How To Do Burpees For Beginners

What Is A Burpee?

There are a lot of good exercises out there, but today we will be concentrating on just one of them. The Burpee is one of the best full-body calisthenic exercises that you could possibly want. It is one of the few exercises that can really be classified as full-body exercises. Although Burpees may not work every single muscle in the body, they do work a huge number of different muscle groups. 


Why Is This Exercise Called A “Burpee?”

Its strange name comes from its inventor, a man named Royal H. Burpee. Apart from being one of the most prominent bodybuilders of his day, Burpee also had a Ph.D. in applied physiology. He used his combined knowledge to create a number of different exercises, but this is the one for which he is remembered. 


How To Do A Burpee:

Phase One: Start in a standing position. Your legs should be about shoulder-width apart, and your arms should hang straight down. Now, bend both knees as you lean down. Touch the floor with both hands. At this point, your hands should be about 12 inches or so in front of your feet. 

Make sure that you do not bend at the waist. While your spine should bend a little bit, you should not go all the way to a bent-over position. Doing this will increase your likelihood of injury.

Phase Two: Next, shoot your feet backward into a plank position. If you don’t know what that is, just get into a push-up position before doing one. After completing one push-up, bring your feet back to their original position. Remove your hands from the floor and come up to a squat position. 

During this phase of the workout, you must be careful not to allow your knees to touch the floor. For one thing, it tends to hurt when you hit your knees against a hard surface. On a more practical note, it will reduce your ability to continue working out. 

You must also be careful during the planking/push-up phase of the exercise. Your back should be perfectly straight throughout the movement. As a final note, make sure that your elbows are tight to the body instead of being flared out to either side. 

Phase Three: From the squat position, shoot your hands upward as you jump as high as you can. The squat position should give you a good platform from which to spring upwards. As you land, assume your original position and repeat the cycle.



There are many small tweaks that can be used to add a little bit of variation to your burpees. At this point, you may ask why you would need to use any variations at all? Isn’t the standard exercise good enough? The answer to this question is both a yes and a no. 

While the standard burpee exercise is perfectly adequate, variations will allow you to work a slightly different set of muscles. Thus, you can take an already well-rounded exercise and make it even more versatile. 

For the absolute beginner, it is considered acceptable to omit the jumping aspect. The jump is probably the most tiring aspect of the exercise, so some people might need to work themselves up to that point. Some might also choose to omit the push-up as well, but you don’t want to make the whole thing too soft, or you will defeat the whole point of this exercise.

For those who want an extra challenge, you can obtain it by using a “star jump burpee.” This is performed in the same way as a regular burpee, except that the jump is slightly different. The arms go up and out instead of straight up, and the legs are spread wide as you leave the ground. This is a little more intense than the straight vertical jump, so make sure you can handle the extra work.

You can also do what is called a “side burpee.” The only difference here is that you shoot your legs out to one side rather than straight backward. With each rep, you should alternate from left to right for good balance. 

Mountain climber burpees are also quite difficult. When you go back to the plank position, don’t proceed to the push-up. Instead, use a series of alternating knee raises while maintaining your position. One leg should shoot forward as the other shoots back. 


How Many Calories Do Burpees Burn?

Burpees are one of the best all-around exercises out there. If you are a little bit short on time, this makes it an ideal choice for inclusion in your routine. A large number of variations make it unlikely that you will ever run out of room for creativity, and you can burn a lot of calories. According to some doctors, burpees will burn about 160 calories for every 17 minutes spent. That is a pretty high rate, as you can see by following the link above. If this source is correct, burpees burn more calories per minute than sit-ups, lunges, Pilates, or hiking. 



It isn’t hard to see that this is one of the best compound exercises ever devised. Indeed, it should be included in any compound workout. It is interesting to note that this exercise was originally intended to serve as a quick test of total-body fitness. 

In the burpee, we have an exercise that offers the total package: strength, agility, speed, and weight loss can all be aided by this fine and well-designed exercise. If you would like to aid us in our quest to spread our knowledge far and wide, please follow us on Facebook using the link below.

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