Many people in the fitness community have a love-hate relationship when it comes to Burpees. Burpee is a total body cardiovascular and strength exercise that is a great option for anyone looking to squeeze in an exercise for 2-3 minutes or even as a whole part of the workout regimen. It is also one of the most versatile exercises that can be performed by beginners who are new to exercising as well as advanced trainees who are looking for a good challenge. Here’s how it is done-
- Standing with feet about hip width apart, bend so your hands are placed on the ground.
- Kick both feet back at the same time to land in a push up position (hands shoulder width apart, picturing an imaginary straight line from shoulder to heel will help maintain good form).
- Perform a push up. An alternative for those who can’t would be to hold this position and engage the core for 5-10 seconds.
- Bring feet closer to hands with a single jump.
- End the burpee with a jump.
- A good rep range for burpees would be 8-15 for a single set that can be done for 2-3 sets depending on the person’s fitness level.
Burpee is considered a total body exercise because it involves cardio and works the muscles of upper body right down to the lower body and core. One utilises stabilising muscles while kicking the feet back which strengthen the lower back. Engaging the core while doing the push up strengthens the abdominal muscles and the push up itself targets the triceps, chest and shoulders.
Lastly, jumping at the end requires engaging of the glutes and quadriceps which help in the high intensity movement and landing properly on the feet gives the calves and toes a challenge in strength and stability. The best part is that there are no excuses, since this is a total body movement and requires no equipment which means it can be performed anywhere.
Difficulty can also be adjusted according to a person’s level of fitness. For those who haven’t yet developed the strength to do a push up can perform a plank instead. For those who find the jump at the end too exhilarating can cut out the jump and just stand back up instead, eventually progressing towards it. A prerequisite to this exercise would be the walk down exercise which helps beginners with total body strengthening initially before performing more advanced exercises. For people who want a challenge in the traditional burpees can perform a superman push up instead of a regular one which makes the burpee a plyometric exercise.
Care should be taken by people who are suffering from any ailments as the burpee is a compound exercise involving cardio and strength which is taxing on the joints and muscles for some. Advice from a professional is also recommended for those who are suffering from back, joints or heart issues.