Take The 30-Day Burpee Challenge

The burpee is a phenomenal exercise. In fact, it’s perhaps the very best bodyweight exercise there is, working a multitude of muscles as well as getting the heart pumping. If you could only ever do one bodyweight exercise for the rest of your life, the burpee might well be your best pick. All of this might seem an overstatement, but it’s vital to comprehend just how good for you the burpee is before you try them – because once you do one, it can be hard to convince yourself to ever do another.

However, you simply must keep burpee-ing, because the benefits of doing so are significant and numerous. Muscles all over the body get a workout – your arms, back, chest, core, glutes and legs all take a pounding. The burpee is also good for your cardiovascular fitness, raising your heart rate sky-high, which is why it is a staple of HIIT circuits.

All it takes to gain these benefits is to master one, relatively simple, manoeuvre. Complete this 30-day burpee challenge and you can undoubtedly claim to be a burpee master, but before you take a look at day one, make sure you have your technique nailed down.

  1. From a standing position, drop into a squat with your hands resting on the ground just in front of your feet.
  2. Kick your feet back behind you, leaving your hands where they are so you end up in an elevated plank position. (At this point, the truly adventurous (foolish) throw in a press-up, because what situation isn’t improved by throwing in a press-up?)
  3. Jump your feet forward so they end up next to your hands.
  4. Explode into the air and raise your arms straight above your head. Repeat.

Tough, right? It will get easier with practice, probably. Here’s the 30-day burpee challenge.

The 30-Day Burpee Challenge

Designed by CrossFit Level 2 Trainer at CrossFit Shapesmiths and burpee aficionado Andy McTaggart, the challenge is simple. Complete the amount of burpees listed below for each day. At times, this will be unpleasant, but after 30 days, you’ll be a new person. You’ll be leaner, stronger and really, really good at burpees.

The beauty of this burpee challenge is that it’s scaleable – it’s based on your current fitness level, established by the test on day one. Push as hard as you can on day one and then again on the final burpee test – you’ll be amazed at how far you’ve come in 30 days.

Day 1 Max number in 2min (test)
Day 2 25% of test every 2min, complete 4 times
Day 3 25% of test every 2min, complete 5 times
Day 4 50 burpees for time (as quickly as possible)
Day 5 1 burpee every 10sec for 5min
Day 6 Rest day (or complete any days missed)
Day 7 50% of test then rest 2min, complete 3 times
Day 8 10 burpees for time, rest 2min, complete 3 times
Day 9 25% of test every 90sec, complete 4 times
Day 10 60 burpees for time
Day 11 Rest day (or complete any days missed)
Day 12 15 burpees for time, rest 3min, complete 3 times
Day 13 25% of test every 2min, complete 5 times
Day 14 20 burpees for time
Day 15 Ascending burpees (1st minute, 1 burpee; 2nd min, 2 burpees; etc.) to failure
Day 16 Rest day (or complete any days missed)
Day 17 Max burpees in 60sec
Day 18 15 burpees, rest 60sec, complete 5 times
Day 19 25% of test every 2min, complete 4 times
Day 20 60 burpees for time
Day 21 Rest day (or complete any days missed)
Day 22 15 burpees for time, rest 3min, complete 3 times
Day 23 Tabata burpees: 20sec all out, 10sec rest, complete 8 times
Day 24 Rest day (or complete any days missed)
Day 25 50 burpees for time (go quicker than day 4)
Day 26 5 burpees every minute for 10min
Day 27 25% (of test) every 2min, complete 4 times
Day 28 Rest day (or complete any days missed)
Day 29 20 burpees, 1 every 10sec
Day 30 Retest max number of burpees in 2min

Once you’ve knocked out 30 days of burpees, no fitness obstacle should hold any fear for you, so why not head straight on to our toughest 30-day challenge – building up to 100 press-ups in one go. On second thoughts, maybe take a couple of days off in between.

There’s no denying it’s pretty dang empowering to stop, drop, and push your way through a few rounds of burpees. But this move isn’t exactly easy, so it must be doing SOMETHING amazing for your body. As it turns out, all that jumping, pressing, and sweating makes burpees a fantastic full-body, functional exercise. “It stimulates a fight or flight response within our bodies that can help us improve reaction time, mobility, and actually quality of life,” says Danielle Gray, certified personal trainer and creator of Train Like a Gymnast.

Beyond prepping you for everyday life, this badass move “targets almost every muscle group in your body in microseconds,” says Gray. And if you do enough burpees in the long term, that can translate to major muscle sculpting, like stronger arms with triceps definition and incredibly toned legs, just to name a few perks.

The cardio benefits are also incredible, adds Gray. “Burpees help you build strength and cardio endurance at the same time, which is why so many people turn to this exercise as a go-to for efficiency and productivity.”

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And, while the standard version of this move (learn how to master a burpee) is already a standout, Women’s Health teamed up with Gray to create a 30-day burpee challenge designed to help you level-up your burpee game and improve your strength and cardio endurance as a result.

Jewelyn Butron

Your burpee challenge gameplan

Ready to get started? Gray has put together five of her favorite burpee variations for you do tackle throughout the challenge. Each one is slightly more advanced than your average burpee and designed for optimal strength and cardio benefits.

Sweat with us! Join our Facebook group to receive daily reminders, non-stop motivation, and support from other women tackling this 30-day challenge. Plus, we’ll be hosting other challenges to try!

To participate in the challenge, follow along with the calendar below, and complete the specified burpee. For the first week, plan to do 3 sets of 8 to 12 reps of the daily burpee variation. Then, add a set each week to increase the challenge.

“Be sure to log your progress,” says Gray. “Keep a journal, and rate the difficulty level from 1–10 each day; see how it changes overall by the end.” This will help you track the changes in challenge, along with your increase in endurance each week. (You’ll notice a difference—trust!)

Never heard of a donkey kick burpee or tumbling burpee? Don’t worry, Gray demos each move below, and offers all the form tips you need.

Single-Arm Burpee

How to: Start in a standing position with arms at sides. Jump up and lift right arm into the air. After landing, bend over and press hand into ground. Hop feet back into a single-arm plank position, with hips at the same height as shoulders. Engage core and hop legs back to meet hand. Stand back up straight to starting position. That’s one rep.

