Five Reasons Why Burpees Should Be Your Favorite Exercise

burpees

What do extreme athletes, elite military forces, and football teams have in common?

They all embrace burpees and regularly include them in their workout routines.

Lots, and lots, of burpees.

But burpees aren’t just beneficial for hardcore athletes or certified badasses…

They’re for everyone. 

That’s why we include so many burpees in the workouts in the official 12 Minute Athlete HIIT Workouts app—they’ll get you fitter than pretty much any other exercise can.

Because not only will burpees turn you into an athlete, they’ll also help you scorch fat, rev up your metabolism and get you conditioned like no other exercise can do.

But what the heck is a burpee… and why should you care?

Burpee basics

Burpees are an awesome, calorie-torching, strength-building, full body exercise.

Later in this post, you’ll learn why you should love them. But first, you need to know how exactly to actually do a burpee.

Just follow these simple steps:

  • First, stand up straight, then get into a squat position with your hands on the floor in front of you.
  • Kick your feet back into a push up position and immediately drop your chest to the ground.
  • Bow your chest up, then return your feet back to the squat position as fast as possible.
  • Immediately jump up into the air as high as you can.
  • Add a little clap for pizzazz!

To see how it’s done, and to get a better idea of the pace you should try and keep, here’s a short video where I show you exactly how to do a proper burpee.

Burpees are all about speed, but don’t go too fast…or you’ll burn yourself out after doing just a few. Trust me.

And now, here are five reasons why burpees are awesome—and why they should be your new favorite exercise:

1. They burn mega calories

Burpees make your body a fat burning machine.

That’s because since burpees are an intense fully body exercise, they burn a ton of calories. Plus, research shows that high intensity exercises like burpees burn up to 50% more fat than moderate exercising.

And better yet, they speed up your metabolism throughout the day—meaning you’ll burn more calories all day long, even after your burpee hell is over.

So if you want to lose weight, ditch the recumbent bike and elliptical machine—and do some burpees instead.

2. They make you stronger

The burpee is a full body strength training exercise and the ultimate example of functional fitness.

With every rep, you’ll work your arms, chest, quads, glutes, hamstrings, and abs. After a few sets of burpees, your legs should feel a little bit like lead.

3. They’re great for conditioning

Why do you think burpees are embraced in the hardest of workouts (like CrossFit)?

Because they’re great for developing conditioning and endurance! And they get your heart rate up—fast.

Burpees are a great way to get in shape quickly, whether your goal is to learn a new sport, train for a triathlon, hike a big mountain, or, just to look good.

4. They’re portable and require no equipment

The best thing about burpees? They require absolutely no equipment.

That’s right. Zip. Zero. Zilch.

You can do burpees in your house, in a nearby park, even in your hotel room.

5. You can add them to almost any workout

Unlike running, which is a slow, monotonous form of exercising (unless you’re sprinting), burpees are fast paced, dynamic, and never boring.

Like I already mentioned, adding burpees to your workout routine will bring you tons of benefits and whip you into shape quicker than you ever thought possible.

However, if you do have equipment available, there are tons of burpee variations you can do to mix things up. Here are a few:

Burpee pull ups. Do a burpee in front of a pull up bar, then do a (jumping) pull up.
Burpee knee ups. Do a burpee in front of your dip station or a set of chairs, then do a knee up.
Burpee box jumps. Do a burpee in front of a box or a high surface you can jump on, then do a box jump.

Be creative and come up with your own!

Give burpees a try

For a really awesome (and challenging) burpee workout, try doing 100 burpees in a row as fast as you can.

Some people look at this as an impossible workout—but it’s all about pacing yourself, and most of all, believing in yourself. See if you can beat my record of 6:13!

If you’re looking for more burpee inspiration, here are some other burpee-filled workouts to try:

100 burpee challenge workout
Merciless Burpees Workout
Burpee Blaster Workout

Now go do some burpees!

Why do you love (or hate) burpees? Let me know in the comments below or Tweet me!

 


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118 Responses to Five Reasons Why Burpees Should Be Your Favorite Exercise

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  4. Jose Lopez-Ruiz June 22, 2014 at 10:38 pm #

    Great challenge! I took the 100 burpees challenge yesterday and made 6:47 now i am feeling great at my 46 years old birthday this week. I just discovered HIIT trainning a few days ago, I think i am goinig to be into it for a lon long time in the future, thank you Krista!

    • Krista Stryker June 25, 2014 at 8:50 am #

      Wow, nice work Jose – especially for your first time doing the challenge!

