Don’t Hate Them, Annihilate Them: Burpees


A Part of Fierce Play’s Grounded Gymnastics Series 

The burpee is a full-body exercise where the athlete, starting in a standing position, lowers him/herself down to the ground in order to touch the chest the ground, and then stands fully back up and jumps and claps at the top. The burpee is effective in getting the heart rate up and engaging the legs, arms and core muscles, making it a great aerobic and fully-body exercise. The burpee is an excellent movement to add to any workout to increase intensity and work all the major muscle groups in the body.

Watch the video clip below for a full explanation of technique, tips and tricks for performing the movement with efficiency, as well as precautions for staying safe.


  1. Control Your Fall: Instead of completing a push-up in order to get the chest to the ground, think about doing a controlled fall into the ground where you end up in the bottom of a push-up position. This saves energy and still gets you to the ground and also speeds up your pace in completing burpees.
  2. Chest All the Way Down: Once in the bottom of the burpee, it’s easy to not lower the chest all the way to the ground. However, the standard for the movement states that the chest does need to come down and fully touch the ground.
  3. Feet to Hands: To stand back up, think about springing upward from the ground and bringing your feet to your hands. Seasoned athletes will be able to spring upward quite quickly, and newer athletes may find that they need to slowly step back up into a standing position. Both are acceptable for the standard in performing the movement.
  4. Stand and Clap: Once back on your feet, stand fully upright and then jump and clap at the top. This may seem trivial, but this little extra piece gets the heart rate up while working the arms and legs to give you more bang for your buck.


  1. Create Tension: Once on the ground at the bottom of the burpee movement, raise your chest up and create tension in your upper body and arms. This tension will actually provide you with some momentum as you spring upward and focus on bringing your feet to your hands.
  2. Keep Feet Shoulder-Width Apart: As you come back into a standing position, try to keep your feet about shoulder-width apart. This stance provides maximum stability for you, versus if you attempt to keep your feet very wide or close together.
  3. Step Up: If the burpee movement is too difficult to quickly jump back up in a single, fluid motion, step back up into a standing position one leg at a time. This still is considered completing the standard for the movement. This method of completing the burpee is also a great way to scale if you’re still newer at completing the position and will help you stay safe and prevent injury!


QUESTIONS: Ready to get started, or curious to learn more about how Fierce Play can help you meet your health and wellness goals? Contact us for more information. Also feel free to check out more of our videos series to learn how to perform the basics with solid form and efficiency. 


Fierce Play’s Grounded Gymnastics Series focuses on proper technique, as well as tips & tricks, to master some of the foundational movements that will be integrated into many of the workouts you will perform. Start your next workout with the confidence and skills to do the movement safely and effectively.


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Mark Mancuso started his fitness journey while enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. Like most individuals, at first, he only focused on bodybuilding type workouts. Mark learned quickly that focusing just on the aesthetics of the body would get you only so far. In 2013, Mark found out about Crossfit and fell in love with everything that it stood for.

In June of 2015, Mark was Honorably Discharged from the Marine Corps and returned from his duty station in Okinawa, Japan to his home in Maple Grove, MN. Not having any formal coaching in Crossfit he was on a mission to find a Crossfit Box to call home. Fierce Play welcomed him with open arms, and he hasn’t looked back. Mark obtained his Level One Crossfit certification in November 2015 and plans to add additional certifications in the future. He also intends to compete in a variety of Crossfit competitions as opportunities arise.


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Jeff Birthler has a contagious passion for fitness. He graduated and obtained a personal training certificate from the National Personal Training Institute in 2010. On his way, he discovered and fell in love with CrossFit. Jeff hasn’t stopped learning, and still seeks a well-rounded education within the health domain, going beyond physical facets. He has trained clients at several corporate gyms, including Fitness 19 and LA Fitness, as he established a plan for his own gym.

Fierce Play was established in 2012 in a 500 sq. ft. garage. After a few moves and upgrades, it now has a permanent, 4800 sq. ft. location in Maple Grove. Jeff calls it “home”.


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