Single-Arm Side Burpee

How to: Start in a standing position, with hands at sides. Jump up and lift both hands into air. Squat down, lean to the right and press right hand into ground, then jump feet to the side so body is in a side plank position (stagger your feet if needed). Engage your obliques to reverse the movement and return to start. That’s one rep.

Sit-Up Candlestick Burpee

How to: Start in standing position, with arms at sides. Press hands together and hold in front of chest. Jump up, then squat down until butt touches ground. Roll back so lower back touches ground, and extend arms and legs into hollow hold position. Hold for a second, then curl upper body to meet legs. In one swift motion, press hands into ground in front of feet, and jump legs back into plank position. Lower down into a pushup, and at the top, jump back to start. That’s one rep.

Tumbling Burpee

How to: Start by standing at the edge of mat, with hands at sides. Fold body in half, until hands touch ground, bending knees if needed. Tuck chin into chest, squat , place head on the ground, and roll forward. When feet touch ground at the end, use momentum to press hands into mat, and jump feet backward into a high plank position. Complete a pushup, then hop back to start. That’s one rep.

Donkey Kick Burpee

How to: Start standing, with hands at sides. Hop up into the air. As you land, squat down, press hands into ground, and jump into the air, higher than shoulder height. Let feet land directly under body, then hop up. That’s one rep.

For more amazing beauty, fitness, and weight loss transformations, check out the rest of our Transformations Week collection.

Kristine Thomason Fitness & Wellness Editor Kristine Thomason is the fitness & wellness editor at Women’s Health, where she edits, writes, and helps oversee the food and fitness sections of the website and magazine.

Here’s how I Mastered the 30-Day Burpee Challenge

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They say that Burpees are the single best exercise in the world because they torch calories, and give you a full-body workout. Do most of us hate them? Yes! Do we look forward to doing them? No. But that didn’t stop me from accepting a 30-day Burpee challenge.

Read more about how to master your burpee form or try Openfit’s T-MINUS 30 program for free today!

My 30-day Burpee Challenge

When I started this challenge, my fitness level was somewhere between beginner and intermediate.

Admittedly the night before I started the challenge, I helped myself to two servings of cake— please, and thank you.

With the holidays fast approaching, I knew there was much work to be done.

So (following the cake), I committed to eating cleaner and not going back for second helpings of anything, not finishing my kid’s tatter tots at restaurants, and doing a decent amount of meal prep each week as not to diminish the results of the challenge.

In addition to my regular regimen of heated power yoga, I committed to a schedule of burpees (read on for my guide). To accomplish my Burpee challenge, I kept a yoga mat at the ready and worked them in right at my desk.

Week 1

Admittedly my endurance for aerobic exercise was weak at best. I tried to keep my sets in significant enough groups, at first doing all my burpees all together with about 1 minute of rest between each set (in Tabata style) to keep my heart rate going without pushing my lungs so hard that I’d want to quit. When it comes to burpees, I usually want to stop after about 5.

The burpees pushed my lungs to their limit on day one.

While I could have broken them up into smaller sets, I chose to do sets of 10 (easing in with a set of 5 on days that necessitated it). At first, plank days felt like off days, but that feeling was short-lived.

Week 2

On day eight, I felt like I had hit my stride. Three 30 second planks were challenging but not impossible thanks to my regular yoga routine. Five or six sets of 10 burpees were hard but not impossible. And I was still able to complete them with 1 minute of rest in between.

Week 3

This week gave the adage “Buck Furpees” a new meaning.

On day 16, the 45-second planks pushed my forearms and my core harder than I had expected. I broke those up and waited for more than a few minutes in between sets since I wasn’t sure I could do a second set if I jumped back in too quickly. But I persevered.

On day 18, my overall sentiment had shifted. The challenge was on. I had to buckle down to up my mental game because my enthusiasm and motivation to complete the challenge had dipped significantly.

Week 4

I’m not going to lie, the last 10 days of the challenge was incredibly tough.

I wasn’t looking forward to 85 burpees on day 23. I struggled with 45-second planks on day 24, so when I hit 60-second planks on day 28, it took everything I had to do 5.

By the last one, I had invoked the mantras, “it’s okay to feel this way” and “get comfortable being uncomfortable.” Neither the planks nor the burpees killed me, and for that, I am thankful.

The bottom line

Can you lose weight doing burpees? Even for a person who has a hard time losing weight, having lost only 5 lbs was still a win in my book.

It’s worth noting, my legs, upper back, and arms are distinctly more toned.

I noticed a significant improvement in lung function. Early on in the challenge, my lungs struggled after completing just two sets of 10 burpees.

By the end, I was completing more than 6-sets in stride, having to push myself for only the last few sets. My arms, legs, and core feel stronger, most notably, in isometric hold positions and when holding challenging yoga poses.

While I am incredibly proud to have completed the challenge, I never enjoyed burpees and still don’t.

Take My 30-Day Burpee Challenge

Day 1: 10 burpees

Day 2: 20 burpees

Day 3: 25 burpees

Day 4: 30-sec plank x 2

Day5: 25 burpees

Day 6: 30 burpees

Day 7: 45 burpees

Day 8: 30-sec plank x 3

Day 9: 45 burpees

Day 10: 50 burpees

Day 11: 55 burpees

Day 12: 30-sec plank x 4

Day 13: 55 burpees

Day 14: 60 burpees

Day 15: 65 burpees

Day 16: 45-sec plank x 2

Day 17: 65 burpees

Day 18: 70 burpees

Day 19: 75 burpees

Day 20: 45-sec plank x 3

Day 21: 75 burpees

Day 22: 80 burpees

Day 23: 85 burpees

Day 24: 45 sec plank x 4

Day 25: 85 burpees

Day 26: 90 burpees

Day 27: 95 burpees

Day 28: 60-sec plank x 5

Day 29: 95 burpees

Day 30: 100 burpees

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A post shared by Peggy Alexander (@peggy.in.progress) on Mar 31, 2019 at 4:53pm PDT

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When I wanted to try CrossFit, I dragged one of my best friends to a beginner’s class with me. And although she was a good sport about it, she mentioned on our drive home how the deadlifts-crunches-burpees circuit would have been so much better had it been just deadlifts and crunches.