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  6. Jason Mork May 17, 2014 at 7:55 am #

    I just don’t like burped, but then again, I don’t like working out…. But I found your app and have followed it for the last week. It’s great! And the burped aren’t so bad. They get better. Thanks,

  7. Sam May 9, 2014 at 7:54 am #

    Age 52. First time at this challenge; did 100 in 8:12. Not pretty, but got it done. Feeling it today in my lower back and shoulder. Thanks for the demo and motivation!

  8. Claudette May 4, 2014 at 6:29 am #

    Are burpees a good exercise to reduce your lowerbody and to fight cellulites.

    I am a peer shapes woman and have trouble t o reduce those hips and the fat on hips and legs.

    What do yo think.

    Thx. Claudette

    • Claudette May 5, 2014 at 9:56 pm #

      v

  9. sakura May 1, 2014 at 5:11 am #

    THANKS so much for this brilliant idea of doing 100 burpees at a time! I just signed up for your 3 months training and did the burpee test in 7:43 min!!! I also did the first of the workouts today and must confess I could have pushed myself more! Anyway, thanks a lot!!! I am completely in the 12 minute athlete mood!

    • Krista Stryker May 1, 2014 at 10:48 am #

      Wow, that’s fantastic, Sakura! By the end of the program you’ll definitely break the 7-minute mark, if not 6 :) Keep me updated and let me know how your training goes!

      • Sakura May 5, 2014 at 10:04 pm #

        Krista, I am falling in love with burpees!!! I did some research on burpees and am not sure if my posture is correct… Do I have to lie down or keep the plank position? Do I have to go back with both feet or one after another? Thanks!!!

  10. Kris March 18, 2014 at 6:06 pm #

    When in the plank position should you then lower down to the ground like in a push-up? Or remain in plank and then back to squat and so on? Thanks.

    • Lanai Moliterno March 22, 2014 at 12:11 pm #

      I always go into a pushup. It makes it harder and I think better results. Plus it strengthens the arms and back and chest.

    • Lanai Moliterno March 22, 2014 at 12:13 pm #

      I always go into a pushup. It makes it harder and I think better results. Plus it strengthens the arms and back and chest.

      I just got done doing a strictly burpee workout for toning I came up with. Been doing it for a year.
      http://nossacompany.com/2014/03/22/burpees-it-works-wonders/

      • Krista Stryker March 23, 2014 at 8:51 am #

        Fair enough, but if you’re doing 100 in a row, it’s hard to do strict push ups fast! You’ll still strengthen your arms by getting your chest to the floor and pushing yourself up.

  11. Luis February 23, 2014 at 9:37 pm #

    After having reached my worst physical condition in my life (117 kg) at age 43, I began losing weight by just eating less carbs.
    I managed to lose 15 kg until my weight loss stalled.

    Then I began lifting weights and I only lost 4kg in 4 months, but I feel a notable body recomposition. Stronger upper body and less waist and belly. But again, I plateaud.

    I don’t see myself commiting to the gym routine 3x a week. I needed something I could do anywhere, at home, outdoors and that I could incorporate to my daily life as an habit, like brushing my teeth.

    So I started doing burpees. Damm, they leave me sucking air like a Jumbo’s turbine…
    I’m currently doing 60 a day (15×4, one minute rest between sets).
    I aim at being able to do 100 a day.
    In addition, I run 3 miles 3x a week and add 30 pull ups in a nearby playground.

    Do you think this would be a good plan for me?
    I’m 1,84 meters tall and currently weighing 102 kg.
    I’d like to look good. Not like a bodybuilder, but fit, with a toned, defined body. And healthy.

    Burpees will be the staples of my routine. I feel they’re good, I really hope to see good results but I still have some doubts.
    Many people look down on burpees (mainly bodybuilders) who consider them just a conditioning exercise.

    What do you think? Should I stick to my plan?

    • Cody@Crossfit February 23, 2014 at 10:22 pm #

      Hope I’m not over-stepping here, since it’s Krista’s post…but I think you’re on a perfectly fine path. I would make sure to include squats in there somehow as well though, since Burpees don’t necessarily tax your legs as much as your hips and upper body (depending on technique).

      I kickstarted my own personal challenge over the Christmas holidays which I’ve been evolving into a more difficult version as I continue reaching my goals…began as 10mins worth of burpees…when I was able to reach 100 Burpees within ten minutes. I reduced rest periods until I reached a sub-7min 100 burpee finish time. Currently at 5:26 finish…It is extremely difficult to maintain consistency and efficiency.

      I felt like I needed more flexion from my upper body, since burpees mainly work extension of the upper body, so I began adding in pull-ups into the routine…slowly working my way to a sub 8min routine of 100 Burpees + 50 Pull-ups (10Burpees+5 Pull-ups). I will be adding squats into the mix as soon as I reach a sub-8min routine with the pull-ups.

