The burpee is certainly the exercise many of us love to hate. However, this freakin’ tough, calorie-torching movement is fabulous for one reason: It’s entirely full-body. Burpees put your entire body to work: your shoulders, arms, chest, core, glutes, quads as well as hamstrings. When performed correctly, burpees really don’t leave a single muscle group behind.

The first time that you do a burpee you could be wondering what all the fuss is about. Although it’s famous as being a brutal bodyweight exercise which burns fat as quickly as it builds muscle. The burpee is regularly used as punishment for skipping obstacles in obstacle course races however none of that comes close with how you feel after doing one burpee!

But don’t let that deter you. Perform a second burpee, and then a third. Keep on going and 30 seconds later, you’ll be wondering how it might be possible for so many muscles to be aching as well as your lungs to be burning simultaneously.

There is no fun way to perform burpees

Whether you take them slowly and hit a certain rep count or attempt to cram in the largest possible number within a set time period, burpees tire you out faster than just about any other exercise out there. This is the bad news.

The great news is that all the hard work is totally worth it. The burpee works the arms, back, chest, core, glutes and legs – you name it, it works it. In addition, burpees also spike your heart rate as much as sprinting for a bus does. This is one of the motives behind why it’s a strong favourite among the high-intensity interval training (HIIT) crowd. And all of those advantages come without the use of any equipment, so you can perform the burpee anytime and anywhere.

What are the benefits of burpees?

The burpee is an ultimate full-body exercise. There is a reason why football teams, CrossFit practitioners, and the elite military forces utilise the burpee in their fitnessworkouts. Just one straightforward movement tests both your strength as well aerobic capacities.

Strength

The burpee is a full-body, strength training workout. With every repetition, you’ll work out your chest, arms, front deltoids, thighs, hamstrings as well as abs. Your legs will feel like they’re pushing battery acid after you finish a set of burpees!

Fat burning

As you’re utilising your full body when doing burpees, and because they’re such an intense exercise, the burpee is one of the greatest exercise routines to burn fat. Studies have demonstrated that high intensity exercises, such as burpees, burn up to 50% more fat as opposed to conventional strength training exercises.

They’ve also been shown to accelerate your metabolism which helps you to burn more calories throughout the day. If you’re needing to get rid of that spare tyre, get off the elliptical machine and start doing burpees.

Conditioning

Many men and women today spend hours a week in the gym carving out washboard abs and bowling ball biceps. While these muscles look nice, they don’t do a lot for you when you have to split a giant pile of wood or, alternatively, save your own life. Burpees are an efficient exercise for developing the conditioning as well as endurance, the manly ‘vim and vigour’ to be able to tackle any challenge. They’re also a great exercise to include in football conditioning drills.

The correct form to adopt with burpees

There is a lot happening when you do a burpee. This means that there’s the possibility to make the burpee harder as well as reduce the amount you can do. This means that you’re wasting energy and reducing the effectiveness of the exercise.

Mobilise

The burpee can put lots of stress through your ankles, knees and wrists so make sure that you’re thoroughly warmed up.

Break it up

The burpee can be complicated so to begin with split the move into two parts:

  • A squat thrust
  • A deep squat jumps

Make sure that you are comfortable with each phase of the exercise before merging the two.

Squat thrust

For the squat thrust, ensure that your shoulders are directly over your hands as well as that your legs are extended into a press-up position. When jumping your feet in and out, maintain your shoulders above your hands and don’t let them move backwards or forwards.

Deep squat jump

For the deep squat, ensure that your hips are sitting back and try to maintain your chest in as upright position as possible. Explode up and make sure that you cushion your landing by bending the knees as you make contact with the floor.

Get some airtime

When you’re happy that you can do both with good form, add the two together. Your arms can play a part here and as you switch from the squat thrust to the squat jump, swing your arms forwards as well as above your head for maximum altitude.

If you need any assistance with your exercise form, consult a Qualified Personal Trainer.