Notice the headline reads “How to Make Burpees More Fun,” not “How to Make Burpees Easier.” There is just no way around the truth that this full-body, functional exercise is a a tough one – I’ve seen grown men hurl. String a bunch of burpees together and your heart rate will sky rocket and the muscles of your arms, chest, quads, glutes, hamstrings, and core will be screaming for sweet mother mercy. Why do you think the burpee is a go-to conditioning exercise at military boot camp, police and special ops training, and football team practice?! Because burpees get results!
However, seeing the same old burpee sets programmed into your workout can almost feel like a punishment, am I right? One way I like to make this exercise a bit more bearable (maybe FUN isn’t the right word) is by creating an interesting variation – like piggybacking on another element to create a compound exercise or doing them with a partner to create a good laugh. Here are my five favorite takes on this essential exercise:
Disclaimer, most of these videos are sped up in double time so that you will be spared the misery of me slogging them out in real time!
Burpee Power Jack: Drop into plank position of burpee and then simultaneously jump both feet outward past width of shoulders. While still in plank jump feet back in and pop up from burpee to finish one rep.
Partner Leap Frog Burpee: Grab a friend and stand shoulder to shoulder. First person drops into a plank position (or rests chest down on the ground) while second person performs a lateral tuck jump over planking person’s torso. Upon landing, jumper drops into a burpee and then pops up, lateral jumps back over friend to start position, and drops into a plank himself. First person now pops up from plank and takes his turn lateral jumping over second person, performing full burpee, and then jumping back over and dropping to plank. Repeat until worn out.
Burpee Box Jump: Stand facing box or platform of a comfortable height (I do 20 to 24-inches), make sure you are a body-length distance away if you like your face. Drop into a burpee push-up, pop back up, hop toward box and then jump with both feet landing on the box. Jump off backward, hop backward to the burpee start position for one rep.
Burpee Pull Up: Stand under pull-up and drop into burpee with or without push-up. Pop up from burpee and immediately jump to bar with both hands and pull up until chin clears bar. Land on ground in start position to finish rep.
Burpee Tuck Jump: Drop down into burpee with or with-out push up and pop back up. Instead of the little hop and hand clap that comes with a traditional burpee finish, jump explosively upward with both feet, tucking knees toward chest. Land in the standing start position to finish one rep.
Soooo . . .do you have a favorite way to burpee? Challenge me in the comments please!