      The beauty of burpees, is that they can also substitute sprint interval training on rainy days…you can burn mad calories and tone/define most of your anterior muscles…but that’s also the downside to them. The reason why I suggest squats is because of the stress towards posterior strength as well, which would improve overall midline stability…weight or no weight.

      • Luis February 23, 2014 at 10:32 pm #

        Thanks for your suggestions! I agree about the squats, but bear in mind that a properly executed burped already includes a squat.
        Anyway, it would be good to look for variants to avoid boredom and more stimulus.
        I also made sure to do some pull ups when I go running by the playground.

        I am very encouraged with this plan.
        Burpees work nearly every muscle in the body except those of the back and biceps, which are covered by the pull ups.
        And they are an excellent cardio as well.
        Is there any simpler full body workout than this??

        • Cody@Crossfit February 23, 2014 at 10:52 pm #

          Apparently I’ve never seen a “proper” burpee in my life then lol…chest to the deck and a 6-8inch jump are the only prerequisites I’ve ever seen incorporate with the rules of a burpee. Not knocking a squatted-burpee, just never known a burpee to involve one…there are a lot of different variations.

          Far as more simple workouts go? Nah, burpees are honestly as simple as it gets, people seem to dread them which is really unfortunate for them. I fear I push as hard as I do and may be suffering from a mild case of Pulmonary Edema…can’t seem to stop coughing for a good 30mins after a workout. Only reason I dislike them but…it’s a love hate relationship : )

          • Luis February 24, 2014 at 11:11 am #

            Oh well, I’m probably wrong with my burpee definition (my english is not good). I thought that a burpee (aka squat thrust) was a combination of a squat, a plank and a pushup. And the jump can be seen as an air squat, am I wrong?
            Anyway, don’t you think that the legs also get quite of bit of a workout here?
            I mean, wouldn’t be redundant to add squats after performing 100 burpees?

  12. Jason February 11, 2014 at 2:29 pm #

    Burpees and their assorted variants have been a staple in my exercise regime. They burn fat and condition like no other movement I’ve seen. I too was a Marine and I’m older (43), but I can still give these youngsters a run for their money!!! Semper Fi!!! Stay strong, people!!!

  13. Genie December 30, 2013 at 4:50 pm #

    How can you modify burpees to get the benefit of the exercise without further damage to the knees? I am bone on bone with stage 4 arthritis and just getting up from a sitting position is painful. but I have a ton of excess weight and fat to lose and want something to tone my whole person. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated!

    • Cody@Crossfit January 2, 2014 at 12:34 pm #

      This is an issue many people have, occasionally when I’m tight, I feel when my IT Band pulls as well, resulting in a pain that seems to originate from the Knee. In some cases like yours, you are having joint issues, not muscular. You can modify a burpee in many ways, but the most I’ve modified it, is either with a wide stance prior to going into the push-up or plank position OR by Walking your way down/up from the push-up plank position. This may require a bit more flexibility from your hamstrings, but will take the constant stress out of your knees. You can always check out MobilityWOD.com for tips about regaining Mobility, Flexibility and technique. Carl Paoli’s gymnasticsWOD is also a credible site for learning gymnastic movements (Burpee is a gymnastics movement). Hope this helps and keep working hard. It will definitely pay off :D

      • Krista Stryker January 2, 2014 at 4:06 pm #

        Definitely check out gymnasticsWOD – Carl Paoli is amazing! And same for MobilityWOD.com. Thanks for the resources, Cody.

  14. Melody December 16, 2013 at 5:20 am #

    Thanks for the helpful article. I am a runner, soon to be training for my first marathon, and read that planks and plyometrics like burpees are a great addition to running programs. When doing any strength program, I have always just done 3 days/week in order to get the rest period. But, I constantly hear of challenges where it is done daily and commenters seem to feel it is effective. How is this so with no rest period and is it safe?

    • Krista Stryker December 16, 2013 at 7:03 pm #

      You should always take at least one full rest day off a week – other than that, the best thing to do is to listen to your own body to figure out how many rest days you need. If you start to feel like you’re overtraining, take a break!

      • Cody@Crossfit January 2, 2014 at 12:43 pm #

        This isn’t a jab at anyone…just facts.

        Unfortunately, listening to your body usually lets you know when you’ve strained or damaged something. The best thing to do is seek help from a professional who can help with the programming. If you want to test/retest through pain instead, then listening to your body would be the direction you’d go…why re-invent the wheel though?