I was shocked. To me, the burpees were the best part. It was then that I realized not everyone is as crazy as I am—not everyone enjoys burpees. This got me thinking: What if I incorporated burpees into my daily routine?

I did some digging into the origin of the exercise, and I found out they were created in 1939 by a man named Royal H. Burpee to determine a person’s physical fitness. Back then, the move didn’t include a pushup in the middle or the jump at the end, but it was still dreaded.

First, I wanted to make sure my form was on point. I decided to do the modern burpee, not the old-school version from the 1930s.

I read some how-tos. To do a burpee, start from a standing position, then squat down and place your hands on the floor in front of you. Quickly kick both feet out behind you so you are in a pushup position, and then do one pushup. Next, bring your legs forward to go into a squatting position again, and jump up.

How to do burpees and other plyometrics:

Yes, it’s an awkward, frog-like movement. But I knew it would be worth it to challenge myself.

I’ll admit I’m not great at sticking to things. I always have the best intentions, but when life starts to get busy, I’ve been known to make excuses here and there (I’m working on it, I swear). I was glad I had this story to hold me accountable as I set out to become a burpees beast.

So with my trusted 50 Cent Pandora station by my side, I got to work.

RELATED: Five Great HIIT Moves Runners Need to Know

Here’s what I did:
I completed three sets of 10 burpees for 15 days straight. I started out with a one-minute rest in between my sets and decreased that time by 15 seconds every three days until I was doing all 30 burpees at once with no rest for the last three days.

I wanted to stick to the same time every day—when I woke up at 7:30 a.m.—but that didn’t always work out. When I slept in, I’d do a circuit when I got home at around 4 p.m.

Here’s what happened:

1. My running improved.
My typical easy pace is about nine minutes per mile, but towards the end of the 15 days, I started running faster without consciously ramping up my speed. My lungs felt clear and I coasted through miles.

I was also going longer. I’ll usually do a three-mile run on weekdays after work, but I found myself having the energy to do more.

On one of the last days, I ran five-and-a-half miles and felt awesome. My stride felt stronger, and my breathing was more even and composed. I wondered if this was merely psychological or if physical changes were actually happening.

So I called Dr. Jordan D. Metzl, a New York-based sports medicine physician at the Hospital for Special Surgery and host of Runner’s World’s IronStrength workout who believes burpees can cure (almost) anything. According to him, my progression was to be expected.

“Burpees target every muscle in your body and train your cardiopulmonary fitness by repeatedly bring your heart rate up and down,” he said.

RELATED: Burpees Are Part of This Awesome 20-Minute Core Workout

Because my muscles and heart were getting an added workout, running felt like a breeze.

2. I had more energy.
There are more days than I’d like to admit that I feel like a total zombie. I’ll stare at my computer screen wishing for words to come to me, only to give up and head to the cafeteria for some coffee.

But Metzl said that extreme exertion—i.e. burpees—release endorphins, which give us the boost we need to get through our day. In fact, endorphins that remain in your system can leave you feeling good even hours after your workout.

So starting my day with this kind of extreme physical exercise helped me feel more awake in the morning without having to rely on caffeine. My body (and my bank account) thanked me.

RELATED: The CrossFit Workout Runners Should Try

3. They got easier, but there were still days I felt like I was struggling.
Although I was doing all 30 burpees with no breaks in between, my progress wasn’t so linear. I didn’t understand why on day eight, for example, I felt like I was almost starting from scratch, and I really didn’t love the fact that it seemed like I was taking steps backwards. Shouldn’t I have been improving as time went on?

Metzl attributed this irregularity to two things: my body still getting used to the exercise, and any external factors like how much sleep I got the night before. In all honesty, I probably don’t get enough sleep, but that’s a whole other issue.

I was glad to have some sort of explanation for this, and a reason to adjust my terrible sleeping habits. But I do feel like it’s almost good that my body wasn’t totally acclimating. Each day felt like a new challenge.

RELATED: The IronStrength Workout Is Designed Specifically for Runners

4. I felt powerful.

Burpees are an intense workout. There’s a reason why military members and elite athletes use them to train. Knowing what I was doing for my body gave me a sense of strength that was more than physical. I felt mentally strong and ready to tackle my day.

I gave myself a rest when my two weeks were up, and even though the burpees only took up a few minutes of my day, I strangely felt like something was missing. I was so just so used to carving out that time. With that said, I don’t know that I’ll do burpees every day for the rest of my life. But it’s nice to know I can squeeze a mini-workout in, and I have continued to start some mornings jumping up and down, and getting stronger.

Danielle Zickl Associate Health & Fitness Editor Danielle specializes in interpreting and reporting the latest health research and also writes and edits in-depth service pieces about fitness, training, and nutrition.

How to Do Burpees for Beginners

Don’t Do Another Burpee EVER AGAIN
… until you know how to execute them correctly!

In this article, I’ll cover:

  • How to assess yourself or your clients for burpees
  • Burpee instructions
  • How to progress
  • Burpee variations
  • Common burpee mistakes
  • And most importantly—how to correctly perform a burpee and avoid injury

Without further ado…

If you’re staying fit you will have heard of the Burpee, and more than likely have suffered from its torturous effects on your cardiovascular endurance! Ever wondered who invented this hellish exercise or if your trainer truly knows what torture you’re being put through?

You probably even got questions like “Why do they call it a Burpee?” and “Who came up with the Burpee?”, let’s clear those two up with the simple answer; Royal Huddleston Burpee, yes people, it’s that simple, the last name of the inventor was Burpee.

YES the Burpee can be extremely bad for you
YES not everyone should be doing Burpees
YES there are requirements one should meet before doing them

Behold The CrossFit Burpee

CrossFitter, you know I love you, but … above is not the ‘Burpee’ that’s the ‘CrossFit Burpee’. Stay with me now, I know you might already be lost and confused because you’re thinking I’m attacking your baby, don’t, this is about the original version of the burpee as demonstrated in the video further below.

