Burpees, also called the squat-thrust exercise, are full body exercises that are used as an aerobic exercise and in strength training. Burpees are rumored to have been developed, perhaps by someone named Burpee, in maximum security prisons where exercise equipment is prohibited. It is 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. Burpees are very difficult but highly effective.
Benefits of Burpees
- Strength Training- Burpees are a great exercise in order to build and strengthen muscles. Some of the muscles worked during a burpee include trapezoids, lower back, pectorals, deltoids, triceps, hamstrings, glutes, calves, quadriceps, and abdominals.
- Aerobic Exercise- Doing burpees for 15 to 30 minutes constitutes a full cardio workout. This exercise will keep the heart rate up at a maximum rate.
- Flexibility- Burpees provide an increase in flexibility in areas of the body such as the back, hips, legs, and core.
- Weight Loss – Burpees are a great fat burner and can be used effectively to lose excess weight.
- Cardiovascular Endurance- Burpees are useful for reducing muscle fatigue for long athletic events, as they improve cardiovascular endurance.
- Tone Muscles- Because the burpees work numerous muscles and areas of the body, muscle tone becomes much improved with frequent exercising, creating a better looking appearance.
- Time Efficient & Convenient- The burpee is a very convenient exercise; it requires no equipment and can be done almost anywhere. Also, this exercise is not time consuming and does not require going to a gym or getting out any equipment.
- Inexpensive- Because the burpee requires no gym or equipment, it provides a highly inexpensive workout.
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.
100 Day Burpee Challenge
The premise of a Burpee Challenge is basically that one burpee is completed on the first day of the challenge, two are 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.
Drawbacks of Burpees
The burpee is a great exercise, but it should not be the one and only aerobic and strength exercise used. It does not adequately train some of the muscle groups, such as the pulling muscles (unless a pull-up variation is included). It can lead to possible injury and muscle imbalances if not included in a full workout routine. It 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.