How To Properly Do A Burpee

If you've ever done a HIIT or boot camp, you're probably in a love/hate relationship with the burpee. This pesky move boosts strength and fitness and burns serious calories. According to Healthline, a 155-pound person can burn 12.5 calories in a minute — that's if you can punch out 20 burpees in that minute. Burpees can strengthen your heart and lungs, which decreases your risk of cardiovascular disease. Best part? You don't need a gym to do them. You can get a full-body workout anywhere with a burpee.

According to Cleveland Clinic, the burpee gets its name from Royal H. Burpee, who came up with the move to measure fitness. It's been used by the military to test the ability for combat. The Guinness World Record for burpees is 12,003 in 24 hours, set by Australian Eva Clarke. How many can you do in a day? Let's start by breaking one down.

A burpee is a two-move combo

According to Healthline, a burpee combines a push-up and a jump squat. Start in a squat position with your knees bent and feet about shoulder-width apart. Bring your hands to the floor and steady your weight in your hands while kicking your feet straight back behind you. This brings you to a push-up position, so guess what's next? Yep, a push-up. Keep your body steady as a plank as you come down and push up. Now pop your feet back to your hands so you land into a squat position. From here, jump as high as you can in the air as you raise your arms high. Once you land, you can repeat. Maybe.

Coach maintains that the classic burpee doesn't include the push-up, so you can decide to eliminate it. Just be sure to keep your core engaged and back straight while in the plank position. If your back is arched, you risk injury.

Some burpee variations and workouts

The best part of the burpee is that you can turn it up or turn it down according to your level of fitness. Healthline suggests eliminating the jump squat or eliminating the jump squat and the push-up. To amp up your burpee, try doing a box jump, then place your hands on the box for the push-up. If you have a Bosu ball handy, hold onto the handles and do your push-up with the wobbly side on the floor, then raise the Bosu over your head like an overhead squat rather than do a jump squat.

Men's Health suggests doing burpees with a medicine ball, which will look a little like the Bosu burpee except you can add some extra weight. You can also do a burpee with dumbbells or a barbell. If you want to fire up your legs even more, bring one leg forward after the push-up then spring from the lunge position and land on both feet.

You can mix it up and include it with other exercises for a full workout. Or you can make a challenge out of burpees. According to Coach, one man started the year with a single burpee then added another burpee to each day until he ended the year with 366 burpees (yeah, leap year). You can also challenge your friends with the 100 burpee challenge. Whatever you choose, you'll be getting a great workout.