Got questions? Discuss the burpee in our group CrossFit Chit Chat with the other 5,000+ members.

The POOR Burpee is HATED due to Misinformation

The Burpee is hated by many, bastardized by plenty, but the exercise itself or its inventor Royal H. Burpee are not to blame. Royal H. Burpee did not invent the Burpee to be performed in high reps or at high intensity, in fact, the Burpee came to life for a quick and simple way to assess fitness, and to be performed at low reps, four reps only to be exact. Even more interesting is that the REAL Burpee is probably not what you’re doing in your CrossFit classes. Imagine that! Allow me to open up a whole new world for you, the ‘real’ Burpee is only a 4 count Burpee performed as following:

  1. Squat down and place both hands on the floor in front of you
  2. Jump feet back into plank position
  3. Jump feet forward
  4. Return to standing

I can already hear you think “that’s not a real Burpee! where is the push-up?” or “where is the jump?”, easy there cowboy, you’re thinking about the five or six count Burpee, more commonly known as Push-up Burpee, Jumping Burpee, and Military Burpee. This is why I get so anal about exercise naming.

Burpee Smurpee

“Everybody knows how to do Burpees!”

The negativity surrounding the Burpee is mostly due to misinformation and trainers not doing their research properly, not using common sense, or not implementing assessments where they should.

Not everyone knows how to do a Burpee correctly

“Squat, kick the legs out and in, stand up and jump”

is probably how most people get their instructions for their first Burpee, but guess what? It’s not that simple, there is much more to it, I can write two whole A4’s on how to execute the Burpee correctly and what the common mistakes are.

“But the inventor itself said the Burpee is no good when performed at high reps?“

Yes, he did say that he believed high reps of the movement could be bad for the knees or dangerous to the back, especially for anyone who lacked core strength, and I agree with him wholeheartedly, assuming that you’re doing the burpee as it was designed.

Burpees are Bad!

YES I have done 400 Burpees in under 1 hour
YES I have asked my clients to do 300 or more Burpees
YES I will continue to use Burpees in my workouts

… but I will always use common sense, asses my clients prior, continue assessing during the session, communicate with my clients, and most importantly, make sure they understand how to perform the Burpee correctly and know when to stop (even when not reaching the target set out).

Assessment and Communication

My number one rule before anyone gets to do a Burpee is Assessment and Communication. Assessing the clients’ CORE STRENGTH, i.e. is the client able to hold the plank for at least 30 seconds? If yes, then the client should be able to slowly perform a couple of Burpees, 60 seconds or over and in great shape? The client should be able to pump out high reps at high intensity.

Communication comes into play by talking to your client before attempting anything, ask about history, injuries, and overall health, explain and demo the Burpee and ask if they understand the explanations and movement, ask if it hurts or is uncomfortable when they perform it correctly. And above all, tell them that at no stage should they ever continue if the lower back, knees, or any other part of their body starts to niggle or hurt, stop before it hurts, rest or stop completely, no matter what’s at stake, well… explain that their health is at stake!

Burpee Instructions

Yes, the 4 count instructions following are great for visualization of the exercise, but nothing else.

1. Squat down and place both hands on the floor in front of you
2. Jump feet back into plank position
3. Jump feet forward
4. Return to standing

For proper instructions, one needs to talk about the engagement of the lats (Latissimi dorsi), hand placement, alignment of the spine, head position, core engagement, knee lockout, pressure prevention on the lower back and knees. You should provide little tips that can prevent undue pressure, and increase performance, like:

  • Hands coming off the ground before the feet come on the ground
  • Kicking the legs back before the hands come on the ground
  • Proper hand placement
  • Proper foot placement
  • Don’t bend over but squat
  • Don’t fold your legs under you
  • Hands placed on the inside of the legs and not the outside
  • Chest engaged
  • Lats engagement for safe shoulders
  • Jumping up using all of the foot (heel, lateral arch, ball, and toes)
  • Bumping the hips in the air before the legs come out or in
  • Elbow lock-out (depending on variation)
  • Knee lock-out in plank position
  • Squeeze the glutes in plank position

has your trainer ever called out any of these cues?

It’s also important to know that the movement and tips change depending on the speed you perform the Burpee. If you’re performing them at top speed you’ll want to keep the elbows soft upon landing but there is more to it than just that.

Proper technique is number one to prevent all kinds of issues, core strength comes second to avoid lower-back issues, and leg strength comes third to prevent knee issues.

What Areas Are Affected When Done Wrong?

Let’s dive into a bit more details on why Burpees, when done incorrectly, can be bad for you and what areas they affect. The knees, lower back (lumbar), and shoulders are the three main areas people generally will experience issues.

The main reason the knees can be affected is due to the uncomfortable/incorrect position which puts a lot of stress on the knees, the position I’m talking about is demonstrated in the photo where the legs are folded underneath. The same applies to the lower back, the explosive movement of kicking the legs back under the body places a lot of stress on the lower back, especially when performed in high reps at high intensity. The shoulders will take a pounding when lowering oneself explosively or even when slowly coming into a plank position and potentially allowing the shoulders to come out of their sockets.

The following video is posted on Wikipedia as an example to millions of people on how to perform a Burpee, I say: HOW NOT TO PERFORM A BURPEE

Now, it’s not the fault of the person demonstrating, as I’m sure that this is how Royal H. Burpee intended the Burpee to be performed, but this is the year 2000 something and with a few simple adjustments the exercise will be so much safer on the body.

Can It Be Done Correctly?

Yes, the Burpee can be done without placing too much stress on the areas discussed, it’s all to do with correct and different placement of the hands and feet than you might have been taught. I will explain exactly the adjustments you need to make to prevent some of the issues we’ve covered above. I’ll cover some beginner variations and also the safe variation.

Got questions? Discuss the burpee in our group CrossFit Chit Chat with the other 5,000+ members.

Beginner Variations

Regress the Burpee to its original state and you already have a much simpler version, turn the kicking back of the legs into stepping and you have an even tamer version, add elevation for the hands like an old tire or platform and you have the safest and easiest variation of the Burpee.

