The Many Benefits of Burpees
by Autumn Jones
Want to spike your heart rate, strengthen your core, and rev up your calorie-burning power with one simple move? Enter, the burpee.
Burpees have a reputation for a reason — they are tough! But the benefits of burpees are undeniable and give you plenty of reason to get excited about this go-to exercise. Here's why (and how) you should include burpees in your future workouts.
Most people have a love-hate relationship with burpees, but this total-body, strength-building exercise offers a ton of advantages. Even if the movement seems super challenging, burpees are a great exercise to work toward — so try mixing some into your routine next time you hit the gym! One of the biggest benefits of burpees is that they work large muscle groups in ways most people aren't used to.
According to Men's Health, doing burpees challenges your muscles, lungs, and metabolism, meaning you'll feel results from head to toe and enhance your strength over time. And the best part is your own body is the only piece of equipment you'll need! Since you can do a burpee just about anywhere, you have tons of opportunities to develop your conditioning and endurance even when you're not at the gym.
How to Do a Burpee
Interested in trying this movement and adding it to your exercise routine? Great! Here's how to perform a burpee in seven simple steps:
- Start with feet shoulder-width apart.
- Bend your knees and lower into a squat position.
- Place your hands on the floor (in front of your toes) and shift your weight off of your feet.
- As your weight shifts forward, move your feet behind you in one fluid motion, so your body forms a straight line from head to heels (you should recognize this as the plank position).
- Now move your feet back toward your hands in one movement, so the inside of each foot is next to the outer edge of your pinky fingers.
- Launch yourself upward with a jump, reaching your hands to the sky.
- As you land, begin lowering into a squat to begin the sequence again.
As Shape magazine suggests, "You'll want to work on performing burpees as fast as you can while maintaining good form, but pace yourself so you don't burn out too quickly."
Adding Burpees Into Your Workout
To spice up your burpees and show your arm muscles a little extra love, try adding in a pushup while in the plank position. You can also incorporate a tuck into your jump by pulling your knees up toward your chest while in the air. Or perhaps you feel like mixing things up with a jumping jack (in place of the jump) to keep your heart pumping.
If you're able to, it's a good idea to sprinkle a set of burpees into your regular workout routine. Going for a walk or a run? Stop halfway through and do as many burpees as you can for one minute to boost your heart rate. You can also use a set of burpees as a full-body warm up before your circuit training or cardio session.
Remember, there's no reason to be intimidated by burpees! With a little practice and repetition, you'll be rocking this all-star exercise move like a pro. Pretty soon, you could be feeling stronger and healthier after each squat, plank, and jump.
As always, please consult with a physician prior to beginning any exercise program. See full medical disclaimer here.