It’s the exercise everyone loves to hate — and it’s easy to come up with an excuse not to do them. But here’s why burpees should be a part of any bodyweight workout: Burpees hit every major muscle group in the body, amp up your cardiorespiratory fitness, torch 50 percent more body fat than moderate exercise, and they don’t require a single piece of equipment. Plus, if you go all-out, you can complete a full-body workout in mere minutes!
Think about it — with every rep, you work your arms, chest, quads, glutes, hamstrings and abs, making the burpee the ultimate in strength training. They are so efficient that when researchers at The College of New Jersey compared burpees to free weights, they found that a bodyweight burpee workout was significantly more metabolically demanding than a traditional session with moderately heavy weights — and that translates to faster results.
Whether you add a few burpees to your normal workout or design your very own Tabata-type workout, here’s the 411 on burpee basics.
Need more of a challenge? Try these variations!