Safer Variation

The number one adjustment you should make is the squat stance, that means that the feet are not as close together as the person demonstrates in the video above. Your feet should be just placed outside hip width, come into a squat and hinge forward to place your hands on the ground. Think of a frog position. Then bump your hips up into the air quickly by pressing the feet into the ground, and at the same time you kick your legs out and into a plank position. The reason for the hip raise is to make space for the legs to come through easily without putting excessive pressure on the lumbar area. Most people will also end up in a wide plank at the feet, but once you get used to this you will start to bring your feet closer together during the kick-out.

Coming back up is almost the same process as going out, you need to think about bringing the hips up first, no matter how small that movement is, and you follow through by pulling the legs in, and preferably into the same position as you started out with. Not folded under the body. If you can, you should aim to pull the hands off the ground before the feet land flat. It’s also important to try and land flat with the feet. If you’re doing jump burpees, follow up with a jump by pushing the heels into the ground, come off the ground and land on the balls of the feet.

Some other more complex Burpee variations:

  • Burpee Box Jump
  • Burpee Pull Up
  • Burpee One Leg
  • Burpee One Arm
  • Burpee Long Jump
  • Burpee 8-count Body Builder
  • Burpee Military 8-count Body Builder
  • Burpee Lateral Jump
  • Burpee Tuck Jump
  • Burpee Star Jump
  • Burpee Rolling Squat
  • Burpee Hindu Push-up
  • Burpee Jump Over
  • Burpee Push-up and Pull-up

Common Burpee Mistakes

  1. Hands placed too far apart
  2. Hands placed too far away
  3. Core not active and tight
  4. Feet too wide apart
  5. Knees soft
  6. Hips high in the air
  7. Hips too low

Difference between sprawl, burpee and CrossFit burpee

DISCLAIMER

I can already hear the comments from all the keyboard warriors “but I saw you do an incorrect Burpee!”, yes, I admit, I know how to perform a good Burpee, and I probably have performed some very sloppy Burpees in some video somewhere.

Look, just because you know the rules doesn’t mean you never break them. Furthermore, perfect Burpees each and every time is impossible, but as Yoda would say “try thy must”.

As always, your thoughts and ramblings below or on this Facebook post right here.

The burpee is a simple and effective exercise that is often used for fat loss, muscle building, and general strength and conditioning. The burpee also has a reputation for being quite unforgiving. By design, it’s not easy, and for a lot of people, the burpee is a bit too challenging to start off with. That’s when the CST strategy called movement sophistication really shines. You can not only make exercises more challenging, you can also make them easier by changing, swapping, or removing certain components, which is exactly what I’ve done in this instructional video.

Here are 5 incrementally more challenging versions of the burpee exercise that will help you build a foundation of conditioning in prep for the traditional burpee and the many advanced variations thereof. Even if you’ve done burpees before, you’ll find benefits from working on the components in this video.

5 Beginner Level Burpee Exercises

Note: If you’re struggling with achieving a deep rock-bottom squat, then check out this video for tips to improve your squat range of motion.

Technique Instructions

Level 1 – Squat down to the depth that you’re comfortable. Place your hands on the ground in front of you, and then place your feet back behind you one at a time. Once you have stabilized in the top portion of a pushup position, place your feet back forward, until your knees are beside your elbows. Push back until you are flat footed in the bottom squat position. Press your feet into the ground until you are standing again.

Level 2 – Squat down to the depth that you’re comfortable. Place your hands on the ground in front of you, and then place your feet back and knees down onto the ground – one at a time. Perform one knee pushup, going down as far as you are able. Place your feet back into the forward position, get into your rock-bottom squat position, and stand back up.

Level 3 – Squat down, and once you’ve gotten into the rock-bottom squat position, bounce/kip the feet back into the top of pushup position. Once you have stabilized, bounce/kip your feet back forward, achieve flat foot squat stance, stand back up.

Level 4 – Squat down, kip your feet back, perform a pushup, kip your feet forward, achieve flat foot squat stance, stand back up.

Level 5 (classic burpee exercise) – Squat down, kip your feet back, perform a pushup, kip your feet forward, achieve flat foot squat stance, perform a squat jump.

Wrap-Up

Well, there you go – 5 beginner level burpee exercises to help you build up to the classic burpee and beyond. If you enjoyed this tutorial and want more like it, check out this Tactical Gymnastics Workout. I think it’ll be right up your alley.

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P.S. If you’d like a complete burpee workout, using some less conventional burpee exercises, then please check out my article: Beyond Burpees – 3 Ground-Engagement Bodyweight Workouts.

The burpee is one of the best fat-burning bodyweight exercises out there.

But there’s one major problem with it: Most men don’t do it right.

(For an incredible workout that’ll make your abs, quads, and biceps pop—check out the new METASHRED EXTREME transformation program from Men’s Health.)

That’s because the exercise combines a hip hinge, plank, pushup, squat, and jump. It’s complex.

And if you can’t do each of those individual movements with proper form, then you’re putting yourself at risk of injury.

The fix: Start with the beginner burpee, as shown by Men’s Health Fitness Director BJ Gaddour in the video above.

It uses a wider stance, which decreases the range of motion. This position is easier on your knees and back, and helps prevent your spine from rounding.

Gaddour also slows down the burpee’s tempo. You can concentrate on your form during each section so you become a master.

Even if you can rock the burpee with no issues, Gaddour still recommends warming up to any burpee workout with the beginner version. It’ll stretch your hip flexors, get your heart pumping, mobilize your joints, and wake up your mind-muscle connection for peak performance in the full-speed version of the burpee.

The 31-Day Burpee Plan

The burpee is the exercise everyone loves to hate but ask any fitness professional or coach, they’ll tell you burpees are one of the most effective total-body exercises you can throw into a workout.

“Burpees target the entire body — the nature of the movement involves the muscles of the legs, trunk, chest, shoulders and arms,” says Lee Boyce, a Toronto-based strength coach and college professor.

