Photo credit: Guido Mieth – Getty Images There are few popular exercises that are more divisive than the burpee. You either love or hate adding the move to your cross-training workouts because of how flat-out taxing it is on the entire body, especially in high reps. But trainers and coaches might be even more split over the burpee—they either love to program the movement to challenge their clients or they avoid burpees entirely because the exercise can build bad habits and even get risky as the reps pile up.
Count trainer Charlee Atkins, C.S.C.S. closer to the anti-burpee side of the debate. Part of her reasoning is because the exercise is being used in totally improper contexts.
“For starters, the burpee, created by Royal H. Burpee, Ph.D. , was initially designed as an exercise that would test true fitness ability for trained individuals,” she says. “It’s since morphed into an exercise I believe inexperienced trainers give to their clients of all levels because they think pushing their clients to the brink equals a good workout.”
For some people, that’s just fine (here’s looking at you, CrossFit fanatics). But for others, the all out nature of the exercise can be too much, and can be dangerous for wrist health and safety. This type of exertion also runs counter to goals they have when they embark on a training program.
“As a trainer, specifically thinking of the adult training population (over 30), we have to keep in mind that power is the first thing we […]