Burpees are full body exercises that are used as an aerobic exercise and in strength training. They are a compound exercise: a combination of a squat, a push-up and a vertical jump. This exercise requires strength, balance, endurance and flexibility. It increases cardio endurance while working the entire body, including the core muscles.
The burpee burns fat, builds muscle and increases cardiovascular endurance in a time efficient manner. Some of the muscles worked during a burpee include the trapezoids, lower back, pectorals, deltoids, triceps, hamstrings, glutes, calves, quadriceps and abdominals. The burpee is a very convenient exercise; it requires no equipment and can be done almost anywhere. Since most muscles of the body are used during a burpee, some say that they stress the body into producing higher levels of testosterone, which is useful in building more lean muscle and dropping excess body fat. Burpees are also useful for reducing muscle fatigue for long athletic events, as they improve cardiovascular endurance.
Burpees can be performed in 5 simple steps. They are as follows:
- Begin in a squat position with your hands on the floor right in front of your legs.
- Kick your feet straight backwards and simultaneously lower your body into a push-up position.
- Lower your chest to the ground and press back up to complete the push-up.
- Immediately return your feet to the beginning squat position.
- Jump up vertically as high and explosively as you possibly can from that squat position. Some people choose to clap overhead while doing so.
These steps are then repeated, normally until fatigue sets in and no more can be done.
100 Day Burpee Challenge
Across the Internet recently, 100 Day Burpee Challenges have been popping up and spreading. The premise of the challenge is basically that one burpee is completed on the first day of the challenge, two is completed on the second day, three on the third day, and so on until finally 100 burpees are completed on the last day of the challenge. There is also a 30 day variation of the challenge where five additional burpees are added to the end of every day in order to meet the 100 burpee goal by day thirty.
There are now many variations on the original burpee. These range from adding additional push-ups, additional squats and additional jumps to including other moves, such as a pull-up. Dumbbells, medicine balls and weighted vests are also used in some of the variations of the burpee.
The burpee is a great exercise, but it should not be the one and only aerobic and strength exercise used. It can lead to possible injury and muscle imbalances if not included in a full workout routine. They can only build strength up to a certain level, where weights and other movements could help to improve upon that accomplishment. For these reasons, burpees should be used as an integral part of a well-rounded aerobic and strength training workout program.