Burpees are the ultimate one-stop-shop exercise, but paired with other bodyweight exercises like pushups, planks and squats, provides a complete workout regimen without having to leave the house.

“Burpees are an efficient calorie burner and a way to spike your heart rate in a very short period of time. The best part about them is that there’s no equipment needed to perform them and there are ways to progress the exercise (like adding a pushup amid each rep) or regress the exercise (like eliminating the jump component of the rep) depending on your skill level,” says Boyce.

So, sure burpees are hard, but why not commit to doing them everyday for the next 31 days? After that, you’ll either want to do them forever or never again … hopefully the former.

31-DAY BURPEE PLAN

We start with 10 burpees on Day 1, but feel free to break the set up into smaller chunks. From there, we add an additional burpee every day for 31 days.

THE EXERCISES:

PLANK

The move: Position yourself parallel to the ground, with your upper body resting on your forearms and your toes tucked. Keep a straight back, engage your core and look directly down at your forearms and wrists. Feel free to drop your knees when needed.

PUSHUP

The move: Position yourself parallel to the ground, with your toes tucked and your hands about shoulder-width apart. Lower yourself by bending your elbows to about 90 degrees, and push yourself back up. Don’t forget to keep a straight back with your hips in line with your spine. Just like a plank, feel free to drop your knees if the move becomes too difficult.

SQUAT

The move: Stand with your feet between hip- and shoulder-width apart, with your toes pointed slightly outward. Look straight ahead, keep your arms parallel to the ground and your spine in a neutral position. Push your hips and butt back and bend from your knees. Keep your knees above your feet (not inside or wider than your feet) as you descend until your hips are slightly below your knees. Return to the original position by pushing your heels into the ground and squeezing your glutes. Be sure to keep your back neutral and core engaged.

BURPEE

The move: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, and squat down to touch the mat below you. Quickly kick your feet back into a pushup position and complete one pushup. At the top of the pushup, jump your feet back toward your hands, stand and explode upward. At the peak of your jump, clap your hands above your head. Return to the neutral position and repeat.

Working out is better when it’s fast, equipment-free, and not super complicated. It’s science. And as it turns out, burpees are all those things. They have plenty of haters, but this exercise is low-key awesome: It works all the muscles (seriously, all of ’em), gets your heart pumping…and it’s over really, really effing quick.

Ready to become a person who does burpees? Take on our 30-day challenge created by Kelsey Wells, certified personal trainer and creator of the PWR and PWR At Home programs on the SWEAT app. Leggo.

THE MOVES YOU NEED TO KNOW

Burpee (No Jump)

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Plant both feet on the mat shoulder-width apart, bend your hips and knees, and place your hands on either side of your feet. Jump both feet backward, extending your legs behind you. Your body should form a straight line from your head to your heels. Jump both feet forward in between your hands and stand tall, reaching your arms above your head. Lower your arms to return to the starting position. That’s one rep.

Burpee

Plant both feet on the mat shoulder-width apart, bend your hips and knees, and place your hands on either side of your feet. Jump both feet backward, extending your legs behind you. Your body should form a straight line from your head to your heels. Jump both feet forward in between your hands and propel your body upward, extending your legs below you and your arms above your head. Land in the starting position with a soft bend in your knees. That’s one rep.

Burpee (with Push-Up)

Plant both feet on the mat shoulder-width apart, bend your hips and knees, and place your hands on either side of your feet. Jump both feet backward, extending your legs behind you. Your body should form a straight line from your head to your heels. Immediately bend your elbows and lower your torso toward the floor until your elbows form a 90-degree angle. Exhale as you push through your chest and straighten your elbows to lift your body back up. Jump both feet forward in between your hands and propel your body upward, extending your legs below you and your arms above your head. Land in the starting position with a soft bend in your knees. That’s one rep.

Burpee (with Push-Up and Tuck Jump)

Plant both feet on the mat shoulder-width apart, bend your hips and knees, and place your hands on either side of your feet. Jump both feet backward, extending your legs behind you. Your body should form a straight line from your head to your heels. Immediately bend your elbows and lower your torso toward the floor until your elbows form a 90-degree angle. Exhale as you push through your chest and straighten your elbows to lift your body back up. Jump both feet forward in between your hands and propel your body upward. As you jump, engage your abs to bring your knees toward your chest and draw your elbows in toward your knees. Release your knees and carefully land on the mat. That’s one rep.

THE PLAN

Over the course of 30 days, you’ll progress from an easier version of the basic burpee to a challenging variation—all while workin’ up a sweat. Here’s the dealio:

John Francis

Days 1-5

Removing the jump from the end of the burpee makes this movement less intense, allowing you to focus on the correct form when transitioning to the push-up position. Build up to doing one set of 12 to 15 reps in a row. If you can complete these comfortably, add an additional round or two (you got this).

Days 6-10

Adding a jump to the top of your burpee makes it more challenging aerobically, which is why we’re here, right? Do one to three sets of 12 to 15 reps.

Days 11-15

Keep up the basic burpee, but try to increase the number of reps by cranking out two or three sets of 15 to 20 reps each.

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Days 16-20

Ready for more? Adding the push-up to this exercise will score you some upper-body strength. To ensure you maintain solid form, shoot for three or four sets of 5 to 10 reps.

Days 21-25

Over the next few days, build up to two or three sets of 8 to 12 reps of the burpee with push-up.

Days 26-30

Girl, look how damn far you’ve come! Now get ready for more heart-pounding burpee action by adding a tuck jump into the exercise. For the remainder of the challenge, try to build up to three or four sets of 8 to 12 repetitions.

Ashley Oerman Deputy Lifestyle Director Ashley Oerman is the deputy lifestyle director at Cosmopolitan, covering fitness, health, food, cocktails, home, and entertainment.

The 30-Day Burpee Challenge That Will Totally Kick Your Butt

Ah, the burpee. You either love them or you love to hate them, and most people fall into that latter camp. Not only are they polarizing amongst exercisers—if you’ve ever been in a class setting when the instructor calls out a burpee AMRAP finisher, you know ~exactly~ what we’re talking about—but they are also the topic of consistent debate amongst trainers and coaches. (This isn’t the only fitness controversy that’s alive and well as evidence of Jillian Michaels “take down” of CrossFit’s kipping pull-ups and Fittest Man In History Rich Froning’s pro-CrossFit rebuttal.)

