Everything you need to know about burpees
The burpee is a whole body workout used for both strength training and aerobic exercise. A burpee works your arms, back, chest, core, glutes and legs – you name it, it works it.
All of these amazing benefits come without the use of any equipment, so you can do burpees anytime, anywhere. The burpee is the perfect full-body exercise, working most major muscle groups while also improving your cardiovascular fitness and testing your balance and coordination.
If you could only do one exercise for the rest of your life, the burpee would be a smart pick for keeping you in the best shape possible.
Steps to your first burpee
The long road to performing a set of quality burpees can feel daunting, but don’t be intimidated. All you have to do is start with similar but less strenuous exercises that will build up your strength and make burpees feel a lot less difficult over time.
Start by performing ‘Squat Jumps’, ‘Plank Frog jumps’ and push-up exercises separately, then when you add them together, you’ll have your first burpee!
1. Squat Jumps
- Ensure your shoulders are parallel to your wrists.
- Keep core contracted and engaged.
- Bend your knees and keep your back straight.
- Be sure to keep your knees behind your toes.
Why? Practicing the squat jump will help you build the endurance required to perform a burpee. Plus, the position you take when performing squat jumps is the same as the movement you will do as you move up and down throughout your burpees.
Pro tip: Don't make the mistake of arching your back too much and risking injury. For some variety, try this plie squat jump variation.
2. Plank Frog jumps
- Start in plank with your hands on the ground just outside shoulder width apart.
- Then, jumping forward, keep your hands on the ground and bring your legs into a squat position.
- Repeat this movement and focus on getting the technique right first!
Why? This exercise will improve your ability to perform the part of a burpee done on the ground, training your feet to move in and out. It will also give you the strength to execute a safe and smooth movement.
- Place hands on the floor in front of you just outside shoulder-width apart with arms fully extended.
- Keep your back straight and engage your abs to support the mid-section.
- Tuck your chin in and lower your body to the ground.
- Keep your back straight throughout the whole movement and be careful not to strain your neck.
For more tips on push-ups, check out our article dedicated to push-ups. And when you put them all together, you have a burpee! Ta-da!
Options for beginners
When performing the push-up portion of your burpee, you can drop your knees gently to the ground to keep the weight off your back. Also, make sure you have a mat or something to protect your knees. It’s normal to lose control of your technique when you get tired, so it’s more important to slow it down, focus on technique and apply the level of intensity that works best for you.
Did you know Seven offers a full workout of ONLY burpees? Look for the Burpee Boss in the Discover section and Be Challenged category.
Do you think you could break the world record of 851 burpees in one hour?!