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.

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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    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.