        The body requires rest in order to repair the damage you do it, during exercise. It adapts and the muscle fibers grow back stronger…that’s why exercise is good. But, everything is only good in moderation. If you’re used to intense training, you could be working out 5-6x a week, tops. I personally, leave Thursday and Sundays as my rest day, leaving me with 5 work days. What you can handle, will depend on how fast you recover…and unfortunately, everyone recovers differently.

  15. kristal December 8, 2013 at 11:39 pm #

    i only discovered burpee’s today, as im new to gym/exercise/fitness world
    & my god, did they get my legs shaking, my heart pounding and my sweat pouring.
    i only did 30 in a cardio circuit work out but now i have discovered,
    a little movement goes a lonnnnnnnngggggg way! ha ha

  16. Chris November 29, 2013 at 2:17 pm #

    I’m a strength and conditioning coach, more spcecifically a sprint coach, and I use burpees regularly with my well conditioned athletes. They are an effective exercise for broad and general power and anaerobic capacity. However I need to add a word of caution that has not been mentioned. Burpees have the potential to cause both acute and chronic injury, so they are to be used with caution. A person with a weak core needs to strengthen their core before even considering burpees. Not doing so will result in excess posterior tilt of the pelvis, leading to an arched spine and putting what is known as sheer pressure on the vertebrae. In other words, it will fuck up your back. Before including burpees you absolutely MUST strengthen your core. Learn how to hold the hollow position and strengthen that position. Then use that same posture throughout repetitions of burpees.

    Good article by the way. Simple and to the point.

    • Krista Stryker November 30, 2013 at 5:02 pm #

      Really great points, Chris! Well said.

    • Cody@Crossfit January 2, 2014 at 12:47 pm #

      Some good points…occasionally though, that hollow position and upward dog position you’re talking about, can actually be turned into a gymnastic movement, resulting in more efficiency. I do believe in what you say though, safety is always better than efficiency, but if you can obtain both, you’re golden.

    • Melissa February 27, 2014 at 2:32 am #

      I’m glad i saw this post as i asked a trainer if burpees were bad for people with a bad back and weak core and they all told me done the right way its fine.

      However i am terrified of doing it as i ruptured a disc a while ago and had a back op. Not because of burpees but prob due to my volume of running for a marathon i was training for.

      Everytime i do a burped now i feel my lower back pulling and stiff as its still stiff from the op so i try not to do them and do something else when others in the class do burpees.

      I tell instructors this but they tend to say to me that i’m prob not doing it right hence the pain in my back but i’ve tried all sorts of ways and it still hurts!

      • Cody@Crossfit February 27, 2014 at 6:18 am #

        The key to eliminating lower back concerns is by first establishing a strong posterior position under tension…this doesn’t mean doing a ton of situps before being able to do burpees. Everyone talks about strong cores, but what is more important, is the position you’re enforcing.

        To engage your posterior tension, squeeze your quads so that your knees retract, next up the chain…squeeze your glutes to pull your hips forward, then pull your bellybutton back as if you’re trying to touch your spine with it…but don’t bow your back in an awkward dancer’s pose. Next, force your shoulder blades back and make sure they’re not up in a silly Delta Bravo position…keep them naturally low. Lastly, make sure you’re head is in a neutral position. You can do this position standing to become comfortable with it.

        This should feel as though you’re already using energy, and it should feel like a very strong position for you…Ultimately, during a burpee, this is the posterior tension you should achieve when you’re lowering yourself into a plank position. If your hips are sagging to the ground, that will cause more tension on the lower back as it then becomes the fulcrum point…squeeze those glutes to enforce the position.

        Enjoy! And remember, you can always either, widen your stance (feet) or walk down into a burpee, and up out of one.

        • Krista Stryker February 27, 2014 at 5:14 pm #

          Thanks, Cody! You obviously know what you’re doing with burpees :)

          • Cody@Crossfit February 27, 2014 at 6:31 pm #

            Glad to help : ) Let me know if I ever over-step, great job on the site and keep up the great work!

      • Krista Stryker February 27, 2014 at 5:15 pm #

        Sorry to hear that Melissa… I’d say listen to your body, if it hurts don’t do it.

    • Gaz March 11, 2014 at 3:49 pm #

      Spot on about the core… Having awareness of, and condition of core is fundamental to any exercise otherwise you will use smaller, weaker back muscles to compensate without knowing it. If you fk your back up it can be a long recovery or even permanent damage. Can’t stress inportance of proper core exercise enough!

