Learning how to do a burpee might just be one of the best decisions you could make for your health. It’s a tough workout to be sure, and as with any other type of intense exercise program, you should talk to your doctor first before you start. But once you get permission, you’ll find it’s not only easy to figure out how to do a basic burpee, but it may also deliver some great potential health benefits as well.
Here’s a look at how to do a burpee, including important information on using the proper burpee technique. You’ll also learn some of the many benefits of a burpee-heavy workout, as well as how to avoid some of the more common mistakes.
Why Consider Learning How To Do A Burpee?
Burpees are demanding. You’re going to have to make a pretty significant commitment to this kind of exercise program. So, what’s in it for you? It turns out, a lot.
These are just some of the many potential benefits of doing burpees, whether you want to just perform a basic burpee — or you want to use one of the variations you’ll learn about later.
You’ll Get A Fantastic Full-Body Workout
Lots of great exercises isolate certain groups of muscles, such as crunches, curls, and others. But if you want a workout that will challenge your entire body at once, you won’t find a better exercise than the burpee. All of your muscles and joints will be working together, helping support the movements that are necessary for everyday life.1
The burpee combines exercises such as planking, squatting, and jumping into one. It’s particularly useful in building up your core muscles, since they need to stay engaged throughout your workout. Now, burpees won’t necessarily help you build six-pack abs, but they definitely won’t hurt to try if that’s your ultimate goal. Burpees are more designed to support mobility and stability.2
Cardio Support Galore
The burpee is a form of high-intensity interval training, or HIIT, that can really pump up your heart rate.
According to one study, HIIT exercises help boost aerobic fitness, potentially supporting cardiovascular health in the process. Participants who participated in HIIT training for just 30 minutes a week saw their muscle function and fitness levels improve substantially. In fact, they improved at the same rate as those who performed 150 minutes of moderate exercise a week.3
A Convenient Workout Anytime, Anywhere
One of the best things about starting a burpee-heavy workout is that you don’t need any sort of expensive equipment. You just need enough space to perform the moves. Even if you’re in a tiny apartment, you can do burpees whenever you like.
Burpees May Help Melt Away The Calories
Burpees are also great for burning calories. You’re extending and lengthening your muscles constantly, and it takes a lot of energy – in the form of calories – to make that happen. Burpees make you consume a lot of oxygen, and that burns a significant amount of calories in the process. You’ll actually consume more oxygen doing a burpee than you would by doing lunges, squats, or even deadlifts.4
How To Do A Proper Burpee
As you can see, this funny-sounding exercise can deliver some major potential benefits – as long as you do it the right way. As with any other kind of exercise, proper form is critically important for your success and your safety. And again, always check with your doctor before adopting a new exercise regimen.
Here’s a step-by-step look at how to do a basic burpee.
- First, set your feet shoulder-width apart.
- Next, get into a squat position by bending your knees.
- Put your hands flat on the floor just in front of your feet while lifting your weight off of your feet.
- As you’re shifting your weight, move your feet so that your body is in a straight line from the top of your head to the bottoms of your heels. You may also know this as the plank position.
- Next, in one, smooth movement, move your feet in the direction of your hands. The outer portion of each pinky finger should be next to the inside portion of each foot.
- Finally, jump up and reach the palms of both hands toward the ceiling (or sky, if you’re outside). Once you land, get back into the squat position and repeat the exercise.5
Other Burpee Variations
Once you’ve done plenty of burpees, you might want to change things up a little bit. Here are a few ways to do just that.
The Burpee Box Jump Exercise
For this exercise, you’ll need a box big enough to jump on and strong enough to support your weight. If you have a box filled with books, for example, that should work fine.
- Keeping your feet as wide as your shoulders, and your arms straight at your sides, stand in front of the box.
- Bend your knees and hips and put your palms flat on the ground.
- As your hands hit the ground, quickly move your legs out behind you and get into a pushup position.
- Do a quick push-up. While your hands are still flat on the floor, move your feet back under your core.
- Stand up, jump on the box with both feet, and then jump back down to your original position. Repeat the exercise.6
Bosu Ball Burpee
A bosu ball isn’t really a ball. It’s actually a balance training aid – kind of like a half a ball, with a rounded top and a flat bottom. But it can help spice up your burpee workout routine.
- Stand up and put your feet on either side of the ball. Then do the same thing with your hands, putting your palms flat on the floor.
- Put your weight on your arms and then kick out your legs. Once you do that, you’ll be in the pushup position.
- Using your core muscles to keep your balance, move your weight back to your arms and drive your legs back into your starting position.
- Grab the ball and raise it over your head.
- Put the ball back to its original position and do another repetition.7
Burpees Using Dumbbells
If you really want a challenge, you can introduce dumbbells to your burpee routine. Just make sure the dumbbells are a comfortable weight. If they’re too heavy, that will hurt your form – and it may even cause an injury. Here’s how to do it.
- Stand up straight, holding a dumbbell in each hand. Squat down and put down each dumbbell.
- Drive your feet back and do a quick push-up (drop your chest all the way to the floor) while keeping both hands on the dumbbells.
- Drive your legs back forward and jump up while continuing to hold the dumbbells. When you land, keep your knees bent slightly. Repeat the exercise.8
Always Use The Right Technique
These are just a few of the many different ways you can do burpees. Whether you try one of the above or you choose another variation, such as a burpee pull or a single-leg burpee, always be careful and pay attention to using the right form. You’ll maximize the effectiveness of your workout while minimizing the risk for injury.
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