For instance, celebrity trainer Ben Bruno is definitely anti-burpee. He’s ranted about his strong feeling about the move on social media again and again, saying the burpee is an advanced move that should never be attempted by beginners (looking at you, group fitness!) as most people don’t have the necessary strength and mobility to perform it correctly in order to avoid injury. While the risk of injury is one of Bruno’s biggest gripes about the exercise, he mostly takes offense to, in his opinion, it’s lack of functional requirement. He questions whether there’s any movement pattern in everyday life that burpees can help strengthen.

But before you go writing off burpees altogether and pointing to Bruno every time your trainer tells you to bust some out on the gym floor, know that not all fitness experts believe what he does about the burpee. Jen Widerstrom, Shape’s consulting fitness director and former-coach on The Biggest Loser is definitely pro-burpee. Widerstrom is so pro-burpee, in fact, that she created an entire 30-day challenge around them!

“The burpee is one of my favorite full-body movements there is when it comes to kinesthetic awareness, basic strength, and cardiovascular output.” Nodding to its benefits to functional training, she adds: “When done correctly it also develops your ability for level change and range of motion, both being critical for tons of other activities.” Plus, unlike Bruno’s gripe about burpee’s not being beginner-friendly, Widerstrom says shes successfully used burpees as a building block for other movements and as a way to cultivate confidence within her clients, too. “With so many options of regressions and progressions, I see burpees keeping us all more mobile and more capable.”

Do a burpee right, and you’ll strengthen your shoulders, your arms, your core, your glutes—basically, your whole body—in just one move. To make sure you actually do it correctly and to help you nail your technique, we asked Widerstrom to demo a basic, foundational burpee. From there, you can take things to the next level with her seven burpee variations—one of which you’ll do each day of the week. The added challenge: Each week of this challenge, you’ll have to bump up your reps by 10.

Ready? It’s time to earn your burpee bragging rights.

30-Day Burpee Challenge

Nail the Basic Burpee

A. Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, weight in heels, and arms at sides. Push hips back, bend knees, and lower into a squat to place hands directly in front of, and just inside, the feet.
B. Shift weight onto hands and jump feet back to softly land on balls of the feet in a plank position, worming chest down to ground.
C. Pressing off hands, lift chest and jump feet back up so they land just outside of hands.
D. Reach arms overhead and explosively jump up into the air.
E. Land and immediately lower back into a squat. That’s one rep.

Modification: Instead of jumping feet back, step back into plank position one foot at a time and step forward the same way, still positioning the feet outside of the hands.

Mondays: Burpee Kick-Outs

A. Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, then squat down and place hands on the ground and jump feet back into a high plank.
B. Lift left leg and cross it under the body, lifting the right arm and bending it to tap the right shoulder. Keep leg hovering at least an inch off the ground. Extend the left leg back and place toes on the ground. Repeat on the other side.
C. Pressing off hands, lift chest and jump feet back up so they land just outside of hands.
D. Standing up, reach arms overhead and explosively jump up into the air. That’s one rep.

Modification: Tap/place your hip on the ground for just a moment as you kick your leg out.

Tuesdays: One-Legged Burpees

A. Stand with feet shoulder-width apart. Lift up your right foot off the ground. Jump down into a one-legged plank, shoulders directly over hands, glutes squeezed, abs engaged, and worm chest down to ground.
B. Pressing palms into the ground and still using only one leg, jump left foot up toward hands.
C. Standing up, reach arms overhead and explosively jump up into the air. That’s one rep.

Modification: Place your hands on an incline bench or something couch-height and complete the movement.

Wednesdays: Burpee Broad Jumps

A. Stand with feet shoulder-width apart. Squat down and place hands on the ground, jumping legs back and worming chest down to ground.
B. Pressing off hands, lift chest and jump feet back up so they land just outside of hands.
C. Sit back into a squat, swing the arms back, then explosively jump forward, using your arms for momentum, as far as you can. That’s one rep.

Modification: It’s all about being comfortable with the distance you’re jumping. A 3-inch hop is still OK!

Thursdays: Burpee Roll-Backs

A. Stand with feet shoulder-width apart. Squat down and place hands on the ground, jumping legs back and worming chest down to ground.
B. Pressing off hands, lift chest and jump feet back up so they land just outside of hands. Standing up, reach arms overhead and explosively jump up into the air.
C. Sit back into a squat and lower all the way down until butt touches the ground. Continue to roll back onto shoulders, then use the momentum to rock back up to standing in one fluid motion. Finish with another hop. That’s one rep.

Modification: Place your hands on the shins or even the back of the thighs. This allows a little bit more connection to your lower half and the ability to gain a little more momentum. Don’t feel the need to roll all the way back in the beginning if it’s too much. Have a mat or pillow behind you so you can feel it on your back and know your stopping point.

Fridays: Lateral Jump Burpees

A. Stand with feet shoulder-width apart. Squat down and place hands on the ground, jumping legs back and worming chest down to ground.
B. Pressing off hands, lift chest and jump feet back up so they land just outside of hands.
C. Sit back into a squat, swing the arms back, then explosively jump to the left. Immediately perform another burpee then jump to the right. That’s one rep.

Modification: Same as the Broad Jump Burpee; 3-inch hops can turn into 6-inch hops, which can turn in 3-foot jumps in time.

Saturdays: Burpee Mountain Climbers

A. Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, then squat down and place hands on the ground and jump feet back into a high plank.
B. Bring right knee to right elbow then left knee to left elbow.
C. Pressing off hands, lift chest and jump feet back up so they land just outside of hands.
D. Standing up, reach arms overhead and explosively jump up into the air. That’s one rep.

Modification: Use an incline bench or something couch-height to take a little bit of the weight off your hands without disengaging your core.

