1. The Burpee-Pull Up
Who doesn’t love burpees? Who also doesn’t love pull ups? Combine the two and what do you have – other than something you hope never comes up in a WOD?
Start this move with a standard burpee – chest and thighs to the floor, then stand back up. Instead of finishing it with the usual jump-and-clap-behind-the-head combo, at this point you’re going to jump onto a pull up bar and complete one strict pull up.
Don’t have pull ups yet? You can scale that part of the movement to a jumping pull up from the floor or a box, or substitute a TRX row if you need to scale it further. Bingo.
2. Bar Touch Burpee
Burpees involve a jump, we all know that – so why not add an extra bit of a challenge by setting a 7-9ft target (depending on your height) to touch at the end of each burpee? If you’re in a gym with a rig, these bars are the perfect height.
3. Over-Rower Burpee
Just to ease you in, grab a rowing machine and do a burpee alongside it. When you stand up, jump OVER the rower, landing on the other side. That’s ONE burpee. Go into your second burpee on that side of the rower before jumping back over. Just remember there’s a trip hazard in this one, so make sure you jump HIGH!
4. Over-Bar Burpee
Similar to the over-rower burpee, this one involves jumping over a barbell so is ideal for combining with a movement like a clean or a thruster. The GOOD thing about this type of burpee is that you don’t have to stand up all the way before you jump over the bar – you can save energy and move faster by staying low. Rule #1: don’t trip over the barbell, it hurts!
5. Single Leg Burpee
If you’ve suffered an ankle injury and fear you may never burpee again, do not panic! This one is just for you…
Perform a normal chest-to-floor burpee BUT one foot must stay off the floor at all times. Can also be amended to become a single arm burpee – I’ve used this for PT clients who’ve come in with a broken wrist, and they were just so happy they wouldn’t miss out on any burpees, I can tell you.
6. Pistol Squat Burpee
These are an advanced version of the single-leg burpee and are a great opportunity to completely ruin your legs.
Start by standing on one leg and completing a full single-leg burpee INCLUDING the jump. After that, stay on one leg and go down into a squat – this is called a pistol squat. Stand back up. Swap legs and repeat, then hide in a dark room to recover for a few hours afterwards.
7. Weighted Burpee
Nothing makes an exercise more difficult than simply adding some extra weight, and the easiest way to do it is to whack on a weighted vest. It’s a great technique if you’ve lost a lot of weight and want to feel how much difference a few kilograms can make; if you’re thinking about getting pregnant and want to practice moving with an awkward bit of extra weight on you; or if you’re training for an event like a Tough Mudder or Spartan Race where you’re likely to be expected to run soaking wet carrying odd objects.
Needless to say, if you’re totally mad you can add your weighted vest to enjoy any of the burpees listed here.
Or completely change the game:
8. Box Jump Burpee
Box jumps and burpees go together like wine and cheese – and they’re just as tasty, promise…
Start by standing on one side of your box. Perform a chest-to-floor burpee, then instead of just jumping in the air, jump onto the box and down onto the other side. That’s one rep. Start your second burpee on that side of the box before jumping back over. You can scale the box jumps to step ups if you need to.
9. The (Wo)Manmaker Burpee
This is another type of weighted burpee, with a few added extra treats. There are a couple of variations and this is my favourite, so don’t go crazy if you’ve been taught a different one, all burpees are welcome as far as I’m concerned.
Grab two dumbbells and if anyone laughs at your for choosing small weights, just wait until you’ve started on these hideous burpee inventions and see who’s laughing then…
Start standing holding the weights by your sides. Squat down and move into a high plank position, keeping your hands on those dumbbells. Do a push up. Jump your feet in towards your hands and stand back up, cleaning the dumbbells as you go. (If you’re not familiar with a dumbbell clean, just do a bicep curl instead.) Press the dumbbells overhead, then return them to the starting position (by your side). You’re one Manmaker down. Plenty more to go!
10. If you haven’t had enough by now, why not try out the 7 Minute Burpee Challenge?
This is as simple as it sounds: take the humble burpee and perform as many as you can in 7 minutes. Collapse on floor in a pile of your own sweat. Feel immensely proud that you’ve got through 7 minutes of hell, and never complain about a workout ever again. Burpees? Completed them, mate.