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3 Common Burpee Mistakes That Can Lead to Injury

Tehrene Firman

Tehrene FirmanApril 2, 2018

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So many workout warriors have a love-hate relationship with burpees. Okay, okay—the “love” part mostly stems from the fact that everyone loves to hate them. (Heck, even Kate Upton‘s trainer called the move “pretty dumb” in a recent Instagram post.) Even though the high-intensity exercise works your entire body and is likely to leave you out of breath, burpees can also do some damage if you don’t do ’em right.

Burpees require a lot of muscle power to perform. People who don’t have enough strength—especially in the core and upper body—not only don’t glean all the benefits but are also likely to injure themselves, Mark DiSalvo, a strength and conditioning specialist, told Self. So to avoid hurting yourself, make sure you’re not committing the following three cardinal burpee sins.

Here are 3 common burpee mistakes to avoid during your workout.

1. Incorrect shoulder positioning

Because not everyone has insane upper-body strength, many do burpees with bent elbows and asymmetrical shoulders—which can stress your tendons and ligaments, leading to back and shoulder pain, said DiSalvo. Instead, focus on staying in a proper push-up position during the exercise, with “your shoulders squarely and symmetrically over your wrists and your elbows locked.”

2. Drooping your hips

When you jump your feet back during burpees, do your hips droop? DiSalvo said that’s incredibly common and can put stress on the lower back. To prevent injury, you might need to work on building your core strength, which helps you keep your hips in proper alignment and “stabilizes your hips and spine.”

3. Pushing through the vertical jump

One of the hardest parts of the burpee is hopping from plank position into a squat and shooting into the vertical jump. If you struggle with that section in particular, it’s probably because your hips are too tight, personal trainer and running coach Natalie Johnston told Self. “Hiccuping here will not be an efficient burpee,” and pushing through can seriously injure your hips as well as the rest of the body, she said.

But, no worries about your tight hips. To work on increasing your mobility, try the following workout that you can do at your desk.

Here are five surprising facts to know about high-intensity interval training. Also, is this super high-tech class the future of workouts?

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