Burpees are a simple, yet challenging exercise that work many of your body’s major muscle groups that should be included in your workouts – period! In addition to burning fat, there are other benefits such as improved blood flow, lower risk of heart disease and diabetes and a stronger heart and lungs. If you at first find them difficult to perform, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! Follow on for our mini guide, Burpees: 5 Simple, How-To Steps that will Make You LOVE Doing Them!
Burpees are a calisthenics exercise capable of helping you develop great, functional, real-world and practical strength. This means they use your body weight for resistance. It came into the limelight when the US military adopted the burpee exercise as part of their daily routine to assess fitness levels for soldiers in World War 2.
It is essentially a two-part exercise: a push up followed by a leap in the air. It’s helpful especially if you’re looking for a way to build strength and endurance, while burning calories, and boosting your cardio fitness all at the same time. You don’t need any equipment to do burpees. All you need is your own body weight and enough space to do the move.
How To Perform Burpees: Step by Step
1. Start in squat position with your knees bent, back straight, and your feet about shoulder-width apart
2. Lower your hands to the floor in front of you so they’re just inside your feet
3. With your weight on your hands, kick your feet back so you’re on your hands and toes, in the pushup position
4. Keeping your body straight from head to heels, do one pushup. Do not let your back sag or push your backside up into the air
5. Do a frog kick by jumping your feet back to starting position
6. Stand and reach your arms over your head
7. Jump quickly into the air so you land back where you started
8. As soon as you land with knees bent, get into a squat position and do another repetition.
There are many ways to make them easier, making simple adjustments to dial down the intensity. For some, the most challenging part of the exercise is the jump. Luckily, you can skip the jump and instead of jumping into the air after the pushup, just return to the squat position.
You can also skip the pushup, begin in the squatting position, kick your legs back so you’re in a pushup position, and then return to your squat. Or move into a plank position by stepping in step by step, rather than jumping, your feet behind you.
If you are a pro in the gym and are already comfortable with burpees, you can try different variations for higher intensity.
Drop your chest to the ground in your push up, do a jump box followed by a push up. Or you can even try the newest trend: do a box jump, get to a squat position, and then in the push up put your feet to the ground and come back to the box.
The burpee strengthens the muscles in your legs, hips, buttocks, arms, abdomen, chest, and also shoulders. As there are many muscles involved, it is important to perform every step of the exercise properly. Taking into account some safety tips will ensure you get the most out of them.
Start Slowly and Just do a Few Reps at First
Doing push ups, burpees can put extra stress on your wrists and shoulders, so be careful not to go so fast that you twist your wrists when you land Make sure you have the basic components of the exercise down before you add weights or extra push ups or jumps.
If you’re unsure of how to do a burpee, ask a certified personal trainer to help you. Also, if you’re new to exercising or high-intensity interval training (HIIT), or if you have a health condition, talk to your healthcare provider first to make sure burpees are safe for you.
Getting a friend to do burpees with you is also a good way to make them more fun and actually help you learn to love doing them! You can challenge each other and see who finishes certain sets first and even place a friendly bet – eg. the loser gives a massage! You can also ask your trainer to push you to finish your burpees if you find this motivational.
Listening to upbeat music can actually help you decide to do burpees. But do not just ‘go with the flow’ and ignore proper form! Safety is as important as fun. And this will be all you need, music and a little desire to work out. You can do burpees anywhere as you do not need any equipment. They are a quick exercise that you can do at home or even, in your hotel room!
There are more benefits that come with burpees such as lowering blood pressure, improving cholesterol levels and improving brain/coordination function. It is a simple way to train most of the muscles in your body. That is why it is important to visualize the exercise and perform it safely so you can keep it as a long term tool in your training box.
Choosing the variation that best works for you will make it more fun. There is no fun when you are pushing yourself to the point of serious pain or injury, that’s the non-sustainable way of doing them. Try doing them with a friend that helps you to stay consistent and working at 75-85% of your ability will be perfectly fine, and you’ll also have some fun too!