What is a most common exercise all elite athletes, martial artists, elite forces perform?
Yes, you got it right, its Burpees.
Burpees is one of those exercises which doesn’t just challenge your body but it challenger your mind as well. This is the reason all the hardcore athletes and special force personal embrace this wonderful exercise in their daily routine.
What made Burpees so popular?
There are multiple reasons for the popularity of burpees. Like:
- Cardiovascular development
- Whole body workout
- Involvement of Multi-joint movements
- Mental challenge
- Versatility and many other reasons.
We will be discussing all the reasons responsible for the popularity of burpees in details right here in this article, but before that, we will need to understand its origin, correct form and precautions that need to be taken care of before doing this wonderful exercise.
Origin of burpee –
Burpee workout is named after the American physiologist Royal H Burpee, who developed this exercise format.
Burpee was first drafted in 1939 but gained popularity when burpee was inducted as a physical test for recruiting new soldiers to US military service.
Burpee was inducted as a quick test to check the physical strength and mental endurance of the soldiers who were being recruited for the US army when US entered World War II.
Now a day’s most elite athletes and military personals perform burpee as a HIIT workout for their cardiovascular health, body conditioning, and strengthening.
Why should you perform Burpees?
Because being in a perfect shape is all you want, right? It’s not copyrighted by elite forces or athletes.
Some say it’s the best workout for weight loss and gaining strength.
But for some, it’s a workout for body conditioning and a way to constantly challenge their body and mind.
But how to perform Burpees?
Burpees are an excellent fat cutting exercise which doesn’t just help in building lean muscle but also helps in raising the metabolism for the whole day.
Which means you will be burning calories after your workout too.
Burpee can be simply divided into 5 steps: Squatting, Planking, Pushup, frog jump and a Jumping squat.
You just need to follow few steps to perform burpees.
- Stand straight on the ground to start burpees, and bend down to make squat position, and then put your hands down on group in front of your feet.
- Kick your legs backward to get yourself into straight-hand plank position.
- Now drop your chest to perform a single push-up.
- Bow your chest up in the plank position again.
- Perform frog jump to place your feet forward towards your hand to get back into squat position
- Jump back from the ground in the air, and get yourself ready for another repetition.
If performing a single pushup is getting difficult for you then you can simply skip that step and perform rest of steps. You can also watch a video of burpee below-
Let’s discuss the common mistakes that people do before we get on to the benefits of burpees.
Common Burpee Workout mistakes that people are doing:
You can enjoy the benefits of burpee only when you are performing it correctly, else you might get injured yourself without even relishing the benefits of this awesome exercise.
1# Wrong back posture
Arched back while performing the plank and pushup position means you are not keeping your core tight enough. This means you are restricting yourself from getting full benefits of burpees.
People arch their back while performing burpee which ultimately leads to additional stress on their back.
2# Trying it too fast
Burpee is meant to perform in fast regression, but don’t try to perform it too fast.
Trying burpee too fast will not just hinder you from the proper range of motion, but it will also escort you to experiencing joint pain and jerks in muscles.
3# Improper “Range of Motion”
As specified in above point, the proper range of motion will not just give you better results but will also help in preventing any muscle tissue damages.
Try performing the full range of motion for performing squatting and pushup while burpees.
4# Performing too many reps
Trying to perform too much of reps means too much of bullshit.
People tend to perform few initial reps in correct form but then they tend to lose their posture once they begin to push themselves for more reps.
So instead of trying to perform 100 burpees in one go, try dividing them into different rounds.
5# Warming up with burpee
I have seen many people trying to warm-up with burpee, but for me, it’s a definite “NO”.
Burpee is an intense exercise which is going to challenge your all major muscle groups and multiple joints, and it would not be a great idea for your body to put directly into that intense pressure.
6# Too slow
Burpee is an exercise designed to be performed in quick regression, speed and explosiveness tend to reach your heart rate sky high, which satisfies our motive to perform burpee as a HIIT workout.
This lead to drawing your body into the state of “Afterburn Effect”, this means your body will be burning calories even after your workout session. To know more about HIIT workout Click.
11 Awesome Burpee Benefits:
1# Quick Cardio
First, we need to understand the meaning of “Cardio”, cardio got its short name from “Cardiovascular exercise”.
This means any exercise which is capable of increasing your cardiovascular capabilities and helps your cardiovascular organs to perform better.
One of the best benefits of burpee is it can work as a fast cardio, that means you won’t be needing much time to complete a session of burpee in comparison to any other cardio exercise like running, cycling, etc.
If you are very short in time then 4 minute Tabata style burpee workout can burn your tons of calories and also increase the metabolic rate of your body.
2# Full Body Workout
Another burpees benefit is it work on your whole body, that means you can get the benefit of multiple exercises in a single burpee session.
Burpees work from your shoulders, chest, lats, glutes, quads, and hamstrings. No other exercise has a capability to hit so many body parts.
