An Exercise Many Love To Hate: The Burpee

2227 words - 9 pages

Introduction of the
‘Burpee’

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
‘Burpee’
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 (Teachpe.com 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 external and internal obliques.
Isometric contraction of the lower and mid trapezius, rhomboids and serratus anterior allow for stabilisation through the shoulder girdle to ensure correct posture.

Phase two:
This phase of the burpee requires the athlete to transition into a squatted position with their hands flat on the ground. The key joints involved in this movement include the; hip joints, knee joints and the ankle joints. This phase begins with flexion of the hip and knee joints as well as dorsiflexion of the ankle. The hips are pushed backwards, the knees travel foreword while the weight of the athlete moves forwards onto the balls of the feet.
The hip is a ball and socket joint, the articulating bones of this joint are the acetabulum of the pelvis and the head of femur. During flexion the agonist muscle is the iliopsoas this is a grouping of the psoas major and the iliacus at their inferior ends. The iliopsoas contracts concentrically to create flexion at the hip. The antagonist muscle in this movement is the gluteus maximus, the gluteus maximus eccentrically contract.
The knee is a hinge joint, the articulating bones are the femur and tibia. During flexion the agonist muscle group is...

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