Burn More Calories in Less Time with Burpees

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Burn More Calories in Less Time with Burpees

Burpees are sweet, sweet torture. What other exercise provides a head-to-toe fat-burning workout with zero equipment? The answer is none, at least not to the degree that burpees do.

That’s the good news. The bad news is that burpees are often performed with bad form and poor planning. Take an effective exercise, do it incorrectly with no rhyme or reason and suddenly you’ve got a not-so-great situation.

But never fear. This article will show you how to do burpees with pristine technique — and how to regress them if necessary — and give you a workout plan that takes just five minutes.


READ MORE > HIIT FOR BEGINNERS WEEK 2: BODYWEIGHT STRENGTH CIRCUIT


ARE YOU READY FOR BURPEES?

Not everyone is ready to do burpees on Day One. Because burpees are supposed to be done quickly with maximal effort, it’s challenging to maintain perfect form. Sloppy technique could irritate your shoulders, wrists or lower back, so try these regressions first:

HANDS-ELEVATED BURPEE

The simplest way to make a burpee easier is to elevate your hands on a box or bench. This decreases the upper-body demands and takes stress off the lower back.

MEDICINE BALL THRUSTER

If burpees are a no-go for whatever reason, medicine ball thrusters provide a solid full-body alternative that mimics the burpee without any impact on the shoulders or lower back.

THE WORKOUT: BURPEE PROGRESSION LADDER

This five-minute workout combines three burpee progressions for an all-out fat-burning attack. You start each round with the easiest exercise and progress to the hardest exercise, reducing the number of reps each round. This allows you to keep working hard even as you fatigue.

ROUND 1
Med Ball Thruster x 12 reps
Hands-Elevated Burpee x 10 reps
Burpee x 8 reps
Rest 30 seconds

ROUND 2
Med Ball Thruster x 10 reps
Hands-Elevated Burpee x 8 reps
Burpee x 6 reps
Rest 30 seconds

ROUND 3
Med Ball Thruster x 8 reps
Hands-Elevated Burpee x 6 reps
Burpee x 4 reps
Rest 30 seconds

ROUND 4
Med Ball Thruster x 6 reps
Hands-Elevated Burpee x 4 reps
Burpee x 2 reps

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  • EBABY

    This version of burpees look so much easier than the standard burpee. I will be sure to incorporate them into my workout.

  • Rich Cook

    The other advantage that’s not mentioned here that I see is you could do these anywhere, in a hotel or while traveling, which is of interest to me personally.

  • lonnie johnston

    Love reading these blogs. A lot of good information for those of us that are exercise challenged

  • Eddie Trương-Cao

    Do you have an alternative to the med ball thruster if you don’t have one available?

    • Eddie – You could easily hold a dumbbell or kettlebell in a goblet position and do the same exercise.

  • Cathy Myers Smith

    Great video. I have struggled with trying to do burpees and this was very helpful. I will go back to doing them on a box or weight bench. Now I understand why my shoulders are so sore when attempting a round of burpees. Thank you!

  • Kimberly

    Thank you for the tips and vidoes on how to perform alternatives. As someone who is still recovering from ACL reconstruction, burpees are a huge challenge, and I struggle to perform them correctly. I feel I could tackle these alternatives and still get a good workout.

  • Walter B Salinas

    I’m returning from a knee injury that kept me from working out 3 months, just started running again last week. I’ll do this plan of yours, looks terrific. Thank you!

  • profswitzer

    How about a smidgen of proof to back up the TITLE of the post? That’s why I clicked on it, for Pete’s sake…