  17. Luigi Campanella November 21, 2013 at 6:41 pm #

    Hello Krista, i was recently introduced to burpees and want to incorporate them into my workout schedule. can you let me know how many times a week and how many reps per time period. i do back and biceps one day chest and triceps another day then one day for shoulders and in between i do situps. when should i incorporate burpees. can i do them every other day at night before bed for 3 times a week. please let me know. thanks Luigi

  18. Bernice November 17, 2013 at 3:57 am #

    OMW! I just did 80 Burpees in 6.30min and my heart is racing so fast it could easily be a formula 1 champ!!!

    I’m definitely going to work towards the 100 in 7 min goal!

    How much calories do you burn in a Burpees workout like this?

  19. Brandan October 27, 2013 at 4:30 am #

    I just started my burpee training today. I’m 184cm height. My weight is 95kg. I have a huge tummy.

    It’s crazy how u guys can do 100 in just 5 – 8 minutes. I did 50 in 14minutes. I almost fainted. Lol. Is it a must t complete 100 a day, cos my heart rate was pretty damn fast when I reach 30.

    Any advise for me to so I can improve myself.

    • Adamray November 5, 2013 at 6:18 pm #

      Brandan,

      Been doing 100 Burpees/day for 69 days now. I recommend setting a timer for 7 minutes and doing as many as you can in that time. This way you don’t kill yourself, spend too much time, and get a great workout. Feed yourself right to recover well and do it again the next day. You’ll be amazed at how quickly you improve.

      FYI, master a quality burpee, not just going for quantity. What good is 100 in 7 minutes if you’re doing the functionally wrong…right?

      Best to you!

    • Cody@Crossfit January 2, 2014 at 12:59 pm #

      There’s never a set number on how many you should complete in a day. Everyone is at different athletic points in their lives. When I start fresh, I attempt 100 Burpees, because I know it will take me under 10mins to complete them. When I start reducing my end time, I’ll either add in more burpees to keep myself at a 10min work pace, or…I’ll add in another exercise like Pull-ups (To counter my constant pushing motion). This gives me rest when I require it (typically 10-15 second breaths between every 10 reps) so I’m not killing myself. When I’m more conditioned…I’ll start reducing my rest times until there is no rest.

      The key thing to remember, is volume and time are just concepts. I personally, would suggest a 10minute time frame, and keep trying to add to the volume you previously did…in a safe fashion. If you can reach 100 within 10 minutes some day, that’s fantastic! Doing this, should help bring things into perspective.

      Also, try not to redline. Going all out at the start, will result in fatigue. Keep things calm and consistent. Find a pace that you can work at.

  20. gurleen October 26, 2013 at 3:56 am #

    i’m 5’5″. weigh around 50-52 kgs.
    thing is,i’ve developed fat around my belly. not the ugly kind,but it’s still not healthy. i want a toned stomach(as my overall body is doing just fine). what kind of burpee workout would you suggest? And i’m looking for some good amount of change in the next 2 weeks. so 15-20 days,what workout?

    • Guy October 26, 2013 at 7:15 am #

      Hi,

      A good way to break into burpees is a ladder scheme I.e go from 10 down to 1 in single increments I.e 10, then 9, 8 and so on. Rest can be 20. – 30 seconds.

      Also I like pyramids I.e 1 up to 5 and down to 1. So do 1 burpee ,wait and then do 2 ,get up to 5 and then do 4.

      Of course the great thing about these is that you can plug in any number you want.

  21. Adamray October 23, 2013 at 8:54 pm #

    I’m on day 56 of doing 100 Burpees a day for time for 100 days.

    I have lost fat. Built muscle. Gained endurance. Speed, power, strength, coordination is all better now because of the burpee. What you read is true about this movement.

    I will take it a bit further by saying that a 5 minute burpee workout daily over time is all that any average person needs to do (combined with sound nutrition) to achieve a very high level (elite) of fitness.

    Burpees are LEGIT. Excited to get through the 100 days and post my results to my Facebook page so the world can know and see the Truth.

    Starting off on day 1, my 100 burpee time was in the 7:30 range. Today it was 5:23 (yesterday I hit a personal best of 5:13).

    The suck every time, never get boring, and you can recover in time for your next days workout.

    If you are short on time and money, do 100 Burpees a day for 100 days (set max time of 7:00 to avoid overtraining if you are out of shape). You will get CRAZY FIT!

    Just selling truth,

    Adamray

    Visit me at “Honor God Fitness” on Facebook

    • Guy October 24, 2013 at 10:32 am #

      Hi Adam,

      That sounds a very good challenge. Do you just go flat out for 100 pr do sets of 10 etc.

      I did 71 in 7 minutes but It was hard!!!

      Finally if I do the challenge I though I might add some pull ups in for the back.

