BURPEES! How, why, and ..really, why?

Why do burpees?

Burpees are an effective little tool for working almost every muscle in your body while also getting your heart rate up.  They’re a great, equipment-free tool for taking a snapshot of your current fitness level.

How: The Basic Burpee*

How To Do Burpees at the Beach
*technically, this is only half of a burpee, because there’s no push-up!  However, I can’t handle the look of terror I get when I talk about push-ups, so I’m leaving it up to you as to whether or not you add a push-up in there after you jump your feet back to plank. (Maybe at least one for every 5 reps?)

Beginner Burpee Modifications

If you are brand new to burpees, try:

  • CAREFULLY placing your hands on the ground after you bend your knees to get town there – don’t slam your hands down carelessly
  • STEPPING your feet back to high plank instead of jumping backward into it but
  • still JUMPING your feet back forward to meet your hands
  • landing SILENTLY after your finishing hop

Advanced Burpee Modifications

So you’re tired of the regular burpee? Try mixing in a few of these variations:

  • Jumping back to a tripod plank – only one foot on the ground as you land (switch feet every other rep)
  • Adding a plank jack or mountain climber to your high plank
  • Adding a tap on each shoulder to your high plank
  • Turning your toes out when you land in your jump forward to work your inner thighs (hi, frog hop burpee!)
  • Bringing your chest all the way to the floor for a hand-release push-up
  • Adding a STAR JUMP at the end of your burpee instead of just a little hop up!

So really…why are we doing these?

Burpees alone can give you a pretty effective workout in under 10 minutes, especially if you add in some of the variations listed above. For that reason alone, I think they should be in everyone’s fitness emergency kit.

With modifications, burpees are suitable for almost every fitness level (careful with wrists, knees, and lower back).  You might have to take micro-breaks during the round of burpees you’re completing for the summer challenge, but if you were to repeat your challenge round the following week, you would probably find that you are already stronger!  Burpees really work, and quickly.

 

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