A burpee workout is an intense and challenging full-body strength training routine.

It requires little equipment, but what it lacks in gear, it makes up for in intensity. 

A standard burpee consists of a squat thrust followed by a pushup, then another squat thrust to return to the starting position.

The goal of this type of workout is to develop functional fitness through the use of high-intensity interval training (HIIT).

You can also do modified versions if they cannot perform some part or all parts of the exercise due to injury or other limitations.


What is a burpee exercise?

The word "burpee" comes from the official name of this movement: "Burpees (from push up position to squat).

A full Burpee includes four distinct movements or reps. The first rep starts with your feet together and arms at your sides in the Push Up starting position.

A burpee workout is an intense and challenging full-body strength training routine. It requires little equipment, but what it lacks in equipment, it makes up for in intensity.

A standard burpee consists of a squat thrust followed by a pushup, then another squat thrust to return to the starting position.

The goal of this type of workout is to develop functional fitness through the use of high-intensity interval training (HIIT). One can also do modified versions if they cannot perform some part or all parts what it takes to do one.


Here's an example of what a Burpee Exercise looks like: 

The first part, or "down" portion, consists of standing with feet just wider than hip-width apart, hands-on-hips. The next step is to squat down so that the thighs are parallel to the ground and extend both arms out in front of you at shoulder height. Then kick your legs back behind you into a pushup position while pulling with your arms until your chest comes off the ground, then return to the squat position. Next, the feet will scissor in front of your body and then take a step forward to return to starting position.


What does a burpee exercise look like?

A Burpee is made up of four parts:

  • Start in a standing position. Keeping your hands on the ground, jump feet to outside shoulder width and bend down into what's called a Burpee Push Up Position with your arms straight out front.
  • Make sure you keep your heels on the ground and jump up, propelling yourself back to a standing position.
  • Jump feet outside shoulder width again and bend down into what's called "Burpee Push Up Position with arms straight out front again.
  • When jumping up from this position, bring one foot behind the other and jump up, propelling yourself back to a standing position. Jump feet outside shoulder width again and bend down into what's called "Burpee Push Up Position with arms straight out front. Now when jumping from this position, bring both knees towards the chest, then shoot your legs backward in a "jumping jack" motion and land in what's called the Burpee Push Up Position with arms straight out front.


What does it take to do a burpee workout?

The main component for performing a standard burpee is a squat thrust followed by what it takes to do one modification.

How to do a modified version if you can't perform certain parts of the exercise?

If you cannot complete any part or all that's next after completing your first burpee workout session, then there are some modifications that you could make. These include: 

Performing a modified pushup or using an elevated surface to balance some modifications you can make for those who cannot complete all parts of the routine.


What are the benefits of doing a burpee workout?

Some of the benefits include

  1. Boosts metabolism: burpee helps your body burn more calories.
  2. Strengthens muscles: the burpee exercise strengthens your back, abdominals, buttocks, calves, and shoulders.
  3. Improves endurance: what is an effective way to improve stamina? The answer is a burpee workout! It also builds cardiovascular strength because you're performing aerobic exercises in quick succession.
  4. -Improves mental health: what is the best way to improve your mood? Exercise! There are tons of studies that show exercise can help with depression and anxiety.
  5. Burpees also require coordination, agility, balance, and even some level of strength building in many muscles because you're using them quickly back to back. The result is what you need to be able and do more in your day.
  6. -Increases energy levels: what's the best way for me to boost my energy? Exercise! The burpee workout boosts your metabolism, which means it can also improve brain function because of a byproduct called brain-derived neurotrophic factor or BDNF.
  7. -Reduces stress: what's the best way to reduce my anxiety? Exercise! It reduces your cortisol levels, which is a hormone that causes you to feel tense or stressed.
  8. -Improves agility: what does "agile" mean? It's how quickly you can change your position in response to a stimulus or request; agile people are what's known as what is called "quick-thinking. The more agile you are, the better your reflexes will be.
  9. Exercises like burpees help build coordination and agility because of what's required to do them: jumping into a plank position, performing pushups quickly back to back while in that same plank or what's called what is called "half-squat" position, then jumping back up to what's known as what is called the "standing position.
what is a burpee exercise

What are some drawbacks of doing a burpee exercise?

