A couple of months ago I featured a post on a yoga pose called The Plank. I loved that this one simple exercise required no special equipment, could be performed anywhere, and had multiple benefits for the inner and outer body. About that same time I put together a post on The Burpee, which I am a fan of for the same reasons as The Plank, but I never got around to actually posting it. Well, this morning I received a newsletter from RobinsKey.com with great information and resources on this funny sounding exercise. So I decided to combine the old draft featuring an article from Dr. Mercola with and excerpt of Robin’s information and offer you this super-duper introduction to….. The Burpee!!
(by Dr. Joseph Mercola) Here it is… a simple exercise that helps accelerate your move towards fitness. If you want to do one of the single best exercises to get your whole body in shape, you’ve come to the right place.
Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you… The Burpee!
Developed in the ’30s by Dr. Royal H. Burpee — a Renaissance man who was an author, a physical fitness fanatic and a psychologist, the Burpee was created by Dr. Burpee as part of his PhD at Columbia University. The Burpee has historically been used by the military to test recruits for strength and agility. In recent decades, the larger population caught onto the move’s full-body calorie-blasting fitness benefits. The best part: Anyone can do it anywhere, at anytime.
Highly Effective Simple Exercise that Requires No Equipment, Gym, or Trainer
- It pounds your entire body, working out your legs, arms, chest, back, abs, and glutes.
- It is a phenomenal strength trainer because you are pushing and lifting your own weight, and building serious muscle.
- The Burpee burns 50% more fat than conventional strength training. In other words, you can work out half the time and burn just as much fat. Burpees, like other strength training moves, also give your metabolism a boost. This is largely because it is a powerful anaerobic stimulus and falls into the Peak Fitness type of high intensity exercise training.
- The Burpee can be performed anywhere, and anytime for free.
- It is also a cardio-respiratory workout. If you do Burpees you can effectively raise your heart rate to target levels by doing a brief set of burpees.
How to Properly Perform a Burpee
It is performed in four steps, and was originally known as a “four-count Burpee”:
- Start in a standing position and drop into a squat position (as if you’re sitting back into a chair) with your hands on the ground.
- Bring your palms to the floor and extend your feet back in one quick motion to assume the front plank position.
- Return to the squat position in one quick motion.
- Return to an upright standing position.
Try it, and you’ll see that it really packs a punch, targeting the legs, glutes, arms, and core, all at the same time. Do several in a row (if you can), and you’ll ramp up your calorie burn, too.
How to Modify the Burpee if You Are Not Fit
If it’s too challenging at first, here’s a simple modification: Instead of going into plank position, do a Burpee by a wall. Squat down, stand up, and do a push-up against a wall. (This is especially important for anyone with knee or shoulder issues.)
How to Modify the Burpee if You Are Already Very Fit
Once you get the hang of a traditional Burpee, there are a few variations you can use to spice it up:
- When you’re in plank position, add a push-up to tone your arms, chest and shoulders. Don’t forget to keep your core engaged throughout the move!
- At the end of the exercise (when you move from squatting to standing), lift up on your toes for some added calf work. Or, if you’re feeling really energetic, give it some propulsion and jump up for even more leg and glute action.
- Following the push-up, try a side plank. In plank position, keeping your right hand on the floor, slowly lift the left hand up and out to your left side, rolling your torso out to the side so that your weight is on the right hand and your left hand is extended to the ceiling. This is a great challenge for your obliques, arms and shoulders.
Take The 10-Day Burpee Challenge!
Whether you can do 10 Burpees in a row or just one, start at a level that’s comfortable for you, and begin to add an additional Burpees to your routine each day for 10 consecutive days. You’ll be amazed at the full-body-sculpting, belly fat-melting results, and it takes less than five minutes a day!
You can also try using it in the Peak Fitness model by simply warming up with walking for three minutes. Then doing 30 seconds of Burpees, and walk for 90 seconds and repeat that 7 times. Then cool down for 3 to 6 minutes.
The Secret Burpee Subculture
You’ll love the burpee, and hate it at the same time. You’ll enjoy its benefits, and groan at the pain. All the while, you’ll exult in the knowledge of participating in one of the most effective physical fitness moves known.
- To date, there are 19 variations of the Burpee on Wikipedia.com. Dozens of other variations live on YouTube and health blogs.
- The Burpee is finding its way back into popular fitness routines. Yoga has its own variation of the Burpee, as do several popular fitness coaches.
- The 100 Burpee challenge is a 100-day routine in which you do one Burpee on day one, two on day two, and so on, all the way up to 100 Burpees in 100 days. Can you say “ouch?”
- A guy named Paddy Doyle performed 1,840 Burpees in one hour. If you do more, you’re eligible for a spot in The Guinness Book of World Records.
To sum up, the Burpee is your ultimate, all-inclusive, calorie-blasting, weight-smashing, muscle-building, body-sculpting wonder workout. It’s clearly the single best exercise you can ever do.
And from RobinsKey.com…
Burpees??!! Yes. And if you are new to them and haven’t done them before I’ve made an image and am attaching it below to show you exactly how the exercise goes. I would love to see you join me and do at least 10 a day. I am planning on 50 a day for the next week. But you pick the number that works for you. Make it challenging, yet doable and what works for you.
So, here’s the thing with burpees, if you don’t already know – they are killer! They are way tougher than they look, but they really shape the body crazy fast.
Want abs? Do burpees.
Want strong shapely (and cellulite free) legs? Do burpees.
Want great arms, lats, upper body? You got it. Burpees!!
They slim you down, speed up your metabolism and shape that body quicker than anything I have ever seen. Walk your way through them if you have to, or power through them if you can, but join me and you will be thankful after. You’ll be amazed at the gorgeous summer body you get in no time! I’m putting in links to some of my favorite variations below. Changing them up helps detract the mind and makes them more fun!
Knee Tuck Burpee
Crossed Leg Burpee
Reptile Push Up Burpee ..a favorite, and they look awesome!
T Push up Burpee
Hop Over Burpee
Roll Over Crab Toe Touch Burpee What!!? Oh yes, it’s a burpee!
3 Point Plank Jump Burpee
Grasshopper Kick Toe Touch Burpee
Roll Back and Up to Standing Burpee another fav. ..but all the ones listed here are!
For a video of health and fitness guru Kathy Smith doing The Burpee, go to:
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Disclaimer: Please note that any information here is provided as a guideline only, and is not meant to substitute for the advice of your physician, nutritionist, trained healthcare practitioner, and/or inner guidance system. Always consult a professional before undertaking any change to your normal health routine.