The Burpee: An Endangered Exercise?

The Burpee: An Endangered Exercise?

There are many exercises designed to work your whole body: dead lifts, back squats and over-head squats, etc…. All of them are great exercises and each of them make you work extremely hard and can develop your body. But you need a gym to go to or equipment at your home to do these. What do you do if you can’t get to the gym or afford the equipment? Stop working out? I do not think so.

There has to be an exercise that you can do that works the whole body, includes cardio, strength and core work, portable and be can be done anywhere and at any age. The exercise has to be able to be modified for each person if needed, have different levels of difficulty and be easy to learn. I believe that there is one such exercise out there that does these things. What could that be: BURPEES!

The Burpee is one kick butt exercise. Every time it is included in a workout, people let out moans and groans. Why? Because it is hard to do. No matter what condition you are in the Burpee can humble you in a matter of minutes. What makes it so hard to do?

It looks simple enough. Jump into the air, squat down, jump back the legs, do a push up touching your chest to the floor, jump the legs back up under you, jump into the air, repeat. Now do that repeatedly for 5 minutes and see for yourself.

How To Build Up Your Endurance Using Burpees

It takes incredible endurance to complete large numbers of Burpees. If currently you can’t do but only a couple at a time then you need to practice them. Every day. For 100 days in a row. It’s called the 100 day Burpee challenge and it sounds as bad as it looks. Starting on day 1, do one Burpee. Day 2, do 2 Burpees and so on. Do that for 100 days in a row. If you miss a day you need to make them up. So if you miss day 31, on day 32 you need to do 31 Burpees (to make up the missed day) and 32 for the current day. That adds up fast! Missing days in the beginning is no big deal but missing a day at day 80 would suck. So plan it out and challenge yourself to complete it. It’s only 5050 Burpees in 100 days.

12 Different Versions of The Burpee

So how do we make this exercise even harder? There are a ton of ways to modify the Burpee to increase its’ difficulty. Here is a partial list of variations of the Burpee that you can do once you have “conquered” the “easy” version:

  1.     Do a broad jump instead of a jump and clap
  2.     Jump on and off a box
  3.     Jump over something
  4.     Combine them with pull ups (Do a jumping pull up at the top)
  5.     Wear a weighted vest (doing the standard version)
  6.     Jump and tuck the knees to the chest
  7.     Jump and turn 180 degrees
  8.     Perform them with 10lb dumbbells in your hands
  9.     Perform them with 10lb dumbbells in your hands and with broad jumps
  10.     Perform them with one arm (including the push up!)
  11.     Perform double push ups and double jumps
  12.     Perform a hindu push up instead of a standard pushup

Start Including Burpees In Your Standard Workout Routine

This can be a difficult exercise to do if you have knee or shoulder problems. Build up some initial endurance by doing air squats with a little jump and push ups separately. That will help get your body used to motions used in the Burpee. But ease into it and make sure you have the correct form first.

When you are ready to do the Burpee at full speed, use it as a supplement your current workout. Add 3 sets of 10 rep after lifting weights or after your core work. Build up your reps until you can do 3 sets of 25 in a row. Then you could confidently attempt the 100 day Burpee challenge and have a good chance of finishing it. But no matter what you would be in better shape because of your consistent effort.

Vancouver Health Coach