Burpees: Push Up or No Push Up? (Video)

Today we’re going to talk about burpees.

Though burpees are a pretty simple exercise, they’re also one that people get really opinionated about.

Because while some people do burpees with a plank, others do a Crossfit-style chest to floor burpee, and another group does them with a full push up at the bottom.

So which one is correct?

Check out today’s short video above for more on different burpee types and benefits:

The truth is that they all are.

Just like with any other exercise, there are many different ways to do burpees, and different benefits of each type.

For example, burpees with a full push up will help you build up additional upper body strength while still getting your heart rate up. This is great if your goal is to pack as much as possible into a single exercise, and if you already have a fairly strong upper body. However, if you currently struggle to do one or several push ups in a row, adding push ups will result in much slower burpees or worse, some very crappy push ups.

Crossfit or plank-style burpees, on the other hand, will still work your core and upper body but will allow you to do burpees faster and will most likely result in a greater cardio workout.

And no, Crossfit-style burpees won’t automatically hurt your back – your back is made to bend this way. However if you have previous back issues, plank-style burpees or burpees with a push up are your safest option.

So do whatever helps you work towards your goals.

Don’t listen to the haters that tell you your burpees are wrong. Just make sure you’re working hard and always challenging yourself!

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3 thoughts on “Burpees: Push Up or No Push Up? (Video)”

  1. How many times a week should you do the burpees? I work out very intensely with weights about 3 time a week, I have been working out since 1982.

    A friend of mine has been working out at about the same length of time as me. But he has bad knees, should he perform the burpee, or not do them at all? We are both trying to increase our cardio, and we heard that prisoners do this one exercise every other day. The prisoners would start around 35 burpees, with a pushup and a jump, and then work down a rep, with a 10 to 17 second rest. Example, 35,34,33, and so on, so, on, until you do only one burpee.

    Thanks, for your informative web site. And thanks in advance for your response.

    Mr. Sunny Hound

    • There’s really no one answer to how many times a week someone should do burpees, but we do them as a part of our workouts at least couple of times a week. We also have our 100 Burpee Challenge every month: https://www.12minuteathlete.com/100-burpee-challenge/
      If you are an advanced athlete and do our 12 MA HIIT workouts, then 3-5 workouts a week is great. You will definitely see some burpees there. If burpees hurt your friend’s knees, it’s better to not do them.


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