All that a person needs to perform the burpee exercise is their own body. There are no special simulators, or weights used, as the exercise was first developed to test the physical fitness of the military, and therefore eliminates the need to use additional equipment. In this article, we will consider the history of the exercise creation, the techniques of execution and also evaluate its effectiveness in terms of improving the physical performance.
How did this exercise come about?
The creator of this exercise was Royal H Burpee, by whose name the exercise was named after. In 1939, he experimentally combined 4 movements, creating an extremely effective workout from their sequence. Over time, this system has been slightly improved and in its modern form it includes 6 movements over the initial 4.
With the help of burpees, the Americans have evaluated the army recruits and if a recruit was able to complete 20 or more burpees within a minute, then it was believed that he was in excellent physical shape and ready for the services.
The world record in this exercise belongs to Cameron Dorn, as this athlete was able to complete 5,657 exercise cycles in just 12 hours. But he did not stop there and as a result, he completed 10,105 cycles in just one day.
What is so special about burpees?
The Burpee exercise is currently used to increase the physical performance of people who urgently need it in the framework of their activities such as, the previously mentioned military personnel, firefighters, professional athletes and rescuers alike. But why is the burpee exercise used when it is not complex within workouts in gyms?
The fact is that almost all muscle groups are involved in this system, including; the chest, arms, back, abdominals, legs and many others.
Burpees are not some prohibitively difficult exercise, as anyone can perform them. However, it is not recommended to resort to burpees for people who have poor preparations or physical development, as the high intensity and complexity of this exercise can lead to injuries.
Due to this exercise being of such high intensity, this can put strain on the joints ad ligaments during these sudden and explosive movements that are needed. To help and prevent this issue, many athletes use NPP within small courses to allow for more synovial fluid to be produced and in turn, protect these vital areas from the explosive movements within this exercise.
Queens University in Canada conducted a study in which 22 girls took part. During one month, they were divided into two groups and trained according to different schemes 4 times a week:
- The first group did cardio training (mostly running).
- The second group performed the Tabata protocol Burpees which consists of 20 seconds powerful load, 10 seconds of rest and this is repeated 8 times within the sequence.
According to the results of the study, the aerobic endurance index increased by 8% in both groups. So, in terms of aerobic endurance, there is no difference between the Tabata protocol Burpees and classic cardio. But it should be noted that those girls who trained using burpees also improved their muscle endurance scores in the bench press, hanging leg raises, squats and push-ups.
Another interesting study was published in the journal Strength & Conditioning Research in 2014, according to which burpees and interval cardio on an exercise bike have the same benefits for the body. But, as we remember, the burpee exercise does not need anything except your own body and the overall efficiency of this system is higher.
Of course, with the help of burpees, huge muscles cannot be pumped up, this is a fact. But it is quite possible to achieve a certain result, since:
- Performing burpees strongly, “acidifies” the muscles with lactic acid (why this happens, you can read here). This leads to the accumulation of metabolites during exercise, which ultimately contributes to hypertrophy. The sarcoplasmic part of the muscles (water and glycogen) also increases.
- With burpees, you can constantly progress, for example, increase the total execution time, add new movements or additional weights and complicate the basic system of the workout.
- Due to the increased daily energy expenditure and the active production of norepinephrine, dopamine and adrenaline, the process of fat burning is enhanced (which will be nice to know for everyone who uses this exercise for weight loss).
- It accelerates the development of the core muscles, which are essential for balancing (there are 29 pairs of muscles located in the pelvis, lower back and abdomen).
- Development of endurance due to the training effect on the aerobic system. Interval training increases the oxygen consumption so that the body’s maximum oxygen consumption ultimately increases.
It should be noted separately that burpees are ideal for those who want to lose weight and this increased energy expenditure during exercise persists until the end of the day and the body needs nutrients at this time to recover. If you correctly calculate your nutrition, then in the end the body will “burn” the excess fat and will receive only lean and healthy weight gain. The aerobic aspect of the burpee exercise strengthens the heart, increases lung capacity and, as has been mentioned many times, increases the muscle’s endurance.
Also one of the most effective core strengthening exercises that you can do without additional equipment is the plank. On our site there is a great article on how to perform the bar exercises correctly. Be sure to study it and follow this regularly for the best tips and advice!
Plus, the workout only takes a few minutes and requires no special equipment, this is a great option for those busy people who still want to keep fit. Another great advantage that athletes have found, is the non-steroidal drug Dianabol or clen, this amazing substance allows for much greater performance and endurance levels within this exercise. Due to Clen opening up the lungs and thus, they have greater capacity, those athletes who tire quickly from workouts or who need a little extra help in losing those extra pounds can benefit greatly from this oral substance. This beneficial and popular substance can be found within our store. Many bodybuilders also recommend to buy Anavar to get fast results.
Of course, there are no ideal exercises suitable for everyone and the burpee exercise also has certain contraindications:
- It is strictly forbidden to perform this exercise for people with pre-existing injuries.
