Many of you fitness gurus are familiar with the love/hate relationship that is the Burpee. Many mainstream fitness enthusiasts or workout newbies may not be familiar with this full body movement so I thought we had better shed some light. While there are many variations of the burpee, make no mistake- THERE IS ONLY 1 WAY TO DO A COMPLETE BURPEE. This will serve as the GOLD STANDARD in measuring how many burpees you can do (or better yet, this is the only way you can perform a burpee penalty for failing an obstacle at Spartan Race).

There are a few essential positions/movements that are critical in the full burpee movement.

1. Standing Position– Not very hard, you are most likely in this position if you are working out.

2. Crouching Tiger– Probably not the real name, but you get the picture none the less. You crouch down towards your feet, placing your hands on the ground to the outsides and slightly forward of your feet. You will notice that you are in attack position for the next move.

3. Plank– With a fast/explosive movement, you are going to kick BOTH FEET back into a plank position. You had better brace your arms for this movement or you may prematurely find yourself kissing some dirt.

4. Push-up– Yes a real burpee requires more than a little plank. YOU MUST perform a pushup where your chest HITS THE GROUND. That way there is no confusion on whether or not you are going far enough. Spartans love the dirty so you might as well get some on you.

5. Plank- This should look familiar after your awesome pushup.

6. Crouching Tiger– Deja Vu! But this time it is in reverse from the plank. Jump those feet up to your hand (try not to step on yourself 🙂

7. High Jump– What no standing position? Well we can’t leave out the legs in this movement so you are going to jump from the crouching tiger position as high as you can get off both feet up off the ground. I am sure that you are able to jump more than 2 inches so don’t wuss out here and conserve energy on the jump. FINISH STRONG

YEEEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH you just completed 1 burpee. Only 999 more to go 🙂 Burpees are very similar to pushups in that in order to get better you have to perform them frequently. Isolating the parts is not worth nearly as much as the whole.

For those of you that learn better be seeing it done, here is a very useful video from OCR legend, Hobie Call. The video is pretty funny but if you are short on time, skip to the 2:40 mark for burpees 🙂

Now that you have the basics mastered, you can challenge yourself with a few variations.

Cobra Burpee w/ Kettlebell

Burpee Pullup

Slosh Pipe Burpee (personal recommendation is not to perform the pushup on top of the pipe since the pressure could crack it)

Or if you are truly crazy- the Burpee Back Flip!

I hope you enjoyed. Feel free to post other variations in the comments section!

  1. […] Exercises: Burpees ( […]

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