Detest the Burpee all you like. It does exactly what it’s intended to do – work you from head to toe. The very basic variation with the push up engages your hamstrings, quadriceps, glutes, hips, core muscles, chest, shoulders, triceps, and your heart because all of that movement is cardio.
Here’s your primer:
For this Master the Move edition, we sought out technique tips from Senad Klempic, who goes by the Instagram handle @I_love_burpees. Klempic, who lives in Sweden, fell in love with Burpees during mixed martial arts training, and wows his 16,000+ followers with unique versions.
What makes the Burpee so great, and why should we make them a part of our workout regimen?
This exercise engages the entire body. You’re using your own body weight and getting cardio and strength in one move. Also, you can do them anywhere for a quick and efficient workout.
Take us, step by step, through a proper Burpee, and sharing which muscles are being worked:
1. Start off with a proper jump. By proper, I mean, explode up into the air. You’re getting the cardio and building power in your legs.
2. Squat down and place your hands on the floor, under or just outside the width of your shoulders. This action engages the hips and glutes.
3. Hop both feet back until you’re in a plank position. As you might know, a plank hits the core muscles of your torso and your shoulders.
4. Perform a push up, keeping your core engaged. That push up zeroes in your core again, chest and triceps muscles.
5. Hop your feet back in and stand up straight. For this final step, you’re using your hips and leg muscles.
6. You just did one Burpee!
How can a beginner make it easier?
There are a few ways: Use a step to place your hands on for the plank position instead of the floor. Step each leg back instead of hopping back into the plank. Nix the push up.
What is the hardest variation of the Burpee you’ve ever tried or done?
The hardest one must be the variation with the Aztec push up (where you explode up from a push up and touch your toes), and after that you jump as high as you can and do a toe touch jump. It requires a lot of power and cardio.