If burpees feel straight-up impossible, start with this move instead
by Tehrene Firman
I know I’m not alone in despising burpees. There’s something about getting down onto the floor, doing a push-up, then popping back up into the air that feels straight-up impossible. If you’ve yet to master the move but really want to nail it, don’t worry. There’s a move that helps you ease into burpees and avoid injuries until you’re ready for the real thing. Personal trainer Jason Millar shared a video years ago that focuses on beginner burpees, and it’s still getting views because it’s so useful.
While you can simply slow down the movement and skip out on the pushups to make the exercise more beginner-friendly, one of the best ways to ease in is by grabbing something you already have on hand at home. Performing burpees using a chair might sound strange, but it allows you to get used to the motions in a safe way that’s easy on the body. Soon enough, you’ll be able to do the real deal. And maybe—just maybe!—even like it.
How to perform beginner burpees with a chair
1. Roll a yoga mat out on the floor and set a chair at the end of the mat, making sure it’s staple and won’t slide around.
2. Place your hands on the seat of the chair and jump your legs back to the end of your mat.
3. Jump your legs back to the starting position and raise your arms above your head.
4. Repeat the movements for one minute.
If you have any knee issues, avoid jumping and step your legs back one at a time.
Instead of doing burpees, try this seated full-body tabata workout that’s basically the equivalent of 100 of ’em. And if you want some other ideas, here are additional exercises a celeb trainer says beat out burpees.