If there’s one exercise sure to ignite fat burning in your body, it’s the burpee. Also known as the exercise people love to hate, burpees combines multiple movements into one, which leave you gassed into no time fast.
The Four-Step Burpee Basics
Never done a burpee before? Let us introduce you to the curse-causing cardio movement, which can essentially be broken down into four steps.
- Step 1: Starting in a standing position with your feet below your hips, sit back into a squat and lower down until you can place your hands on the floor in front of you.
- Step 2: Kick back your feet so that your body is in a plank, or a top-of-push-up position.
- Step 3: Jump your feet up to your hands and return to a low squat position.
- Step 4: Return to the standing position.
Reading these steps on a screen may make them seem easy enough, but put them into practice and a succession of burpees will likely leave you winded. If the exercise truly is easy peasy, it’s time to up the intensity level.
Add Some Variety to Your Burpees
Whether you’re bored with standard burpees or just want to kick up your high intensity interval training (HIIT) routine, these burpee variations are sure to bring on the burn.
- CrossFit Burpee: CrossFit, or the fitness program that boasts “constantly varied, high-intensity, functional movements” tends to have their own take on the burpee that is a real game changer. Following the basic steps as above, at Step 2, quickly lower your body until it is flat on the floor. This will require to push your body up and off the floor before following the movements of Step 3. Then, to end big, add a jump with an overhead hands clap after coming to standing position.
- Traveling Burpee: This variation requires a bit of space, making it perfect for outside in a field or on an indoor basketball court. Complete a four-step burpee, but instead of just standing up in Step 4 take a big leap forward. Complete your next burpee rep in this new location, setting a distance to achieve instead of number of reps to complete.
- Star Burpee: This one takes a little bit of coordination, so try to think like a dancer. Following the plank position in Step 2, jump your feet out into a wide V position and then hop them back together. Then do the same with your hand, jumping them out wide, before returning them back beneath your shoulders. Following Step 4, add a jump in a star position to complete one rep.
- Mountain Climber Burpee: For an even bigger hit of cardio, add 6 mountain climbers (3 each leg) after Step 2.
- Slo-Mo Burpee: Think only speed can cause the fat burn? Try slowing down the movements and you’ll see just how wrong you are. While the entire set of movements should be slow, concentrate the control when lowering into the squat. Then, in Step 2, choose to hold your plank for 15 seconds, or add a slow and controlled pushup to this step. When hopping back up to your hands and feet in Step 3, sit in the low squat with your hands off the ground for 5 to 10 seconds, before rising to the standing position. For a little extra oomph, complete a step-out lunge on each leg to complete this turtle-inspired burpee.
There are all kinds of way to switch up a burpee according to the area of your body you want to target. Just think about it creatively, adding in twists, hops, or weights to make the movement your own. Set a goal of reps to complete in a timed setting, such as 5 minutes. Or aim for a personal high number as a finisher to any workout.
Got a new twist on an old exercise? Share it with others in the comments!