Burpees to Develop Strength, Coordination, Endurance for Youth Sports

By RonUsher | Uncategorized

Jan 17

Burpees are one of the best ways for kids to get fit for youth sports. They are a great conditioning exercise for all ages and abilities of kids. It’s funny though, I see few soccer, football or baseball teams doing them. And I never see middle school PE teachers doing them (or having their students do them).

Basic 4 count burpee. Add a push-up to make it 6.

Basic 4 count burpee. Add a push-up to make it 6.

I used to have my swim team do them and I thought they were  a great dry-land exercise. They worked a lot of core strength, explosive jumping and I could even have them work on their streamlines on the jump. Burpees are a very efficient and effective exercise.

But they can get a bit boring. So to keep things moving and to keep the kids engaged in what they are doing throw in some different types of them. Besides the mental benefits, it will work different parts of the body.

And whatever the sport your coaching, they can be adapted to be more specific for your sport. For instance:

  • soccer players perform dribbling with the ball or another ball skill,
  • basketball players practice dribbling while doing them,
  • football players use a football to practice tucking the ball and dropping,
  • all players can pass and catch back and forth, which every kid needs more practice at.

Here are some variations to try. All start from a standing position.

  1.  Eight count Burpee: 1) Drop. 2)Kick legs back. 3) Open legs wide. 4) Bring legs together. 5) down push-up 6) up push-up 7) Tuck legs in 8) Stand.
  2. Catch the ball Burpee: 1) Four count burpee (no push-up) 2) Hold on to a ball while doing the drill 3) When standing toss the ball in the air and catch it.
  3. Rolling Burpee: 1) Drop 2) Perform a back roll till feet touch ground 3) Roll forward till prone 4) Perform a push-up 5) Tuck knees up 5) Stand
  4. Jumping Burpee: 1) Jump to the left on one then perform six count burpee 2) Repeat to other side.
  5. One arm Burpee: 1) Place only one arm on the ground. Have football players hold a football with the other.
  6. One leg Burpee: 1) Use only one leg. Hold the other one up.

There are tons of others. I have about ten more that I think are very worthwhile. But be creative and experiment. You can use them every day but don’t do too many or go till the kids are exhausted.

As with all conditioning drills, keep it fun, light and challenging.

Here is one web site that shows some videos and images of burpees.

And here is one more burpee site. She’s pretty good at them!

Best of luck and let me know how it goes!

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