Does any other exercise have an odder name than burpees? Obviously the name itself sounds more like a way to let gas out, but in the case of fitness it is a way to really exercise the entire body using only your bodyweight.
Intrigued? You should be!
What are Burpees?
Basically a burpee is a squat thrust. Depending on your age, you might have done these in P.E. class. From a standing position you squat down low. Then you place your hands on the ground in front of your and kick your feet back into a push-up position. You then reverse the motion back to the standing position.
Often a burpee is done in a steady rhythm with each movement taking about the same amount of time. Think of counting, “One…two…three…four” as you do the motion.
Now that is just a basic burpee movement. There are many variations of this basic move with various levels of difficulty and impact.
- Burpee Push Up – Add a push-up before getting back up.
- Jump Up Burpees – At the end of the movement, instead of just standing up, jump straight up as high as you can.
- Long Jump Burpee – Same as above but jump forward. Other jump variations include jumping onto a box, jumping over something and jumping to the side.
- Single Arm Burpee – This takes a lot of balance. You can do single leg burpees too.
- Dumbbell Burpee – Hold dumbbells in your hands while doing it.
There are more, but you get the idea…really anything to make it harder.
Why do them?
Really this is one of the ultimate exercises anyone can have in their bag of tricks. People include them in CrossFit training, military training and even sport training like for football because they work.
- Strength – This is a full body strength exercise that works almost everything accept the biceps and calves. However, if you mix it up with pull-up burpees and jumping versions you can hit everything.
- Burns Calories – Intense full body activities are some of the best things you can do to burn fat. They actually can burn up to 50% more fat compared to typical weight training.
- Conditioning – This is what we call “functional” training where you are utilizing muscles in conjunction in a functional manner. This exercise helps build strength, endurance, and conditioning along with coordination which translates to a ton of functional activities.
- Easy – This is free and portable plus not overly complex.
Ready for a burpee workout? Try this common ladder style routine:
Set of 10 burpees – rest 1 minute
Set of 9 burpees – rest 1 minute
Set of 8 burpees – rest 1 minute
…continue down to 1.
The workout will leave you exhausted in 20 minutes having worked most of your muscles and kicked your metabolism into high gear.
Try and do 100 burpees as fast as you can, resting as you need to. Good luck finishing before 20 minutes are up!