Burpees are the full-body exercise that everyone loves to hate. Okay, we admit it, some
strange people love doing them. Regardless, love them or hate them, most people agree that they are tough!
Who would have come up with such a strange and unusual punishment, you ask. Good question. You can probably thank this guy. Honestly, his name gives it away.
Why Are Burpees So Hard?
What makes them so freakin’ hard? There are essentially three exercises you’re doing: a squat, a pushup and a plyometric jump – all wrapped up nicely into a single blood-pumping, fat-burning package. Since these bad boys are so challenging, you probably want to know just how effective they actually are.
Is it any surprise that burpees burn a lot of calories? Each burpee you do will probably burn around 1 – 1.5 calories (depending on your weight). Not bad at all. To put it into perspective: jumping rope (another amazing cardio exercise) burns around 10 – 20 calories per minute (again, depending on intensity and weight).
So for strength, fat loss, body conditioning and staying lean, you definitely want to have burpees tucked inside your fitness bag. They may be tough, we may hate them, but you can’t argue with results. Remember, one of the golden rules of fitness (and probably life) is: if it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you!
How To Do The Perfect Burpee
Although sometimes it doesn’t seem like it (usually when you’re hitting about on 20 minutes of burpee action), there is an art to the perfect burpee. Here’s how to do them with perfect form:
Let’s break it down into some simple steps:
- Start standing up.
- Sit into a squat.
- Kick back your feet into the push-up position.
- Lower chest and thighs to touch the ground.
- Push up to complete the push-up.
- Pull your feet back into the squat position.
- Jump up and reach for the sky!
Just a heads up: many people find that the burpees aren’t as bad as the rest period after they’ve done a round of them. If you just did 100 burpees and feel like you want to hurl… dial down the intensity a bit next time. Sip water this time.
17 Awesome Burpee Variations
The burpee is an great exercise, but is there a way to make it even more awesome? Surely, there’s no way to improve on the perfection that is the burpee… or is there? We love a challenge, so we decided to round up some of the best burpee variations we could find!
If you can’t do a regular burpee yet, then start with these to build up to a standard burpee. You can also use these to squeeze out some extra reps in your workouts. E.g. you just did 20 burpees, can’t do any more, so you switch to the beginner variation and do 10 more of the easier variation.
Do these when standard burpees are too easy and now you want more of a challenge.
Want to make it even more challenging? Simply add weight. By doing this you’ll combine strength training with metabolic conditioning.
Those are just a few of the many burpee variations you’ll find, but enough to keep you busy for a while! If we missed out your favorite burpee variation let us know in the comments!
Love burpees or hate them? Let us know in the comments section below!