Additionally, it gives you the flexibility to improvise the resistance by adding variations or skipping some steps, like you can skip doing pushup after getting back into plank position.
3# Require No Equipment
The major advantage of performing burpee is it can be done anytime and anywhere.
It simply doesn’t need any equipment. No need of any dumbbell or barbell or any other machine.
All it needs to perform burpees is strong willpower and great cardiovascular strength; because this exercise is gonna test your body’s limit.
I have never seen an exercise as versatile as burpees, you can add up the level of intensity or you can just decrease the level of intensity to make it work for you. There are number of burpee variations that can be performed with burpees like.
- Box jump burpees
- Burpees broad jump
- Burpees push-up (Original burpees)
- Dumbbells burpees
- Kettlebell burpees
- Hindu pushup burpees
- Jump over burpees
- Jump forward burpee
- Single legged burpees and many more
We will be discussing the variations of burpees in next article; else this article will be too long for you. Check the detailed article about Burpee variations here.
5# Will Make You Stronger
The ultimate and distinct burpees benefit is, it will make you stronger and efficient in your daily life work.
It is derived from all functional workouts. It is not just a cardiovascular workout or a weight training workout.
All the steps involved are functional, the functional workout means the workout which improves your body capability to do its daily utility works. Example: body squat helps in picking an item from the floor.
Burpees majorly consist of 5 major steps.
- Squat position- helps in body’s natural movement to bend knees.
- Squat thrust– helps in body’s natural movement to pick anything from the ground.
- Pushup- provides natural ability to push anything or anyone through the chest.
- Frog jump- stabilizes and strengthens your core.
- Jump squat- natural movement for stronger legs and generate blasting power.
6# Endurance Booster
Want a single exercise to exhaust your cardiac system in short duration of time? Burpees are a perfect solution. For me, burpees are the best way to get into shape as well.
Instead of running for 3 miles a day, you can opt to perform few rounds of burpee to enhance your endurance capabilities.
Reason to opt for burpees by most of athletes and military personals is to improve their cardiac endurance; this is an exercise which will keep challenging you for your whole life.
7# Body Conditioning
Again, body conditioning is a term used by most of the elite athletes to enhance their overall body’s capabilities.
Body conditioning means to upgrade your whole body for strength, endurance and fat loss. We have already discussed how burpees are an excellent functional exercise which helps in full body conditioning with its multi-joint movements.
8# Perfect Workout Finisher
Burpees are a dynamic and fast-paced exercise that can be added after any workout session for additional calorie burning.
Many fitness coaches including me perform burpee as a workout finisher workout. But why as a workout finisher and why not in the beginning?
There are multiple reasons to do burpees in the end:
- It should not be done as a warm-up because of the high intensity of this exercise; it’s absolute “NO” to perform burpees as a warm-up. It might put extreme pressure on your joints.
- If you perform burpees in a beginning of workout then you will surely run out of breath and will lose the endurance to perform other heavy exercises.
- When you perform burpees in the end or workout, it is most helpful in shredding that additional fat from your body.
- After a completion of intense weightlifting, your body tends to lose all its glycogen level, and when you perform burpees as a finisher. Your body is more likely to burn that stubborn fat for energy supply.
9# Improves Agility
Agility is your body’s capability to be move quickly and sharply. Being agile and gaining muscle is two different things; most of the sports athletes are required to be agiler rather than developing muscle power.
Agility is an important part of healthy lifestyle and with the burpee is going to help you with this extremely beneficial quality.
Burpees improve your body’s ability to work for multiple joints and muscle group symmetrically.
With the improved endurance, whole body coordination and multi-joint functional movements, you are training your body not just to shed excess fat but to be agiler too.
10# Multi-joint Movements
We have been advocating multi-joint movements all the time in our every article, why? because through multi-joint movements you are helping yourself to gain more muscle in shorter duration time.
Those with the tight daily schedule, people who aren’t able to spare an hour for fitness activity, these multi-joint movements are the ultimate solution to their daily fitness.
11# Faster Metabolism
Faster metabolism is an obvious benefit of burpees, we have been discussing the involvement of multi-joint movements, enhanced endurance and better strength all over this article.
Burpee is an excellent HIIT exercise, and researchers have found that HIIT workout tends to burn 50% more calories than normal workout.
But what makes burpees an ultimate fat burning exercise?
Here is a list:
- By activating multiple muscle group, you are improving your metabolism because your body will require energy to repair those muscles.
- Burpee is an ultimate HIIT workout
- HIIT workout creates an afterburn effect in the body.
- Afterburn effect is a condition when your body feels the depletion of body’s oxygen level, this activates body’s natural process to stock-up its oxygen reserves.
- Through this process, your body keeps working for next 24 hours to maintain optimum oxygen level. This ultimately leads to higher metabolism for the whole day.