Burn More Calories in Less Time with Burpees

Tony Bonvechio
by Tony Bonvechio
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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

About the Author

Tony Bonvechio
Tony Bonvechio

Tony Bonvechio (@bonvecstrength) is the co-owner of The Strength House in Worcester, MA, where he trains primarily powerlifters and team sport athletes. A former college baseball player turned powerlifter, he earned his Master’s degree in Exercise Science from Adelphi University. You can read more from Tony at bonvecstrength.com.

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