Extreme athletes and elite military forces do it. Even footballers do it too. Although it is the exercise everybody loves to hate, burpees can help you boost your strength and endurance. They are one of the most effective exercises because they work every muscle in the body, which means you can burn calories in a short amount of time. And there’s no excuse not to give it a try: this is one exercise that requires little space and no equipment so you can do it almost anywhere, anytime.
How to do a proper burpee?
1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
2. Squat down with your back straight and place your hands on the floor in front of your feet.
3. Kick your legs backward into a push-up position.
4. Drop to a push-up – your chest should touch the floor. You can also drop to your knees here if it makes the push-up easier.
5. Push your chest back up to the push-up position, then thrust both feet forward so that you are back in the squat position.
6. Jump up into the air as high as you can with your arms extended upward.
7. Land and immediately lower your body back to a squat position. Repeat Step 2 onwards.
Benefits of Burpees
1. Burpees are a good form of exercise when it is done properly, and at a rapid pace. Exercise the upper body by raising the arms at the end.
2. Recent studies have shown that a higher intensity exercise, which uses all the major muscle groups of the body, is superior to traditional continuous aerobic-type exercise like jogging to build cardiovascular fitness and decrease body fat. Burpees should be done, singly, or with other high-intensity exercises, for 30 minutes three times a week to reap maximal benefits.
3. You should squat to a level where the thighs are parallel to the ground. Avoid squatting any lower as it puts unnecessary stress on the knees. The back should be kept straight at all times and the arms raised overhead at the end.
4. Burpees have the advantage of being a simple and effective exercise that does not require special gear or equipment.
TIP: As you get fitter, you can hold light 1kg dumbbells to increase the intensity of the exercise and calories burned.