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Are Burpees Actually Good for You?

A group of people perform burpee exercises inside a gym.
Ground Picture/Shutterstock.com

If you’ve been to a Crossfit class or done any sort of group high-intensity interval training, there’s a good chance you’ve been asked to do a burpee. The plank meets jump squat meets push-up exercise is a dreaded move for most, so should you be doing them? Are burpees actually good for you?

Thanks to a viral TikTok video, the benefits of burpees have been called into question, and in fact, you might not need to do a burpee at all.

Charlee Atkins, a certified strength and conditioning specialist and founder of Le Sweat, appeared on the Today Show where she explained she is not a fan of burpees and doesn’t include them in her workouts as they can often lead to injuries for people. Soon, the clip was trending on TikTok with people grateful to hear the news that burpees might not be all they’re cracked up to be.


Comment 💪 if u agree #burpees #nycfitness #nycfitnessinstructor #strengthandconditioning #gymtok

♬ original sound - Charlee Atkins | Le Sweat

Following the appearance, Atkins elaborated on her position with Well+Good and explained that a burpee is actually three exercises combined into one quick movement. That’s why it can be dangerous. According to Atkins, a burpee is a jump squat, plank, and push-up all combined into one, and if you don’t have those foundational moves down, putting them all together in rapid succession could spell injury.

“If an exerciser is lacking the strength, stability, or range of motion to do any one of the exercises, then the wrong movement or placement of a limb can lead to an injury,” Atkins told Well+Good.

Now, this doesn’t mean burpees are bad for you, and those who have mastered the form and mobility required for them can still see benefits. The average person, however, might want to consider separating the movements from one another in what Atkins calls a “deconstructed burpee.” Do each of the moves for 30-45 seconds, take a rest between, and repeat.

If burpees feel like the bane of your exercise routine‘s existence, skip them. But if you must do them, be sure to train with a knowledgeable partner to avoid injury.

Shea Simmons Shea Simmons
Shea Simmons is the Editor In Chief of LifeSavvy. Previously, she worked as a freelance writer with a focus on beauty and lifestyle content. Her work has appeared in Bustle, Allure, and Hello Giggles. Read Full Bio »
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