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If you have been following Eat.Move.Hack. recently (which we hope you have) then you will notice that we have embraced the burpee. We just finished our 100 Burpees a Day Challenge in January. To keep things interesting for January we tried several different burpees just to add variety. Today we are bringing you our 15 favorite burpee variations to help you get results!
Top Questions About Burpees
Before we jump into the different burpee variations we will talk about some of the top questions that came our way during January.
What Does a Proper Burpee Look Like?
Before you tackle burpee variations the best course of action is to make sure that you can do a “standard burpee” correctly.
Here is a great video that we would recommend you watch on proper burpee form. This video also shows burpee variations to answer a top question of whether there is a modification for burpees.
A proper burpee looks like a controlled and intentional movement. If you are new to burpees or tired (after doing many reps) the primary risk is getting sloppy with form.
How Many Burpees Should I do?
Everyone needs to listen to their body and be honest with their abilities.
If you are just getting started then slowly build up the reps, as you maintain proper form.
Any number of burpees is better than no burpees, so just start off building up reps as you develop the necessary fitness and flexibility.
Also, the number of burpees you “should” do will really depend on your personal goals. If you want to develop the ability to do 100 burpees in 10-minutes then you should shoot for 100 burpees a session.
If your goal is to develop more flexibility in your shoulders and hips, maybe you only need to do 20 burpees or so a day.
Will Burpees Give Me Abs?
You already have abs. If you didn’t, you would just be a gelatinous blog on the floor.
Will burpees reveal your abs? Not alone. Most people have a nice layer of insulation (ok, fat) over their abs which conceal their visibility.
Adding burpees into your routine will increase calories burned per day. However, the true way to reveal your abs to the world is in the kitchen.
Our diets are a tricky problem. People are willing to spend hours in the gym but it’s much harder to adjust our diets. Don’t feel frustrated, you are not alone if this is true for you. It is true for almost everyone.
Now, will burpees help you build core strength? Yes, if performed properly with an engaged core throughout the movement.
Is It Bad to Do Burpees Every Day?
One of the big benefits of bodyweight movements is the ability to perform them regularly. We are much more capable of accepting daily bodyweight exercises than we are for weighted movements.
With that being said, listen to your body. It can become addictive to maintain a streak day over day. However, if you have an injury or a great deal of soreness you will be far better off taking a day (or a few) off to allow for recovery.
Top 15 Burpee Variations:
Alright, it is time to get into our top 15 favorite burpee variations. Feel free to experiment with the burpee, it is a great movement that should be played with.
- Burpee High Jump: The burpee high jump is a very slight variation that only addresses the top of the movement. The goal for this variation is to jump as high as you can as you explode out of the bottom of the squat. If you want to develop explosive leg drive then focusing on the squat jump phase is important.
- Burpee Box Jump Over: This burpee variation is another great way to develop leg drive. However, it is slightly different from the high jump variation. For the box jump over you will come partially out of the squat before you initiate your jump onto the box. Be careful with this movement if you are using a wooden or metal box. This movement requires focus and confidence in your jump.
- Burpee Jacks: This movement keeps the focus of the movement on the legs, but shifts it slightly from the explosive leg drive. Rather, the focus moves towards your outer hips and lower core.
- Burpee Broad Jumps: You see the theme developing, right? We like to use burpee variations to really tax our lower bodies. The burpee is often thought of as an upper-body cardio workout, but that doesn’t mean you can’t shift that focus. The broad jump is one of the most effective plyometric exercises to develop overall full-body strength.
- Tuck Jump Burpee: The tuck jump burpee gets you a mix of core and leg explosion. Really try to bring those knees up as high as you can as you explode out of the bottom of the squat.
- Single-Leg Burpees: This burpee variation is a bit more advanced. Not because of the stress that it places on the legs, but rather because of the coordination that is required. Once you get comfortable executing the standard burpee then begin experimenting with this single-leg variation. It will help you develop solid lower body strength.
- Burpee Over Bar: To develop true full-body strength the goal should be to tax our bodies in different ways. If you simply do the standard burpee you will get really good at that one movement. However, if you want to develop full strength then incorporating burpee variations to hit the body in different ways is key. The burpee over the bar is an example of a new way to challenge your lower body. If you don’t have a barbell then simply use a line to jump laterally over.
- Weighted Burpee: This is a movement that is a simple way to up the intensity. If you have a weight vest, simply strap it on and use any of the burpee variations you see here. Remember, start slow with adding weight. It will take a bit of time to get accustomed to the added weight.
- Push-Up Burpee: So, it is just like it sounds. Before you allow your body to descend from the plank you do a full push-up. The standard burpee “simulates” part of a push-up, but this variation makes it a standard full movement push-up.
- Burpee Mountain Climbers: Take the standard burpee and the standard mountain climber and you have the burpee mountain climbers. Nothing fancy here. But, it is a burpee variation that ads a core focus to the middle of the movement.
- Navy SEAL Burpee: Any surprise that one of the most elite military units in the world wants to make the burpee harder? This is a burpee variation that combines the Push-Up and Mountain Climbers burpees into one movement. Each Navy SEAL burpee will get you a total of 3 push-ups, so be prepared.
- Renegade Row Burpee: This is a very challenging movement. It combines the push-up burpee as well as a dumbbell row and a deadlift. Take this movement slowly, especially with the deadlift portion. Ensure that you are tracking the proper deadlift form to prevent injury.
- Burpee Medicine Ball: This variation will allow you to work on dynamic slam strength. Slam strength taxes your entire upper girdle, so it is a great modification.
- Burpee Pull-Ups: Want to keep working on your pull-ups while tackling burpees? Here is your variation to keep you progressing on both fronts.
- Spiderman Burpee: How about we finish with a super-hero burpee. A core-focused burpee variation that also combines the benefits of the burpee push-up.
We hope you enjoy reading about our different burpee variations. This past month we experimented with each of these movements and we have enjoyed them all. Burpees will remain a core of our fitness and these variations will keep things fun and interesting.
If you want to learn more about our fitness challenges, series and suggestions check out our Move page.