You know that burpees are good for you and offer a ton of benefits. Not only are burpees cardio but they build total-body strength and power. While the general concept of the movement is simple — fall down and stand up again — you want to know how to do burpees faster. So, let’s talk about how to shave precious seconds off of your WOD time and finish your reps more efficiently.
How to Do Burpees Faster: 7 Tips
Aside from “move quicker,” what other tips will help you learn how to do burpees faster? Set your timer and try these out!
1. Keep Your Stance Wide
In a burpee, the less up-and-down traveling you have to do, the better. This is because it automatically means you’re going to reduce the distance between you and the floor.
One simple way to reduce your distance from the ground? Widen your feet so that you’re lower to the ground to start with. While it might not seem like much, if you do this, you’re spending less time completing each rep.
2. Remove a Few Steps
If you think about the beginning of the burpee, you need to:
- Put your hands down on the ground.
- Jump your legs out.
You can look at this as two distinct steps, or you could combine them into one to save time. As you’re placing your hands on the ground, simultaneously kick your legs back.
The same can be said for these two steps:
- Push yourself up off the floor with your hands.
- Jump your feet back in.
You can also combine these two steps to do your burpees faster.
3. Stay Low to the Ground
Remember what we said earlier? The less up-and-down traveling you have to do, the better. At the top of the burpee, you jump up, and many people clap to signify the end of the rep. Unless your programming calls for it, no one is telling you to jump as high as possible.
As long as your feet leave the ground, the rep counts. Don’t jump higher than you need to. Additionally, as opposed to standing perfectly upright at full extension, fold your torso slightly forward so that your body is never totally straight. Again, it’s about shortening the distance between you and the ground.
4. “Throw” Your Body Down
We want to be super clear when we tell you to “throw” yourself down. Don’t give yourself a black eye or anything. But rather than lazily making your way down to the bottom position, do it with as much intention as when you pop back up. You want to be light and springy on your feet. Think of yourself like a bouncy ball. Your burpees should almost feel weightless.
Doing this is also going to help you keep the momentum moving because it helps you maintain the same speed throughout the duration of the rep.
By the way, if you notice your wrists bugging you as you perform your burpees, wrist wraps can help.
5. Keep Your Body Loose and Relaxed
Have you ever watched someone train and noticed that their body is really tense? This is a very common mistake people make with double-unders, and burpees are a similar story. In trying to control our movements and technique, we unintentionally squeeze all of our muscles and even hold our breath. (More on this in a minute.) This ends up backfiring. While staying tight is sometimes a good thing (like at the bottom of a heavy squat), with burpees, it’s counterproductive.
The tighter you are, the harder it’s going to be to move freely. And if you want to know how to do burpees faster, you need to be able to move freely. If you don’t know for sure if you’re staying loose and relaxed, try this:
- Pause and literally shake your body out.
- Squeeze your muscles, then relax. This helps you return to a calmer state.
- Take a deep breath.
- Get on with your burpees.
These tips can help you reset so that you’re always calm, cool, and collected.
6. Jump Your Feet in Close to Your Hands
Imagine you’re face-down on the ground. In preparing to stand up out of your burpee, you start to crawl your legs back in. You take a few baby steps, but it’s not enough. So you keep crawling your feet in. And then you move your hands a bit closer to your feet. Finally, your hands and feet are close enough that you’re able to stand up.
Doesn’t that sound incredibly time-consuming and exhausting?!
Instead, when you’re standing up from a burpee, think of bringing your feet back in as close to your hands as possible. This is going to mean that you can stand up sooner and more quickly. It might feel like more work at the moment, but in truth, your body is using less energy and taking less time than if you were to crawl your feet back in one step at a time.
Burpees are hard. We feel you. But if you’re depriving your body of that sweet oxygen, you’re only going to fatigue faster and move slower.
The exact breathing technique you use might not look the same as the athlete next to you, and that’s okay. The thing that matters most is to breathe consistently. You might find that with burpees, this makes the most sense:
- On the way down, slowly exhale. Let out the final burst of air as your chest hits the ground.
- On the way up, inhale, getting that final intake of breath when you jump and clap at the top.
This cadence works for many athletes and as an added bonus, it helps keep your burpees on a steady rhythm, too.
While you might not immediately feel the difference, set a timer and follow these seven tips, and we’re confident you’re going to find that you’re doing your burpees faster. You’ve got this!
Want to keep reading? Learn more about how to get better at burpees.