An Exercise Many Love to Hate: The Burpee

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Introduction of the


The burpee is an exercise many love to hate, its lactic acid heavy nature often leaves people shattered and gasping for breath. Many see the burpee as the ultimate full body exercise

As a rugby union player exercises such as the burpee help keep my body in ideal shape and allow me to improve my performance. Strength, body composition and conditioning all play major roles in the efficiency and level of my performance on the field and the burpee enhances all of these components of my fitness. Burpees help ensure that I am strong in my tackling and that I am fit enough to last to the full 80 minutes.

Photographic Analysis of the


Phase one:

In this position the athlete stands upright with their feet slightly separated and parallel, the arms hanging easily at the sides with the palms facing the body. When standing still muscles co-contract to stabilise the body and prevent it from falling or flopping due to the effects of gravity. The key joints that stabilize the body are the ankle joint, knee joint, hip joint, vertebral column and the shoulder girdle.

The soleus, gastrocnemius and tibialis anterior contract isometrically to keep the ankle stable at 90 degrees ( n.d.) (The previous reference identified was used to identify key joint types and muscles throughout my analysis).

The knee joint is extended when in the standing position, to stabilize this joint the biceps femoris, semi-mebranosus, semi-tendonosus (hamstrings) and the rectus femoris, vastus lateralis, vastus intermedius and vastus medialis (quadriceps) co-contract isometrically.

The vertebral column of the body remains stable due to the isometric co-contraction of the erector spinae, rectus abdominus and the e...

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