      Thanks,Guy

      • Adamray November 5, 2013 at 6:13 pm #

        Hey there Guy,

        Yes, I go flat out for 100 without a break. It was not until after 30 days or so that I gained the endurance to do 100 without a break. Also, after 21 days or so the burpee became to me a habit, which I LOVE!, because that means I’m doing something that it GREAT FOR ME and getting the RESULTS without really thinking about it. The burpee is as normal to me as eating and sleeping.

        I too do pull ups if there is a bar in front of me (usually at a park if I’m out with my daughters). But Burpees is pretty much all I do now.

        BTW, Today was day 69 and my time was 5:16. It may be tough to crack off 100 in 5 minutes doing them the right way (full squat, full pushup, full jump).

        All the best Guy!

        • Luis February 27, 2014 at 7:36 pm #

          Hey Adam,

          Your comments here got me very inspired to continue with my burpee workouts. I am currently doing 60 burpees a day, in four sets with 1-2 minutes rests in between. I started a couple of weeks ago and I still feel like dying after every daily workout…

          I aim at doing 100 a day (not there yet) and, like you, I occasionally add some pull-ups when I see a playground, a bar or something similar.
          I’ve been running 3x a week but I decided to slow down a bit and concentrate in my burpees alone.
          Before that I also gave up lifting weights in the gym.
          Right now, I want to see how far I can go with just my daily burpees. I want to go slow but steady.

          Overtime, with low carbs and eating with moderation, I lost 15 kg (33 pounds). Now I need to lose at least 13 or 14 kg more.

          According to your experience so far,do you think it is doable? Do you think that burpees alone, every day, (and some pull ups 3x a week) will get me the results I’m looking for?

          I don’t want to look bulky like a bodybuilder. I just want to drop fat and look lean, toned and fit.
          Is it realistic to seek these goals with just my daily burpees?

  22. Deb September 29, 2013 at 1:06 pm #

    Thanks for posting this – I’ll be sure to pull this out and re-read periodically over the next few weeks. I am doing a 30 Days of 100 Burpees challenge. I’m gonna need some extra motivation!

    • Krista Stryker September 30, 2013 at 3:33 pm #

      That sounds awesome! What site is the challenge with? Good luck Deb :)

  23. Missy September 9, 2013 at 10:22 am #

    I love/hate burpees. They are my go-to exercise when I’m in a hurry. First time I did these was when I joined a Crossfit class 2 years ago. And while I no longer go to the actual class, I still do some of the Crossfit exercises I learned, burpees being one of my staples.

    To add a little something extra to them, I do box jump burpees. For the “jump up” part of the burpee, I jump onto a 1 foot wooden box (that my husband made), jump down, and then do the rest of the burpee like you’re supposed to. I do 100 of these at a time. It’s quick (relatively) and gives me a full body workout.

  24. Kathy Davis September 6, 2013 at 6:32 am #

    I shared this article to my club members (I’m a manager at Anytime Fitness) and a member got inspired and beat the authors time! She just did 100 in 7:10! How awesome is that!!!

    • Krista Stryker September 6, 2013 at 8:45 am #

      So cool Kathy! Now I’m going to have to try and beat that :)

    • johnny March 6, 2014 at 8:52 pm #

      The real test is to see how well we maintain our form throughout the duration of the workout. I am 59 yrs. old. I do one strict pushup with each rep and finished in 8:30.
      I have to admit that my jumps are not very high toward the middle and end of workout.
      Thank you all for your motivation and inspiration. Truly remarkable

  25. george September 2, 2013 at 8:35 am #

    I am doing Freeletics on week 7 now. there is tons of burpees in them. I am 6.8 ( 2m ) tall, I find burpees DISGUSTING, they power me out like nohting…I truly hate them. ok.. well I can do 25 at rather slow speed then 15 then 10… here is how I get to my 50. On some workouts you do 150-200 paired with other fun like squads, where my heartrate comes down again…doing squats…that feels weird. My goal 50 in a row no break whatsoever.

  26. Ivy August 17, 2013 at 11:38 am #

    I just found out what burpees are and i add them in to my exercise routine. I like to dance in the early morning (like 2am to 4) and i always do my dances in sets of 30mins (dance 30 mins then take a small 5 min break). I started adding the burpees into my break time and the change in weight loss and even my stamina for dancing is very noticable

  27. Hernan August 14, 2013 at 10:52 am #

    Im doing pyramid burpees starting from 25. 15 second breaks in between, Will that get my endurance up In about two weeks?

    • Anthony August 14, 2013 at 11:13 am #

      In my opinion Hernan, yes it will improve your endurance. Will it improve it to the level you want? Maybe…maybe not. Depends on where you want your endurance level to be. I see it as a moving target that I am always trying to improve on.

