What is The Correct Way To Perform a Burpee Exercise?


question-icon-newI printed out some of your cardio workouts and I was wondering if you can explain how to perform a burpee exercise. I have no idea what a burpee is but I’ve heard that it’s amazing and everyone at my gym is raving about how great of a fat burning exercise it is. Can you give me instructions?

answer-icon-newThe burpee exercise is one of the greatest body weight movements you can do to burn fat and build muscle. It really is the ultimate full body exercise that combines cardio with strength training using your own body weight to burn maximum calories in the shortest amount of time. Everyone from football teams, the Military, CrossFit athletes, to normal people at the gym do burpees for a killer fat burning workout. The great thing about the burpee is that you don’t need any equipment at all! To perform a burpee exercise, all you need is a small amount of room and your own body. It consists of very easy and simple movements that almost anyone can follow. Do not be fooled though, even though the movements are easy to follow, the exercise itself is hard work and super intense!


The burpee exercise is a full body workout which uses all of your body strength in order to do it. From your arms, chest, legs and even your abs and overall core muscles. Doing the burpee exercise will make you feel invigorated throughout your entire body. Best of all, doing the burpee exercise does not involve any type of machines or equipment. All that you need is your body and enough determination to get through a series of hardcore repetitions with this incredible exercise.

Begin in a standing position with a shoulder width athletic stance. Slowly crouch down into a squat while placing your hands on the floor in front of you. After this, place all of your weight onto your hands and kick your feet out behind you and you will end up in a pushup position. Immediately after doing this, kick your feet back up into the original squat position. Once you have done this, stand up from the squat position and jump up as high as you can with your hands up in the air. You will then land back into the standing start position to finish one full repetition. You will repeat the burpee exercise for the desired number of repetitions. Here is a recap of the instructions for doing a burpee.

To Perform a Burpee:

  1. Begin in a standing position with a shoulder width stance.
  2. Get into a squat position with hands on the floor in front of you.
  3. Kick your feet back behind you into a pushup position.
  4. Immediately return your feet to the squat position.
  5. Leap up as high as possible from the squat position.


There are several different variations of the burpee exercise, but probably the most popular is the pushup variation which adds even more intensity to this already incredible exercise. If you have mastered the original burpee exercise and feel like kicking it up a notch, then implement the pushup style burpee. After you kick out your feet and get into the pushup position, actually perform a full pushup by going all the way down and touching your chest to the floor and then back up. After you do the pushup, then immediately return your feet to the squat position and leap up with your hands in the air. Once you have mastered this pushup variation, you will be able to smoothly and quickly transition throughout each of the stages of the burpee. It should be a very fluid motion when you have mastered this pushup variation and you can bang these burpees out very quickly for a serious body weight cardio workout that will blast your chest and overall body!


Burpee with Pushup Variation

To do this exercise and reap all of the fat burning benefits, try to move as fast as possible while keeping your form and technique spot on. Strive for maximum height with each jump. Most athletes will average between 10-15 repetitions per set for around 4-6 total sets. If you are new to the burpee, shoot for 4-5 reps for each set with 1-2 minutes of rest between sets. Take your time and get the overall technique down accurately by performing them in front of a mirror to monitor your form.

While you are doing your burpees, remember to keep a quick pace while maintaining strict form. The reason for this is because the faster you go, the more calories and fat you will burn. Because burpees require you to use your entire body and multiple muscle groups, going at a faster rate will increase the intensity of the exercise and increase your heart rate which will help to reduce your overall body fat levels. Studies have found that high paced workouts using high intensity interval training (HIIT), such as burpees, burn a higher amount of calories and fat when compared to low intensity steady state (LISS) cardio workouts. The burpee exercise is also shown to speed up your metabolism all day long and provides the “after burn” effect. Whichever way you look at it, doing the burpee is an amazing overall exercise to include into your cardio workout routine!

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