Personal Trainer Tips

Burpees: The Broccoli of Fitness


What is a burpee?

The burpee is a full-body exercise used in strength training and as an aerobic exercise. Originally created to train people in the military to dodge bullets, they have evolved into something we now use to dodge that looming problem of obesity and sedentary lifestyles.

Bountiful benefits of burpees

Burpees: the exercise everyone loves to hate. But is that hate deserved? There is a good reason. Burpees are an exercise everyone has heard of, and it’s not just because the name is chuckle-worthy. It really gives you the best bang for your buck! The burpee works every part of your body: hitting those arms, chest, (and upper back if you add the pushup). You strengthen your quads, hamstring, calves, hips and glutes, during the up/down and jumping. All while working your core throughout! Not to mention its ability to get that heart rate going, making it an incredibly effective cardio exercise. The repetition of burpees and continued progression will have a positive impact over your cardio and muscular endurance. All this with no equipment required! Burpees make it possible to get a good workout in no matter where you are or how much time you have.

Not all burpees are created equal

It is important to start at the level that is right for you! Not only for safety, but to progress your body to give it the best chance to get better, faster, stronger!

Here is a summary of 3 levels of a burpee.

Level 1: Step back to plank and forward to squat, stand (Can also be done from an elevated surface to make easier or if unable to go to the ground). Choose this progression if you find it challenging to jump forward or back from the plank to the squat.

Level 2:  Jump back to plank and forward to squat, jump up at top.  Choose this progression if you are comfortable jumping forward and back from the squat to the plank.

Level 3: Add a pushup in the plank to level 2.  Choose this progression if you want an extra challenge.