  28. Skittles August 5, 2013 at 10:51 am #

    100 burpees in 5 minutes 12 seconds. Boom.

  29. Jeff August 2, 2013 at 1:42 am #

    I’m 52, and just started a moderate, low impact workout routine. The purpose is to re-condition myself over the next few weeks, without causing a heart attack in the process. The routine includes burpees, 30 of them, they certainly do require a substantial amount of effort. I did them for the first 4 weeks, but have had to suspend the burpees for the last two weeks. Although it is obvious they are the primary conditioning element of my routine, they are also extremely hard on the back, and I now have a pinched nerve in my lower back. When my back has healed a bit more, I plan on returning to burpees, but modifying them by starting in the squat position, jumping up, and returning to the squat.

  30. Anthony July 23, 2013 at 7:57 am #

    Great article Krista! I have modified my burpees a bit. I do a double dive bomber instead of a push up followed by my jump. I cannot do anywhere near as many, but they kick my butt! I start my days with three sets of burpees and then do a workout later in the day with my two teenage boys. It’s amazing how much faster a 17 year old boy gets stronger and can increase reps than his 42 year old Dad.

  31. Bradley Charbonneau June 23, 2013 at 10:13 am #

    Hi Krista,

    Burning questions here …

    I’m in Barcelona with my family and my kids have been watching the beach workouts here in the Barceloneta neighborhood. We’ve been doing Burpees too! My 7 and 9-year old have a few questions …

    1.) Why are they called Burpees?

    My 7-year old thought we were saying Berkeleys. I don’t think they do many Burpees in Berkeley, but I don’t know for sure. They sure do a lot here in Barcelona!

    2.) Do you have to bend your knees while jumping?

    From 9-year old. They were watching the guys on the beach and they were pulling their feet/legs up / tucking them under. Seems even harder! But watching your video you’re not pulling your feet up/in.

    Hey, I’m just the messenger here. ;-)
    Hola from Barcelona!

    • Krista Stryker June 25, 2013 at 9:36 am #

      Hey Bradley! I’m totally jealous you’re in Barcelona right now, I love that city!

      Ok, and your questions:

      1. Apparently burpees were named after a physiologist in the 1930′s, a guy named Royal H. Burpee. He developed the exercise as a way to assess the fitness level of recruits for WWII. I had no idea!

      2. As for the knees bending part, you should take a video so I know exactly what you’re talking about! You definitely bend your knees when you come off of the ground, but you don’t have to when you actually jump. It sounds like they’re combining burpees/tuck jumps, which is awesome, but harder than regular burpees for sure!

      Hola! Hope you’re having a wonderful time :)

      • Bradley Charbonneau June 27, 2013 at 3:00 am #

        Oh good, I’m SO GLAD it has nothing to do with burping (can you tell I have two boys … ?)! Thanks for doing the research.

        OK, if we’re doing something that’s harder than what you are doing, we’re definitely on the wrong path! :-) What you’re doing is hard enough.

        I think we need to do a few dozen burpees to work off the chocolate-dipped churros from yesterday. Whoa, those should be outlawed.

        Hola!

        • Krista Stryker June 27, 2013 at 8:28 am #

          Haha! You definitely have two boys :)

          Oh man, those chocolate churros are amazing. Those are my downfall every time I go to Spain. Eat a few for me (then go do some more burpees)!

          • Bradley Charbonneau June 27, 2013 at 9:33 am #

            Heading to the beach now. I’ll have to put down my beer and my chocolate churros for the Burpees, though. I’m getting used the time here now: just home from a museum (7 PM), going to have a snack and play on the beach for a while, then dinner around 10 PM. Fun.

            I’ll have a churro for you! Then I’ll do a few Burpees in your honor.

          • Bradley Charbonneau June 30, 2013 at 6:47 am #

            Just did 10 burpees in your honor, Krista. Now in Holland where it’s not as sunny. Might as well work out in brother-in-law’s gym!

            Wow, 10 was … hard. I need to keep at it.

  32. Prajwal June 23, 2013 at 8:53 am #

    Hello, i am a 22 year old male, 5’11” , 80 kg. i need to reduce my body weight at least by 6-8 kg in next 20 days.
    Please reply me how to schedule my burpees exercise.And how many reps and sets a day.
    Thank you for posting about this exercise..

    • Krista Stryker June 23, 2013 at 2:01 pm #

      Just do the workouts 3-6 times a week – that’ll make a difference! And remember to eat as many whole foods as possible and get a lot of protein in.

