Oh, burpees—the move we all love to hate. This calorie-crushing exercise hurts so good for a reason: It puts your whole bod to work.
“This move doesn’t leave a single large muscle group behind. You’re using your legs, your arms, your core—pretty much everything you’d would want to work during a training session,” says NYC-based trainer Diana Mitrea, co-founder of Stronger With Time.
This killer bodyweight move has serious calorie-burning benefits, too. “Since you’re recruiting all these muscle groups all at once, your body has to pull in a lot of oxygen and energy in a very short period of time. This makes burpees incredibly efficient at burning calories and improving strength overall,” says Mitrea. That’s why your heart rate will spike and you’ll feel breathless after just a few reps.
Strength? Check. Cardio? Check. Sweat? Check, check, check.
The more tired you get, though, the easier it is to lose that ultra-effective form. There are lots of different ways to do a burpee, but this is the most basic variation. So when you find exhaustion getting the best of you (these bad boys are hard as hell), try coming back to this correct form.
4 Steps To The Perfect Burpee:
- Start standing with your feet hip-distance apart and bring your palms to the floor.
- Jump your feet back so that you are in a high plank, keeping your core tight and your hips lifted.
- Bend your elbows and lower yourself into a push-up, then push back up into high plank.
- Now jump your feet to the outside of your hands. As you stand up, explode up and jump as high as you can, bringing your arms overhead.
That’s 1 rep. Try doing as many as you can in 60 seconds. Or, try Tabata intervals, suggests Mitrea—that means you’ll do as many burpees as possible for 20 seconds then you’ll 10 seconds of rest. Do six to eight rounds for a killer cardio quickie.
There are tons of modifications you can do to a classic burpee. To make it easier, you can remove the push-up entirely (see the squat thrust here), or if you are looking for a non-impact burpee, you can walk your feet out and in instead of jumping, explains Mitrea.For a more advanced version, you can add a tuck jump at the end instead of a regular jump. You can also add mountain climbers while you’re in plank position.
And hey, if you felt the burn just reading this, you’re doing it right.