The burpee is one of the most effective and efficient exercises in existence if you can do it right. It has every component of a great workout, taking you from a great cardio exercise to raise your heart rate and keep your heart healthy, all the way through to a good bodyweight strength workout that uses explosive plyometric movement to build muscle.

As incredible as it is, the burpee is also more than capable of change. It has a huge level of variation that you can employ to make it an even more effective exercise, so it can do incredible things to pretty much every muscle in your body! So much so in fact, that you can even use it to create your own burpee workout! Here are seven exercises for you to try it out for yourself!

Standard

The first move in the workout, of course, has to be the standard burpee. It’s proven to be one of the most effective exercises you can do as we’ve already said, so it’s well worth your time and effort. The basis of it is to combine getting into the push-up position, essentially performing knee tucks as you go so that you’re bringing them into your chest, and back again, before explosively pushing them down to launch you into a jump, and back down again. It’s hard work just describing them!

Mountain Climber

The first variation in the burpee workout is the challenging addition of the mountain climber. Although it’s not the hardest of movements to do, using your abs in such an intensive way alongside all of the effort you need to be applying to the other motions of the burpee is going to give you some serious burn. It’ll likely send you into anaerobic respiration, leaving you gasping for breath - but push on and stay at a good working rate for the best results!

woman performing a burpee outside

Push up

This one is much more strength focussed than other variations, but it’ll still get you short of breath pretty instantly because of the energy it needs. As you’re at the low point of the movement, use your arms before moving your legs so that you perform a full push up. Just one before the jump should mean that you don’t fatigue your arms too quickly, so even if you can’t do many push-ups outside of the burpee workout, this shouldn’t slow you down.

Renegade

It's important to make sure that the burpee workout is balanced and you’re hitting all of your major muscle groups evenly. The last upper body variation of the workout is to perform row-like movements. When you’re in the face-down position on the floor, instead of immediately jumping, pull your arm back until your hand is in line with your chest, and lower again before repeating with the other arm. This will cause your lats and mid back to contract and give you that extra burn.

man performing a burpee

Tuck Jump

So now that you’ve exhausted your upper body with variation as well as every other aspect of the burpee movement, you can start adding some jumping variations. Because of the huge size of your leg muscles, these will most likely take a toll on you. Start with a tuck as you jump in the air, so you are bringing your knees as high up to your torso as you can before going back to the starting position!

group performing a jumping burpee

Step up

Turning things up a notch, the next step for your legs is the step-up burpee (sorry…). For this one, instead of explosively contracting your legs to throw your body upwards from the floor, focus on each leg individually. Rather than hopping though, you need to jump up onto a bench or something elevated, hold for a second, and then drop yourself down straight back into the exercise. This will mix things up from the other variations and really hit your legs hard to help with your lower body strength quite dramatically.

Box Jump

Finally, going out with a bang, we have the box jump burpee. This is probably the hardest exercise that we have in the workout, but it’s easily one of the best! The plyometric force that comes from you contracting your muscles so rapidly to jump a decent height means your lower body is pushed to the limit. Jump as high as you can on the upward motion so that you can scale the box size of your choice and bounce straight back into the exercise!

woman performing a jumping burpee

All of the exercises are extremely taxing and the whole burpee workout will be a challenge for anyone, no matter how good your fitness level is. It’s a difficult feat for the best of us, but if you give it a go in the HIIT style like demonstrated below, you’ll get a seriously hard-hitting full body workout that you won’t forget about!

 

Exercise Time on (seconds) Time off (seconds) Rounds
Standard Burpee 30 45 2
Mountain Climber Burpee 45 45 2
Push Up Burpee 60 45 2
Renegade Burpee 45 45 2
Tuck Jump Burpee 30 45 2
Step Up Burpee 45 45 2
Box Jump 60 45 2

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