Burpees are one of those exercises that everybody loves to hate, but they offer so many benefits that their popularity is spreading regardless of how hard they may feel when you do them.
These days, you’ll encounter burpees everywhere from HIIT workouts to boot camps to CrossFit, and for good reason. They’re one of the most efficient, functional exercises you can do.
So how do you actually do a burpee?
There are several different types of burpees — some include a plank, others have a full push up, a tuck jump or even a pull up at the end. Since the HIIT workouts I do tend to focus mainly on speed and conditioning (rather than worrying about doing a full push up every rep), here's how to do my favorite type and go-to burpee:
- Stand straight, then lower into a squat position with your hands on the floor in front of you.
- Kick your feet back into a push-up position and immediately drop your chest to the floor.
- Bow your chest up as you return your feet back to the squat position as fast as possible.
- Jump up into the air as high as you can.
- Add a little clap for pizazz!
Sound tough? They are — but they’re worth it for all the awesome benefits they offer.
Here are 5 reasons why you should love burpees
1. They work your entire body.
Unlike isolation exercises like biceps curls and triceps kickbacks, burpees are a full body exercise. That means you’ll work pretty much every muscle in your body while doing them, so you’ll actually burn more calories in less time when you do burpees.
Do them quickly with intensity and you’ll get an even bigger calorie burning effect that will last all day long.
2. You can do them anywhere.
Since burpees require nothing more than your own body to do them, you can seriously do them anywhere. It doesn’t matter if you’re traveling, if you don’t have access to a gym, or if you’re working out outdoors — you can still do burpees!
Body weight exercises like burpees are awesome because they give you no excuse not to work out.
3. They’ll get you stronger.
Burpees are the ultimate example of functional fitness, meaning they'll not only help you meet your weight loss and fitness goals, they'll also help you perform better during everyday activities like carrying groceries, lifting a suitcase over your head in an airplane or playing with your kid at the playground.
With every rep, you’ll work your arms, chest, quads, glutes, hamstrings, and core muscles. After a few sets of burpees, your legs will feel a bit like lead, your arms will shake and you’ll feel your muscles getting stronger.
4. They boost your endurance (no treadmill necessary).
Want to get fit in a hurry? Whether your goal is to train for a race, try a new sport, get in shape for spring hiking season or just to look good, burpees will get you there, fast.
In fact, burpees are one of the best exercises EVER to boost your conditioning and endurance for sports and other activities. Even just 10 burpees in a row will make your heart pound and your breath get quicker. Do them consistently and watch as your conditioning level skyrockets!