Tulsa Personal Trainer Steven Morales:
Burpees are one of those exercises everyone loves to hate. I suppose its because they are one of the more challenging total body exercises or perhaps its because their are so many ways you can make them more intense. Whatever the reason may be there has become a culture around burpees and there are even shirts saying I Love Burpees now.
One of the most common complaints with burpees end up being lower back or knee pain. This typically has to do with lack of mobility, flexibility, and/or injuries which are limiting a persons movement capabilities. Because most people sit more than they should due to desk jobs or sedentary lifestyles the average persons hips, IT bands, and ankles have become very stiff and immobile compared to what they should be. These issues show up in movements such as the burpee presenting themselves as pain or stiffness. In this video I cover some modifications you can do to help scale the Burpee.
For some with certain injuries that prevent certain movements these modifications and scales might be where you will have to stay and thats perfectly okay because most people limit their movement profile because of injuries and this can lead to more problems down the road. For those who can improve where you are at I recommend incorporating a mobility practice to gain the natural range of motion your body is capable of and so you don’t hurt yourself doing any exercises. I hope these modifications help!