Everything You Need to Know About Burpees

Burpees are a little difficult to do but they provide amazing benefits and you'll quickly notice changes to your body. For example, you'll improve your respiratory resistance and tone your arms.
Everything You Need to Know About Burpees

Last update: 10 August, 2018

You could say that burpees are the “in” exercise right now, since they’re practiced in various disciplines. CrossFit has made them popular, but nowadays instructors include them in many classes and workouts. We’ll tell you everything you need to know about burpees in this article.

What are burpees?

To explore burpees, we have to think of the United States Army. Why? Because the now popular CrossFit is an adaptation of army exercises that are redesigned for the gym.

The Army designed this high-intensity exercise in the 1930s for soldiers to increase their muscular and cardiovascular resistance. Now, burpees are the star of many workouts, including HIIT.

people doing burpees at the gym

Although burpees target all muscles, some muscles will work harder than others: triceps, trapezius, deltoids, quadriceps, and pectorals. That’s why they’re so exhausting, yet so effective at the same time!

As if that wasn’t enough, burpees can help you to lose weight and reduce your body fat. This is because your body uses a good amount of energy to do them and, in turn, burns a lot of calories. They’ll have an immediate effect and your body will keep working after you’ve done your workout. This is known as the afterburn effect.

At the same time, this exercise lets you work on your coordination, flexibility, and balance. Having so many muscles working at once is a great challenge for your mind and your body.

Doing burpees

Now that you know the benefits of this wonderful exercise, you should learn how to do it properly. Pay close attention, to avoid making mistakes and to fully benefit from doing burpees.

First, stand with your legs slightly apart. Lower your body until you’ve reached a sort of, squat position and place your palms on the ground, in front of your chest. Extend your legs back and support yourself on the tip of your feet (and your hands).

Next, bend your elbows and go all the way down, or as close to the ground as possible. Stretch your arms and bend your knees so that they touch your chest. Finally, get up by jumping up. That’s one repetition. Believe it or not, some people do 100 of these each day!

man exercising in sand with fitness watch

Slow and steady wins the race

In your case, start out slowly. There are two ways of doing this exercise; you can time it or count your repetitions. Taking the timed approach means, for example, taking one minute to do as many as you can. On the other hand, you could do 10 repetitions, for example, and take the time you need to do them.

It’s important that you master your technique before trying to go faster. Take your time and do it well. That’s the best advice a trainer can give you. That way, you’ll fully benefit from doing burpees and you’ll avoid pain, cramps, and injuries.

Once you’ve practiced and consider yourself an expert, you can add on to it. For example, when jumping up, you can bring your knees to your chest and clap above your head.

Another option would be to jump and grab onto rings, or a bar to do pull-ups. What’s more, you could jump and finish with a squat on a box. There are also varieties of push-ups: one-handed, weighted, clapping, etc.

Keep in mind that you can do burpees anywhere, be it at the gym or at home, but you have to pay attention to your movements to avoid injuries. Finally, you shouldn’t do them if you have joint or muscle problems, especially in your wrists, knees, and back.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.