As much as I love the gym and all of the amazing exercise we can perform within the safety of the gym, there are several that I would never put my clients through (or do myself). Every exercise has its purpose, however oftentimes there are more effective and efficient exercises.
Aside from not having met ONE person that actually enjoys burpees, this exercise is a disaster and oftentimes does more harm than good. By combining a push up to a vertical jump over and over there is a ton of room for error and sloppy reps as fatigue accumulates. Do Burpees spike the heart rate, gas you out and make your whole-body work? Absolutely, however if you are chasing performance, rather than fatigue, there are better options. For instance, assault bike sprints, medicine ball slams, or sled drags can give you the same torturous effect, without the milage that burpees can put on your body.
Kipping Pull Ups
Unless you are a CrossFit athlete or a Gymnast, there is no need for you to be training them. If the goal is to develop a well-rounded back, healthy shoulders, and improved posture, then there are superior options. When it comes to performing a pull up, people are incited by how many more reps you can do when you “kip”. However, the cost benefit of doing lots of kipping pull ups can put your shoulders and back at risk of impingement or hyperextension. If you can’t do a standard pull up, that’s fine. The most effective way to achieve your first pull up is to work on slowly lowering yourself. Start by jumping up so you start at the top then take 5-10 seconds to lower yourself, repeat for 3 sets of 3-6 reps.
To develop a strong and stable core, sit ups are the last exercise I would have my clients do. To properly build your core, you need to be able to brace it properly. Exercises like weighted planks, side planks, and bird dogs are far superior for not only developing your midsection, but teaching you how to properly brace your core. So when you get to you big compound movements like squats and deadlifts, you are able to create a rigid midsection, which is key to improving those big lifts.