What are some drawbacks of doing a burpee exercise?

  1. Burpees make you breathe heavily.
  2. many people find burpees to be challenging because of how the exercise works your body
  3. burpees are a demanding workout for your body
  4. the exercise can cause pain in the wrists and knees of some people who do it
  5. They don't require any equipment, but they may need to be done on an even surface.
  6. A burpee is an exercise that involves squatting down, clapping your hands to touch the ground in front of you, and then jumping back up. It can be a challenging workout for your body because it requires repetitive movements like squats. There are some drawbacks to doing this type of workout as well:
  7. -Burpees make you breathe heavily.


What's next after completing your first burpee workout session?

You can try one of these:

  • aerobics
  • bodyweight circuit training
  • cardiovascular circuits what's next after completing your first burpee workout session
  • high-intensity interval training (HIIT) what it takes to do one of these:
  • strength circuit training what is next after completing your first burpee workout session


How to do a modified version if you can't perform certain parts of the exercise

If you're not able to do a full burpee, some modifications can be made:

  • Squat down and touch the ground with your hands
  • Jump your feet back towards your hands, so they form a 90-degree angle
  • Jump back up while bringing your feet together again.

Burpees are not complicated exercises (and can be modified if needed), but they take some time and effort. They'll help you build muscle, increase your stamina and endurance for future workouts, they're a good way to get into shape if you're new to exercise or haven't worked out in months (or years!), and what's more - this workout will give you the bonus of being anaerobic!


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What equipment is needed?

You will need a mat and enough space to lie down. You can also do this exercise in your living room if you don't have any equipment.

You will need an item that you can get up on, such as a table or chair.

This workout doesn't require any special equipment, but it does require some space and a few simple tools.

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Want to Switch things Up?

If you have been doing burpees for a while and want to switch things up or progress in difficulty level, try some of these other types of workouts:

  • jumping jacks
  • pushups
  • squats
  • sit-ups
  • plank hold position
  • mountain climbers
  • jumping rope


1. Jumping jacks

Stand with your feet together, arms by your side, and palms facing outwards. Jump up while raising the arms to shoulder height (as if you are clapping). As soon as you land, jump again, then bring the arms down by your side. Repeat the last three steps continuously, with a bit of spring in every jump.


2. Pushups

Place hands on the floor in front of you and spread your legs behind so that your body forms an inverted V shape. Keep elbows close to sides as Push up from the ground while keeping back straight.


3. Squats

In what's called "a power stance", squat down, placing hands on the floor in front of you. Keep toes pointed forward and back straight (so that body forms what looks like an upside-down V). Push from ground to return to starting position.


4. Sit-ups

Lie flat with your knees bent at a ninety-degree angle, feet together. Place hands behind head or cross arms over chest. Keep back straight and abs tight as you curl your upper body off of the ground, lifting the head the last.


5. Plank hold position

Hold a pushup plank for 30 seconds.


6. Mountain climbers

Get into what's called "a runner stance" with toes pointed forward or slightly turned outwards. Place hands on the floor in what's called a "high plank position".

Jump feet up to what's called a "pushup" then down into what's called a "mountain climber.


7. Jumping rope

Stand with your left foot on the end of an imaginary line drawn in the ground, and your right foot off that line. 

Throw one jump rope over your head and out in front of you, so that one end is on the ground to your left.

The other will be what's called a "bounce". Jump with both feet from where they are onto what's called "the bounce" then jump back again. 


Final thought on the question - What is a burpee exercise?

What is a burpee exercise
About the Author Funmi

Funmi is a Certified Functional Health Coach. She is passionate about helping female entrepreneurs transform from Stress and burnout so they can begin to thrive in their body and, by extension, their businesses. 

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