A burpee is a type of exercise used for both strength-training and aerobic benefits. It combines a squat, a push-up, and a jumping jack into one exercise, and is generally done in a series of sets. A burpee is a great exercise for working many different muscle groups, including the legs, arms, abdominal muscles, and chest.
To perform a burpee, begin in a squat position with both hands flat on the floor. Kick the legs back into a plank position, readying for a push-up; then, lower the body into a push-up and come back up. As quickly as possible, bring the feet forward into the squatting position again, and leap into the air as high as possible with the arms overhead. One may also choose to clap the hands together as in a jumping jack.
One may choose to do a set of ten burpees at once, or more or less depending on one's existing level of physical fitness. This type of exercise is very beneficial because it can burn fat and promote weight loss by getting the heart rate up and delivering aerobic benefits, while increasing overall strength and endurance by using the weight of the body to strengthen the muscles. Personal trainers at gyms frequently encourage their clients to incorporate burpee exercises into workout routines.
There are many modifications of the burpee exercise. Beginners may choose to skip the push-up portion of the exercise, and simply squat, kick the legs back, come back into a squat, and then jump up. Burpees done against the wall are often done in this manner. As strength increases, the push-up may then be added.
Conversely, athletes may choose to modify the burpee and make it more difficult by doing the entire exercise using only one arm, and then alternating the arm used throughout the set. One might also choose to replace the jump with a pull-up, or with a long jump forward, which may be beneficial to those who play sports. As strength and fitness increases, the amount of burpees done per set should increase as well.
Keep in mind that though a burpee is an excellent exercise and can help one to get in shape, it is important to vary the workout to avoid boredom. Sustained aerobic activity such as jogging, biking, or swimming is important as well. In addition, remember to always warm up and cool down before doing any workout, particularly a strenuous one that contains exercises such as burpees.