  33. Workout fiend June 2, 2013 at 12:09 am #

    I was able to do the 100 burpees in 7:12. I am going to try to do it every morning if possible.

  34. ethan May 30, 2013 at 10:36 am #

    hardest of workouts like crossfit? bahahaha. and i shouldve figured when you were clapping your hands at the top movement of the burpee. no need for the clap…just do the burpee. and for your info thats a burpee jump…a REAL burpee is what they taught us in the Marine Corp. …everything you did minus the jump.

    • Krista Stryker May 30, 2013 at 10:41 am #

      No need to be rude, Ethan… I’m sure you’re about 100x fitter than me and everyone else after being in the Marine Corp. :)

      • Tracy June 18, 2013 at 12:10 pm #

        Exactly Krista, we lowly CrossFitters who crank out burpees might actually like the challenge of the jump. My dad is a Marine, not as a mean and not as lean, but he appreciates what I can do. He’s not an arrogant jerk who thinks he’s the only one who know how to do a burpee. Same with my boyfriend who has done 4 tours – OohRah!

    • wyatt June 16, 2013 at 8:31 pm #

      I will let you believe Crossfit isn’t hard but seriously just try it all Crossfit gyms allow a trial day so do it! And if you don’t have fun and it is t hard then well you can say it sucks when ever

  35. Julie May 16, 2013 at 11:29 pm #

    Whenever I try to get up, my lower (back) spine hurts even from 1-2.. what am I doing wrong?

    • Krista Stryker May 17, 2013 at 8:11 am #

      So unfortunately, you’re probably not actually doing something wrong—the fact that it hurts probably means you need to strengthen your core. I’d recommend holding off on doing burpees for a little bit and instead working on planks, ab twists, the superman core exercise, and even back extensions if that isn’t too much and get your core nice and strong before doing them again. Feel free to send me an email if you need more info.

      • Julie May 17, 2013 at 2:44 pm #

        When I used to jog steadily (at a consistent pace), after awhile, my lower back starts hurting, too. And it just makes me think that my spine or something is being injured. It’s that same pain — that’s also solely from a weak core, as well?

        Thanks! :)

        • Krista Stryker May 17, 2013 at 3:57 pm #

          Could be. Though, your spine might be a bit out as well – have you ever tried going to a chiropractor for the pain? It’s not normal, but hopefully can be fixed!

        • Melanie G December 18, 2013 at 10:52 pm #

          Hi

          I always had back pain when I ran and sat for long periods, so I stopped jogging.. but I started a Bootcamp and once I had my core strengthened I started jogging again and now I run a lot, and never have any more back pain at all.. I’d suggest strengthening your core and then see how it is..

    • Par June 1, 2013 at 12:33 pm #

      Yea I would def recommend you get that back checked out before you continue. Having spent some time in the military now, I can tell you the worst thing you can do is try to push through the kind of pain you are describing. its your body trying to tell you something is wrong. if the doc says its nothing to worry about, then start with workouts that build your core and slowly work in the burpees. Burpees are an absolute ass kicker and my heart pumps as hard after only 20 burpees as it does during a sustained fast 6:30/mile running pace. You gotta be in shape for something like that so you don’t hurt youslf.

  36. Superchar April 22, 2013 at 1:33 pm #

    Burpees and I have a love-hate relationship. However, I decided to train myself to do 40 in a row. I started with 10 each day (yes, 7 days). The second week up to 15, then 20. It is amazing to think that my very first day I was wiped by the 8th one, now I am solid up until about 13/14. A little bit each time. It doesn’t get easier, you get stronger and better. Now if I can just master them pull ups.

    • Krista Stryker April 22, 2013 at 5:06 pm #

      That is a really awesome approach! Do the same with pull ups – start with a few a day, jumping if you need to, then work up from there. You’ll build strength fast!

  37. peterb March 24, 2013 at 7:06 pm #

    In burpees, your body touches the ground? wouldn’t it slam (esp. if one is tired?) on the ground? just asking, i do burpees; I tighten my core, controlling how low I go then tighten it up to bring it in and jump up.

    I will do more if this, however burpees (unfortunately) are not my favorite. by itself it is a “doable” but together with other hiit moves, tiring!

    Thanks for sharing.

  38. Dima November 27, 2012 at 9:41 am #

    Nice. I remember these from wrestling. :) I’m definitely adding them back into my regimen. Thanks!

  39. samantha November 20, 2013 at 11:00 am #

    ummm I do burpees! :)
    I was feeling tired one day and did 10 burpees (yes just 10) while I watched greys. I felt it in my legs and my stomach for a week straight! LOVED IT!

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