Zac Efron's former trainer hates burpees as much as you do.  Here's why he says most people shouldn't do them.

Zac Efron’s former trainer hates burpees as much as you do. Here’s why he says most people shouldn’t do them.

  • Burpees are common in workouts, but most people can’t do them safely, a celebrity trainer told Insider.
  • Patrick Murphy, who trained Zac Efron for “Baywatch,” said she never programs them.
  • They have been used in military fitness tests, but could injure people with regular jobs, he said.

Burpees aren’t an effective exercise and most people don’t have the flexibility to perform them properly and safely, according to celebrity trainer Patrick Murphy.

Burpees are a full-body movement that involves going from a standing position straight into a squat, stepping your feet back into a high plank position followed by a push-up, before jumping your feet forward and jump again to repeat the process. .

It’s an explosive, heart-rate-increasing move that’s been used to test physical fitness in the U.S. military, Murphy told Insider.


A burpee includes a range of postures.

Blanaru/Getty Images

Murphy, who has trained celebrities such as Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Lawrence and Zac Efron (for his famous shredded body in “Baywatch”), never includes burpees in his workouts because he believes they can lead to injury and a bad posture.

There are plenty of other explosive exercises you can do that are much better, he said.

Burpees were used to test fitness levels in the military

The burpee was invented by exercise physiologist Royal Burpee in the 1930s, and it initially didn’t include push-ups or jumping jacks, as Insider’s Hilary Brueck previously reported.

The Royal Burpee’s granddaughter, Sheryl Burpee Dluginski (who is also a personal trainer), told Men’s Journal that the US Army added them to a fitness test for soldiers and made them the most popular burpee. intense that we know today.

“It doesn’t mean it’s good for us or good for the human body,” Murphy said.

Most people don’t have the flexibility to perform a burpee properly.

To perform a burpee properly, you need a decent level of flexibility, strength and fitness, Murphy said, and so they should only be performed by those who are fit enough.

Movement requires athleticism and quick movements, but when people try to move as fast as they can while being explosive, they’re more likely to get injured, Murphy said.

patrick murphy

Patrick Murphy is a celebrity personal trainer.

patrick murphy

“For most people, their shoulders are going to shrug, they’re going to hurt their wrists, they’re going to strain their backs and their knees,” he said.

Going from a push-up to a standing position in a burpee can create a rounded back, which is the posture many people spend all day in when working in an office – and can lead to back pain, a said Murphy.

Burpees are really hard on the body for most people, he says.

“They’re great at dodging bullets,” Murphy said. “If I was in the military, I’d be just as good at burpees.”

Burpees Increase Heart Rate, But Other Exercises Do The Same More Safely

Murphy isn’t the only trainer to say that burpees aren’t effective for the majority of people.

Dluginski also told Insider that the burpee should be considered “exercise for people who are already physically fit.”

“It’s really hard on the knees. It’s really hard on the back. And unless you have good core strength and good physical condition to start with, you won’t be able to do it right. is exactly why it makes such a great fitness assessment test, which it really is,” she said.

Fellow celebrity trainers and siblings Ryan and Eric Johnson, whose clients include Scarlett Johansson, previously told Insider they think burpees are a waste of time for most people.

“Most people don’t have enough mobility to do a deep squat, so they’ll flex their back,” Eric said.

“Overall, I don’t believe a burpee will have any benefit that will get you to your performance goals, other than getting your heart rate up, and there are so many other tools to do that that will actually transfer and help you with other facets of your training plan.”

Squat jumps or box jumps are great burpee alternatives for increasing heart rate and building explosive power, Murphy said.

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