It doesn’t surprise me that most people groan when they hear the word “burpee.” Admit it or not, Burpees are one of those workouts that, love them or hate them, we all know we need to do. Burpees are a staple of our routine; we do them to get warmed up when we’re late, as part of a workout, on our birthday, and even as a cool-down afterward. Let’s be honest, Burpees are effective, but the fact that burpees are so challenging and demand a lot of energy is the primary reason most people dread them. There are several reasons why burpees could seem intimidating:
- Physical intensity: Although I am physically capable, I avoid complex compound moves requiring quickness. Burpees are performed by squatting down low, holding a plank position, and then exploding upward into a jump. Strength, stamina, and cardiovascular fitness are tested through burpees.
- Mental Game: The repetitive, vicious cycle of falling to the ground and getting back up again can throw off your rhythm and concentration, which are essential for completing a set of Burpees as part of a MetCon. In addition, these kinds of workouts are excellent opportunities to learn more about yourself, including how your body reacts, how your mind wanders, and at what pace you do best. However, some people may find the exercise dull because of how often they must repeat the same motions.
- It’s always at least 50 or more, never 3, 5, or anything less. Burpees are here to test your overall conditioning and lung capacity.
Here are some ways to face your fear of burpees:
- Start gradually: Start with simplified forms or fewer repetitions to gain comfort and competence. Start with fewer sets and fewer reps, or execute half burpees (without the push-up) to ease into the exercise. As your fitness level rises, you should gradually increase the workout’s intensity and duration.
- Break it down: If your goal is to do a lot of burpees, try to do them promptly. Instead, do sets of them with brief rests in between. This method makes the task less complex yet challenging.
- Focus on proper form: Be mindful of your form and technique when doing burpees. Keeping the body in its correct position and correctly performing the exercise will increase efficiency and lessen the chance of injury. If you want to be sure you’re doing burpees properly, ask a trainer or look up some tutorials online.
- Make it fun: Make burpees more fun by introducing new twists or modifications. For example, change your hand position during the push-up, increase or decrease your pace, or even add an extra jump at the finish. Mixing things up can prevent stagnation and make the workout more enjoyable.
- Set realistic goals: Make sure your burpee workout goals are reasonable. Start with small milestones or goals and build from there. Celebrate your achievements as you go, whether you’ve reached a new rep high or decreased the time between sets.
- Find motivation and accountability: Try burpees with a friend or in a group workout session. Working out with a friend or in a group can increase motivation, boost morale, and make exercise more fun.
5 Reasons To Stop Hating Burpees
So while there may be a lot of reasons to despise burpees, there are also so many advantages to doing them.
- Efficient full-body exercise: Burpees involve upper- and lower-body strength and work your shoulder muscles and core stability. They also incorporate plyometrics (i.e., jumping). The best part is that you can do them without setting foot in a gym.
- Cardiovascular benefits: Burpees are a high-intensity exercise that elevates your heart rate quickly and sustains it throughout the movement. This continuous motion incorporates leaping, squatting, and push-ups, all of which work for big muscle groups and require a high rate of energy expenditure. As a result, an individual’s cardiovascular endurance, lung capacity, and general cardiovascular fitness can all benefit from burpees.
- Functional movement: In a study published in 2019 by the Journal of Human Kinetics, almost 10,000 European students participated in completing the “3-Minute Burpee Test” (3-MBT) to test strength endurance. Researchers found the 3-MBT to be an effective technique for “determining strength endurance of individuals from different age groups and countries.” Movements like standing up from the floor, jumping, and pushing off the ground are all mirrored in a round of burpees. As a result, burpees are a great way to build functional strength and enhance your ability to go about your day.
- Mental resilience: Burpees are the workout you’d never perform on your own but are forced to do by Crossfit coaches and class instructors. But Burpees test your mental toughness because they force you to do things that may make you uncomfortable. It is an excellent way to strengthen your mind, self-control, and determination. This self-confidence might carry over into other parts of your life.
- You Can Do Them Anywhere: The burpee is your go-to exercise whenever you need to burn extra calories but cannot get to the gym because of travel, illness, or boredom. This bodyweight-only exercise can be performed anywhere, anytime, and for as long or as little as you like. Burpees can be scaled to meet the needs of people of all fitness backgrounds and objectives. It can be modified in terms of difficulty, pace, and variety to meet your needs and skill levels.
How to do proper burpees?
To perform a proper burpee, follow these step-by-step instructions:
- Start in a standing position with your feet shoulder-width apart.
- Lower your body into a squat position, bending at the knees and hips. Place your hands on the floor directly in front of you, slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.
- Kick your feet back to extend your legs into a plank position. Your body should be straight from head to heels, with your core engaged and your back flat.
- Lower your chest and thighs to the ground as if performing a push-up. Keep your elbows close to your body and maintain a straight line from your head to your heels.
- Push through your hands and extend your arms to raise your body back into a plank position.
- Jump your feet forward, landing them just outside your hands in the squat position.
- Explosively jump up into the air, extending your arms overhead.
- Land softly back in the starting position and immediately lower into another repetition.
What is the common mistake in burpees?
The drive to finish the exercise quickly or with more intensity sometimes comes at the expense of good form and technique, a common mistake when executing burpees. Specific mistakes to watch out for are as follows:
- Improper push-up position: Maintaining correct form throughout the push-up phase of the burpee is essential. Do not slouch or arch your back; put your hands under your shoulders. Maintain a strong core and an upright position during the entire exercise.
- Incomplete squat depth: During the squat phase of the burpee, it’s important to lower yourself into a full squat position. Some individuals may only perform a shallow squat, which can compromise the effectiveness of the exercise and put unnecessary strain on the knees.
- Lack of control during the jump: Keeping your balance and touching the ground gently when jumping up from a squat is important. Avoid collapsing into the next rep or landing with your knees locked. Instead, focus on a controlled landing, using the muscles in your legs to absorb the impact.
- Neglecting core engagement: When doing burpees, your core muscles must work hard to keep your body stable. Failing to engage your core muscles can lead to poor form and reduced effectiveness of the exercise. Remember to brace your core throughout the movement, maintaining stability and control.
- Rushing through the exercise: The physical demands of burpees sometimes lead people to speed through their repetitions, compromising their form. Each repeat needs to be carried out deliberately. Don’t try to power through the routine; focus on keeping good form throughout.
You may get the most out of your burpees and minimize your chance of injury if you carefully consider your form and move with deliberate intent. If you need help keeping correct form during your workout, try starting with easier variations and working your way up to the standard as your strength and form improve. To be sure you’re doing burpees correctly and securely, it’s a good idea to see a fitness coach or go on Youtube for instructional videos.
Is burpee cardio or strength?
Burpees can be considered a compound exercise combining cardio and strength training elements.
Burpees are a great cardio and strength workout because you can tailor the focus to cardio or strength by changing the speed, intensity, and variations. For example, to raise the heart rate and challenge the cardiovascular system, you can do things like burpees at a faster tempo or add forceful leaps. Strength training may also involve doing actions at a slower, more deliberate pace.
Ultimately, burpees are an effective exercise that can provide a complete workout for general health and conditioning because they combine aerobic and strength factors. Everyone works out at their own speed and should try to avoid trying to keep up with the group merely to get tired out early.
If you see burpees written on the whiteboard, keep your chin up.
March is the founder and owner of The Barbell Beauties which she started in 2015. She is from the Philippines and currently lives in beautiful Thailand with her American husband and daughter. She is an avid Crossfitter and has just started her journey into Muay Thai (kickboxing).