movements and just keep the counting. Thinking ahead will just psyche you out and could affect the mental portion of your training.
Get into a rhythm with your breathing, this will help to keep everything in sync and moving much faster. It will ensure you are getting enough oxygen so you do not fatigue and have to take a break.
If you have a lot of burpees ahead of you, focus on keeping a steady pace and just keep moving. If you go too fast, you will tire yourself out, costing you extra time because you had to stop and break.
How to Rock the Burpee Box Jump over like a Champ
The burpee box jump over is pretty much the exact same protocol, but now you have this giant box in front of you to jump over.
No need to worry, it is actually very similar in terms of energy use and skill. Just keep reading to learn the necessary technique to get yourself over the box without tripping, wasting time, or energy.
1. The Protocol For Burpees Still Applies
Now, instead of jumping up over the bar, you are still jumping with two feet but you have to land with both feet on the box and land with both feet on the ground.
2. Spring Ahead
Use your momentum from the pop up to spring your feet up onto the box. Only this time, you must use enough momentum that you land in a deep squat on top of the box.
3. Get Deep
Do not waste precious energy by leaping high into the air, landing with straight legs. Instead, as you jump, bring your knees into your chest, landing in a deep squat on top of the box.
4. Spring Forward
After you have landed on the box, use your body weight to rock yourself forward and off the box. Land with two feet and use the same technique as the bar facing burpees to pivot yourself and get back to the ground.
Make sure you are facing forward and not on an angle when you rock forward off the box, this will save you from any awkward repositioning.
Tips to Make the Burpee Box Jump over More Efficient
Depending on your competition, there may be different protocols with your burpee box jump over, keep on reading how to overcome the challenges of the different protocols.
If the rules are to stand up straight on the box, no need to panic, there is an easy way to change this technique up a little.
If you play other sports, you know that taking a step in or run before your jump will help you to jump higher, so when you jump both your feet in, make sure you are still back away from the box far enough that you can take a small step before you leap off again with both feet.
Keep up to Date with Other Exercise Techniques like This One
The more you know how to properly and efficiently perform an exercise like the Crossfit burpee, the more chances you have of improving your score and streamlining your workouts.
Now that you can rock your burpees like a champ, check out our other technique and efficiency tips to help you with your Crossfit game.