Who doesn't love burpees? They're a great calisthenic exercise for strength and power development, as well as for conditioning. There are many different ways to do burpees; I like to streamline this movement into a 'controlled fall' to make it as efficient as possible. Here are the movement cues I use when doing or teaching the burpee:
- Keep your core tight, stay compact, drop towards the floor, catching yourself in the bottom of a push up position.
- Press your chest up off the floor (similar to an updog)
- Pike your hips up towards the ceiling, keeping your legs relatively straight (but not locked)
- Pull your legs in, jump and clap (don't forget the clap, it the most important part! ;)
In order to keep your heart rate from skyrocketing, focus on the rhythm of your movement and breathing. When you're practicing, you may even want to use a metronome. (I use the MetroTimer app for iPhone).
Another quick tip: If you're required to touch a target a certain distance above your head, keep your legs and feet as close together as possible as you pull them in; this will minimize the distance between your hands and the target. If you are not required to touch a target, keep your feet a little further apart, as this will minimize the distance you have to drop to the floor.