Tips on Avoiding Pain when Performing Burpees

Tips on Avoiding Pain when Performing Burpees

I hope you enjoyed yesterday’s article.

Today has been a day of learning. I have been hanging out on YouTube, learning about hot tubs. In our new house, we have a hot tub so I am trying to figure out all I can about our hot tub, how to clean it, how to do the chemicals, how it works, etc. It is amazing what you can learn from YouTube. You can also learn a lot about overcoming injury and pain, here (Ha Ha, that is the EFI YouTube channel).

Black Rod Hot Tub

Today I have an article and video on tips to avoid pain when doing burpees and they are from Shawna Kaminski.


Rick Kaselj, MS

P.S. – If you are looking for a variety of different workout options that involved burpees, then check out Shawna’s Challenge Burpee (Plus she gave me a 33% off coupon that you can use. When you check out enter: YayForBurpees .)


5 Tips on Avoiding Pain when Performing Burpees

Hey, this is Rick Kaselj.

I am doing another video in Las Vegas at a Fitness Mastermind meeting. This time I am down here and I have Shawna Kaminski, another fellow Canadian. We are going to talk about a mistake that people make when doing burpees and a few tweaks that you can do if doing burpee exercises bothers your wrists.

Shawna, would you introduce yourself and kind of talk about the burpee mistakes that people make and how it relates to back pain.

Shawna Kaminski: Yes it does. You are the back pain expert, right? First of all, I am Shawna Kaminski. I am from, lots of challenging workouts.

The burpee is just kind of an old-school exercise that I want to revive. First of all, a lot of people just think that the burpee is way too hard and a lot of people are intimidated and say “I can’t do a burpee.”

Everyone can do a burpee. You can start with a Full Body Extension. Can you show us a full-body extension, Rick?

#1 – Do the Full Body Extension

Do the Full Body Extension

You are doing a quarter squat, shoulder and hands up, and hop onto your toes. That’s a full-body extension and this is a great alternative.

#2 – Try the Burpee Walk Out

Next is the Burpee Walk Out. You will do a full-body extension, hands up, hands down, walk onto the ground in a high plank position, walk the feet out and walk the feet in, and then stand up in a full-body extension. This is a great lead-in for the burpee.

Try the Burpee Walk Out

You start with a burpee walk out and then you can move to a hop out.

You don’t have to do the full-arm jump.

You don’t have to add a push-up.

But you can just slowly increase the intensity by increasing how fast you do each repetition.

The number one thing that people say about the burpee is that “I can’t do burpees.” Everyone can do burpees.

#3 – What to do If You Have Knee Pain when Doing Burpees?

Rick Kaselj: And those two examples are good for the back. They are also low impact so it’s good for anyone who has lower body issues especially knees pain.

Shawna Kaminski: Yes, even with the knees instead of walking the knees in straight, have a wider walk in so there’s not as much compression on the knee, or else you can just stand up early and don’t let your knees fully bent.

Knee Pain when Doing Burpees

Shawna Kaminski: With the hop out you can hop the feet in a little bit wider or you can step in a little bit wider. Some people have deep compression and that’s what bothers their knees. You don’t have to go through that full knee compression (knees to chest).

Rick Kaselj: It highlights the point then that there are ways of tweaking exercises around what’s sore and achy as opposed to doing what you typically see in the magazines. You can tweak it and work around your injury and still get the benefit.

Shawna Kaminski: If you have a sore knee as I dislike it when a doctor says “just go sit down,” well that’s not helping. Certainly, you can work around it and always do something. I am always getting my clients to do something.

#4 – What to do If You Have Wrist Issues when Doing Burpees

A lot of people have wrist issues so the extension on their wrist bothers them.

Rick Kaselj: For example, getting down into a push-up position or doing the push-up.

Shawna Kaminski: Exactly. Neutralizing your wrist by getting hexagonal dumbbells and just setting the dumbbells there, so instead of going down with your wrists extended, just put the hands on the dumbbells, and then that neutralizes the wrists and you don’t have to add the push up bothers them. They can just be on a high plank and jump to their feet.

#5 – Make Sure NOT To Make this Burpee Mistake

The worrisome thing that I worry about is injury is when people get sloppy and tired, they get into that high plank but they let their hips drop.

Burpee Mistake

Shawna Kaminski: I encourage people, it doesn’t have to be a full plank but at least just put the hips a little bit higher and you will benefit without risking your lower back.

You don’t have to go crazy and go a hundred miles an hour. Quality over quantity is always good. I mean if you can do them quickly and maintain good form, great. But if not, slow it down and make sure you are getting your form correct; you are still going to get the benefits from it.  Everyone can get benefit from it.

Rick Kaselj: Awesome!

Rick Kaselj: Everyone can do a burpee. Shawna, where can people get more information about you?

Shawna Kaminski: I got lots of fun burpee programs. My blog is, it has something for everyone.

If you would like more details on Challenge Burpee, go here:


Rick Kaselj, MS