Burpees Guide

Burpees Overview

A Quick Overview of the Exercise You’ll Love to Hate

Let’s be honest here, burpees can feel like the worst.

If you’re mid-exercise class and a trainer suggests you put in a set of burpees, you can be sure there will be a collective groan. However, that doesn’t mean to say they are not brilliantly beneficial. The standard burpee can bring a great deal of benefits – many of which you will be surprised by.

On this page, find out how to do the perfect burpee, the overall benefits that they bring, variations of burpees and the best way to combine them with other exercises.

How to Perform the Perfect Burpee?

Here’s a step by step to getting the burpee right:

  1. Your starting position should be stood up straight with your feet level with your shoulders.
  2. You now drop down into a squat position, with both hands and feet now on the floor.
  3. You now thrust your legs back until you find yourself in the plank position.
  4. Draw your legs back up to your body so you are once again in the squat position.
  5. Now push through your heels and stand up straight again.

If you are doing a burpee for the first time, you might find that each of the movements is performed individually. However, once you’ve done burpees regularly, the whole thing becomes one continuous motion.

For those (like me!) more visual – the video below is a short and simple demonstration. Note that I have no relationship with the producers – I just enjoy their videos.

Big Benefits of Beginning Burpees

There are several benefits that you’ll experience when becoming a regular burpee-er! Here’s some of the most significant advantages you’ll find:

  • Weight loss due to calorific burn. It’s said that if perform burpees for a minute straight (which will see you on average do around twenty) you will burn between 10 and 15 calories, based on your weight.
  • A burpee is one of those exercises that works a whole host of muscles. Muscles in your legs, arms, chest, abdomen, hips, shoulders and more all get toned by the burpee. At the end of a routine that contains burpees, you will know you’ve done a full body workout.
  • Regular burpees will boost your cardio fitness levels. They can lead to increased blood flow, lower blood pressure and a lower risk of heart disease and diabetes. Your heart and lungs will become stronger with these in your routine.
  • They are an incredibly easy exercise to perform. You don’t need any equipment at all, apart from a floor. There are no purchases involved and you won’t have to wait around for someone to finish on any equipment on a gym.

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Massive Range of Burpee Variations

Once you’ve mastered the standard burpee, there are a huge number of variations that can take the exercise one step further. Here are a five of our favourites:

  1. The Burpee Pull Up – Perform your standard burpee in front of a bar. At the moment you stand up straight, you then move into a pull-up until you reach the point your chin is over the bar. Move back into standing position and then do it all again.
  2. Devil Press – Perform the burpee with barbells in each hand, with the move into crouch position seeing the barbells and not your hands in contact with the ground. As you stand up straight, raise the two barbells above your head, before lowering them and starting again.
  3. Travelling Burpee – If you want to move around instead of standing in one position this is a good variation. At the standing tall point, take a big leap forward. This can be a fun one with other people around, as you can compete.
  4. Box Jump Burpees – In this variation, at the point when you are standing straight, jump up onto a box (or a raised platform) in front of you. Then step down and move onto another repetition.
  5. The Burpee Push Up – If you like to give yourself more of a challenge, this will get you fit. When in the plank position, complete a full push up, before moving back into the squat position.

Combining Burpees with Other Exercises

If you find a relentless diet of burpees too much, you can combine them into a routine with a host of other exercises with a similar intensity. Here’s are three alternative exercises that give similar fitness results:

  • Squat Thrusts – These are effectively a burpee without the standing part. Move into the squat position and then thrust your legs back to the plank position and then bring them back.
  • Jumping Jacks/Star Jumps – Start by standing straight and then jump, landing with your legs wide apart and your arms wide apart, so your body creates a star shape. Jump again to move back to your initial straight position and start again.
  • Lunges – Start by standing straight then lunge forward, putting your weight on that leg. Then stand up straight, before following it with a lunge using the other. Then repeat the process.


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