Find out why everyone should do burpees and maybe even get crazy with one of their awesome variations.
The name came up in 1930s by American physiologist Royal H. Burpee, who developed the so called burpee test – part of his PhD thesis which was a quick and simple way to assess individual’s overall fitness. He was right. They test our aerobic capacity, indomitable will and much more.
This one exercise stands out for its unparalleled effectiveness and versatility. Surprisingly, this dynamic movement often finds itself in a fitness “no man’s land,” overshadowed by other popular exercises. However, its widespread use by military and athletic coaches highlights its significance. In this article, we’ll delve into the often-overlooked benefits of the burpee and explore why it deserves a place in your workout routine.
The information below of why everyone should do burpees and their variations were first shared by Adam Sinicki in his YouTube channel. Adam Sinicki is known online as “The Bioneer.” He is a health and fitness writer, a personal trainer and has gathered almost half a million subscribers on his YouTube Channel.
Why Everyone Should Do Burpees
Before we get into the intricacies of why everyone should do burpees, let’s break down the steps to perform a standard burpee, known also as the chest-to-ground burpee:
- Starting Position: Begin by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart and your arms at your sides.
- Squatting Down: Lower your body into a squatting position by bending your knees and pushing your hips back, keeping your back straight. Place your hands on the floor in front of you.
- Kicking Your Feet Back: Jump your feet back so that you are in a plank or push-up position. Your body should form a straight line from head to heels.
- Chest to Ground: Lower your chest to the ground by bending your elbows. This is more or less a push-up, bringing your chest all the way down until it touches the floor.
- Push-Up: Push yourself back up to the plank position.
- Bringing Your Feet Forward: Jump your feet back towards your hands, returning to the squat position. Your knees should be bent, and your feet should land just outside your hands.
- Jumping Up: Explosively jump into the air, reaching your arms overhead. This completes one repetition of the burpee.
- Land Softly: As you descend from the jump, land softly on the balls of your feet, ready to go into the next repetition.
Remember to maintain a smooth and controlled motion throughout the exercise. Once you’ve mastered the basic burpee, you can explore variations to target different muscle groups or add intensity to your workout.
Although that is the standard chest-to-ground burpee, many people prefer not to jump explosively up in the air and clap hands in the air, or reaching their hands above their heads. You can simply perform a normal small jump. In CrossFit, usually the athlete jumps over a fitness equipment such as a barbell or a jump box.
Although incredibly effective and no need for any equipment, many people hate doing burpees. But, hopefully, this article might change your mind.
Let’s dive deeper into Sinicki’s thoughts on why everyone should do burpees and their amazing variations.
At its core, the burpee is a fantastic conditioning exercise. Unlike static movements, the burpee keeps your body in constant motion, engaging multiple muscle groups simultaneously. This continuous activity elevates your heart rate rapidly, akin to the effects of a kettlebell swing. Whether integrated into a circuit or performed in a continuous series, the burpee offers a quick and efficient way to boost cardiovascular fitness in limited space.
Strength Endurance and Peripheral Heart Action
Burpees shine in enhancing strength endurance—a quality vital in real-life combat scenarios and various sports. The alternation between upper and lower body movements creates a shunting effect, challenging your heart to efficiently circulate blood between these regions. This unique aspect aligns with Bruce Lee’s peripheral heart action training philosophy, ensuring both strength and conditioning are addressed within a single exercise.
Form and Variations
Executing a proper burpee involves a fluid sequence, starting with a squat, moving to a push-up position, and culminating in a jump. While it primarily targets major muscle groups, it falls short in some areas, such as rotation and single-leg strength. Nevertheless, the beauty of the burpee lies in its vast potential for variations. From adding rotational elements to incorporating weights, the burpee can be tailored to address specific fitness goals and target different muscle groups.
Hybrid Exercise and Functional Strength
The burpee’s hybrid nature combines elements of a push-up, squat, and jump into a seamless movement. This dynamic transition between exercises enhances functional strength, preparing your body to handle real-world movements and varying levels of fatigue. Unlike static exercises, the burpee cultivates resilience and adaptability, contributing to a more robust and functional strength.
Customization and Adaptability
Whether you prefer following a structured routine or improvising, the burpee offers endless possibilities. Mixing and matching variations allow you to create a tailored workout that hits every body part and movement pattern. From kick-throughs to single-arm burpees, the exercise can be adapted to suit individual preferences and fitness goals.
In conclusion, the burpee, often overlooked in the fitness realm, emerges as a powerhouse of conditioning, strength endurance, and functional strength. Its adaptability and versatility make it a valuable addition to any workout routine.
As you explore the myriad variations, remember that the burpee’s true strength lies in its ability to challenge and improve multiple facets of fitness simultaneously. Embrace the burpee, unlock its potential, and elevate your fitness journey to new heights.
Watch the video below for more information about why everyone should do burpees.