The burpee, also known as the squat thrust, is a full body exercise used in strength training and as an aerobic exercise. It is performed in four steps, and was originally known as a “four-count Burpee”.
The burpee is the ultimate full body exercise. There’s a reason why football teams, CrossFit practitioners, and elite military forces use the burpee in their workouts. Just one simple movement tests both your strength and aerobic capacities. Below we go into a few more details on the benefits of the burpee:
Strength. The burpee is a full body, strength training exercise. With each repetition, you’ll work your chest, arms, front deltoids, thighs, hamstrings, and abs. Trust me. Your legs will feel like they’re pumping battery acid after you complete a set of burpees.
Fat burning. Because you’re using your full body when doing burpees and because they’re such an intense workout, the burpee is one of the best exercises to burn fat. Studies have shown that high intensity exercises, like burpees, burn up to 50% more fat than conventional strength training exercises. They’ve also been shown to speed up your metabolism which helps you burn more calories throughout the day. If you’re looking to get rid of that spare tire, step off the elliptical machine and start doing burpees.
Conditioning. Many men today spend hours a week in the gym sculpting washboard abs and bowling ball biceps. While those muscles look nice, they don’t do much for you when you have to split a giant pile of wood or even save your own life. Burpees are an effective exercise for developing the conditioning and endurance, the manly vim and vigor to tackle any challenge. They’re also a great exercise to include in football conditioning drills.
Free. There are no fancy gizmos, classes or gym memberships required to perform a burpee. All you need is your body, a floor, and an iron will.
- A burpee is simply a squat thrust interspersed with standing up, or even standing up and jumping.
- Begin standing upright and bend your legs to crouch down, placing your hands on the floor approximately shoulder width apart.
- Take your weight onto your hands and with your arms supporting your bodyweight, push off your legs and extend them out behind you to land your feet on the floor, with your feet slightly separated.
- Then after landing, push back off through your legs to ‘jump’ your feet back in towards your body to ‘land’ approximately under your hips, with your knees bent.
- From this position push yourself back up to take your weight back through your legs and then stand up.
- Depending on your fitness you can simply stand or alternatively add a jump as you stand up.
- After landing from the jump, squat down again and repeat the entire movement, aiming to complete 10-30 Burpees according to your fitness level or as suggested on your workout plan.
Because they’re such an intense exercise, you can make a quick and effective workout using just burpees. Below are a few suggested burpee workouts that will whip your flabby butt into shape.
Descending Burpee Ladder. Start with a set of 10 burpees. Rest one minutes. Then do a set of 9. Rest one minute. Continue lowering your reps by one on each set until you reach just one rep.
100 Burpee Challenge. Pretty simple. Just do one set of 100 burpees as fast as you can. I can usually do the first 20 in a minute or so. After that I hit a wall, and it takes me about 15 minutes to finish the rest as I lay on the ground to rest between reps. Take as long as you need until you hit the 100 burpee mark.
2 Minute Drill. Set your stop watch and crank out as many burpees as you can in two minutes.
Burpee Ladder with Sprints. So you’ve been doing burpees for a bit and feel like you’re in good shape. Try this little ditty to take your burpetitude to the next level. Perform the burpee ladder as described above, except instead of resting a minute between sets, perform a 50 yard sprint. I tried this a few months ago thinking I was in good shape only to barf after the second set. You know a workout is good when it’s barf good.