Sundays: Spider Push-Up Burpees

A. Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, then squat down and place hands on the ground and jump feet back into a high plank.
B. Lift right leg and reach right knee to right elbow as you perform a push-up. Extend the right leg back and place toes on the ground. Repeat on the other side.
C. Pressing off hands, lift chest and jump feet back up so they land just outside of hands.
D. Standing up, reach arms overhead and explosively jump up into the air. That’s one rep.

Modification: As the right knee comes to the right elbow, place the left knee on the ground and then complete the push-up. Pull it the off the ground and return the right leg back to the starting position. Repeat on the opposite side. 


The high-intensity phenomenon dominating fitness right now says “less is more.” Less time working out, but way more intensity.

As a lady of the ‘90s, I furrow my Brooke Shields eyebrows. I’d rather do aerobics for an hour and a half than spend 15 minutes doing high intensity “all-out” work! But current research is strong, supporting that the latter blows the former out of the water when it comes to boosting your metabolism.

(Get fit at home! For dozens of 10- to 20-minute routines you can do in your living room, check out Salty Cat Workouts—the all-new site that features the world’s best video workouts for free!)

Burpees are do-anywhere exercises that can hit that high-intensity target without any equipment. (I’ll show you exactly how to do one farther down.) I recently noticed other trainers raving on social media about a burpees-by-the-minute challenge they were tasking themselves—and their clients—to try. The battle is you against the clock, so it stood to reason that the workout would suit most fitness levels—the time would just get longer as a person gets fitter. The competitor in me itched to try it. I decided to attempt what I’m calling the “Death by Burpees” challenge every day for two weeks straight.

MORE: I Did 10 Minutes Of Strength Training Every Day For A Month. Here’s What Happened.

Here’s the challenge:
“Death by Burpees” is a by-the-minute interval challenge. In the first minute, you complete one burpee. In the second minute, you do two. Third minute, three… until you cannot complete the required burpee amount in a minute. (Visual learner? See table below!) To be counted, the burpee must touch your chest to the ground, and the leap in the air must clear at least 6 inches. When you have met your highest potential, the workout is over!

Time

Do This Many Burpees

From 0-1:00

From 1:00-2:00

From 2:00-3:00

From 3:00-4:00

Continue until you’ve met your max of burpees you can complete within a minute.

MORE: The 7 Most Effective Bodyweight Exercises You Can Do

How to do a burpee:

Brook Benten Jimenez

  1. Stand upright.
  2. Tuck down by planting your hands on the ground in push-up position and jumping your feet in behind them.
  3. Jump your feet out behind you into a push-up or plank position.
  4. Lower down into a push-up.
  5. Come back up into your tucked position.
  6. Spring into the air, then land in starting position.

Make it easier: Although the official “Death by Burpee” challenge requires that the chest touch the ground in Step 4, and the feet jump at least 6 inches off the ground in Step 6, you can modify and create your own challenge with these burpee alternatives that are easier on the wrists and knees. Or see how to do a burpee without the push-up in the video below:

With the basics down, it was time to challenge my body. Here’s what I learned from doing this challenge—and why you should try it, too.

MORE: 7 Things That Happened When I Made Myself Go For A Walk Every Single Day For A Month

Lesson 1: It’s “sneaky” hard.
The workout is sneaky, because it starts out extremely easy, then gets extremely hard! It would be more manageable towards the end if you told yourself “ah, good enough” before you actually met your max, but who wants to go down like that? Not moi, and I don’t think you, either! That is why your last 2-3 minutes feel like you’re knocking on death’s door. (Those last minutes will be double-digit numbers of burpees for most everybody: greater than 9, less than 20. See “Lesson 5” for specifics). It’s an amazing feeling of accomplishment when it’s over, but you really have to get in the right headspace to even get started. (If you need help building upper body strength for burpees, try this 8-week plan to master a push-up.)

Lesson 2: Plan on multi-tasking.
Even if you’re brand new to doing burpees, the first five minutes of your daily challenge will have a lot of dead time. For the first two days on this challenge, I filled that dead time with squats. (Overachiever, I know.) That came back to bite me in the butt when my legs were too fatigued to finish my final minute. Going forward, I filled the dead time with folding laundry. It felt efficient to knock out a workout and domestic duties, too.

MORE: 10 Squats That Tone Every Trouble Spot

Lesson 3: It’s a LOT of pushing.
Fitness trainers often speak of exercises in terms of “pushing, pulling, abduction, or adduction.” Burpees are pushing exercises. From the push-up to the leap, you push-push! All that pushing every day for two full weeks was pretty brutal. As an exercise physiologist, I believe this program would be much more balanced if every other day was replaced with a PULLING workout, such as this 15-Minute Metabolism-Revving Rowing Workout. If I did this challenge again, I’d try to even things out.

Lesson 4: It’s convenient.
Over the course of two weeks, I did this thing in the driveway, about every room in my house, at a park, and in a hotel room. What I never did was go out of my way to get somewhere. As long as I had a mat (I liked laying down a mat to cushion my hands), I had all I needed to get this done. Knowing that I could stop in my tracks just about anywhere and get this workout done in approximately a quarter hour was freeing. (Here’s a quick fat-burning circuit you can do anywhere.)

Lesson 5: It WORKED.

Brook Benten Jimenez

If you can make yourself do this thing (regularly), and put your utmost into it, you’ll get a lot out of it. Like I said in Lesson 3, I don’t believe it’s necessary to do this every single day, but I did realize some changes by sticking it out. For instance, there was a little less “cushion” covering my upper abs and a few centimeters off my waist. (Full disclosure: I had a baby 5 months ago, so may have more rapid results at this time).

MORE: The 10-Minute, Total-Body HIIT Workout That Revs Your Metabolism

As a fitness professional, this was my experience: 15 minutes was somewhat hard, 16 was very hard, 17 was almost impossible in the early days, and 18 was my all-out max by the end. The average woman will feel those sensations a bit sooner, likely between 12-15 minutes. Don’t get too caught up with a particular number. Just aim to reach your highest potential! By adhering to the program and committing to give it my 100% every time, I saw some results in only two weeks. I do believe, though, you could reap measurable changes from this by only doing it twice a week, in conjunction with other strength, cardio, and power workouts.

Burpees 30 day challenge

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