- If you have problems with blood pressure, pathologies of the musculoskeletal system, painful conditions or diseases of the cardiovascular system, then it is better to choose another exercise.
- Pregnancy- This is strictly a forbidden exercise for those who are pregnant.
The most important thing within burpees is to be clearly aware of what kind of exercise it is, how it affects the body and of course, the athletes well-being is most important. It is worth starting to master the exercise at a rather slow pace, performing simple movements and there is no need to rush in this matter, take your time and master the exercise for it to product the best effects.
Since burpees are still a technically difficult exercise that requires good coordination, it is recommended to master it without deviating a step from the instructions. So let’s get started:
In the starting position, you should stand straight with your feet shoulder-width apart.
- From the starting position, you need to sit down, resting your hands on the floor.
- Then, with a quick jerk, pull your legs back to form a plank.
- This is followed by push-ups and return to lying position.
- Pulling the legs back up, position yourself into a squat position.
- The highest possible jump is now required out of the squat position.
Here, in general, is all the basic techniques. There are no pauses between all the above movements, you should not stop for a second between these instructions.
To increase the effectiveness of the exercise, you should pay attention to your own capabilities, for example, if you feel that you still cannot quickly complete a full cycle, then shorten it. Let’s say you can exclude jumping out of the squat position.
In the starting position, place your neck and back straight, while pushing your arms, straighten your arms to the end and do not protrude your pelvis. Resting within one cycle is strictly prohibited, otherwise the meaning of the exercise is lost. To keep things simple, spend a few short sessions resting in between.
Breathing is also an important factor in any exercise including in burpees: inhale when squatting and lifting, exhale when doing push-ups and jumping.
It is best to train with burpees in the morning, as this is the best time in terms of your metabolism to burn the subcutaneous fat. At first, exercise no more than three times a week, as you master the exercise, workouts can be transferred to a daily basis from then on.
Popular options for performing burpees
- The lightest, which excludes push-ups from the cycle.
- Simplified, eliminating the final jump.
- Tabata protocol (a variant of cardio training), which includes 20 seconds of exercise and 10 seconds of rest. The cycle in this case consists of 8 sets of 4 minutes each. You can then rest for a minute in-between these sessions.
Beginners should perform 4 sets at 2 minutes each (according to an easy or simplified scheme), the break between each approach is one minute in duration.
For those who have already gained experience, you can bring the session time to 4 minutes, or increase the number of cycles, say by 6 cycles of 2 minutes and leave the same breaks in-between.
Professionals, on the other hand, perform 6 sets within 3 minutes, while resting for only 30 seconds in-between sessions. Also, the pros use weights (dumbbells or special weighted vests).
The transition to the complication of the burpee exercise should be at the moment when, in the current mode, the load practically ceases to be felt. You can modify any of the existing exercises in the cycle. So let’s learn how…
Options for changing the base exercise
Consider what to do for those who have already mastered the basic scheme enough and feel that it does not bring the desired load, so it’s time to start the modifications. For example, you can increase the load (and, accordingly, the effect) in the following ways:
- At the end of the cycle, you can jump out of the plank on the toes.
- While lying down, you can take turns in raising your arms.
- You can jump out at the end with a clap over your head.
- Try to do the basic pattern on one leg, as this makes the burpees much more difficult and requires a good physical fitness level to achieve.
- Use the bollard to jump onto it in the last movement of the cycle. The height of the bollard should be selected according to your physical capabilities. You can also enhance the burpees effects by fully straightening your knees when jumping onto the bollard.
- Attach the dumbbells to the exercise, the weight should also be selected based on your physical capabilities. Try different options to figure out what weight is right for you. In addition, dumbbells can be used in different ways, for example, during the cycle they can be constantly on the floor, or they can be placed on the shoulders and raised over the head in the last movement. This will put more stress on the shoulder area, so be careful when choosing your working weight.
- Use a barbell. Throughout the cycle, the bar remains in one place, and in the last movement, the bar is taken to the chest, after which the push press is performed.
- In the last movement, you can also add a side jump (although not necessarily a side jump, you can jump forward) over the obstacle with both feet. If you jump forward, then after landing, turn around and repeat the exercise to return to your normal position.
- Medballs are also used quite often, it is selected depending on the weight that is required. It is used again in the last exercise of the cycle, while jumping out, just raise the medball above you with outstretched arms.
When you have mastered the burpee exercise technique properly, you will be able to come up with various options to perform them by yourself, depending on your needs and capabilities. The most important point, is to always assess your strength and do not try to make the burpees become a too difficult exercise.
Burpee is a very important element of training not only for professional athletes, but also for everyone who wants (or has to) be in good physical shape. Perhaps, burpee is one of the most accessible techniques that should be in the shortlist of every exercising athlete. Hopeful this article regarding burpees has helped you to adjust your methods of training to suit your outcomes.
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