The burpee is the exercise everyone loves to hate but ask any fitness professional or coach, they’ll tell you burpees are one of the most effective total-body exercises you can throw into a workout.
“Burpees target the entire body — the nature of the movement involves the muscles of the legs, trunk, chest, shoulders and arms,” says Lee Boyce, a Toronto-based strength coach and college professor.
Burpees are the ultimate one-stop-shop exercise, but paired with other bodyweight exercises like pushups, planks and squats, provides a complete workout regimen without having to leave the house.
“Burpees are an efficient calorie burner and a way to spike your heart rate in a very short period of time. The best part about them is that there’s no equipment needed to perform them and there are ways to progress the exercise (like adding a pushup amid each rep) or regress the exercise (like eliminating the jump component of the rep) depending on your skill level,” says Boyce.
So, sure burpees are hard, but why not commit to doing them everyday for the next 31 days? After that, you’ll either want to do them forever or never again … hopefully the former.
- READ MORE: 4-Week Progressive Burpee Plan
We start with 10 burpees on Day 1, but feel free to break the set up into smaller chunks. From there, we add an additional burpee every day for 31 days.
The move: Position yourself parallel to the ground, with your upper body resting on your forearms and your toes tucked. Keep a straight back, engage your core and look directly down at your forearms and wrists. Feel free to drop your knees when needed.
The move: Position yourself parallel to the ground, with your toes tucked and your hands about shoulder-width apart. Lower yourself by bending your elbows to about 90 degrees, and push yourself back up. Don’t forget to keep a straight back with your hips in line with your spine. Just like a plank, feel free to drop your knees if the move becomes too difficult.
The move: Stand with your feet between hip- and shoulder-width apart, with your toes pointed slightly outward. Look straight ahead, keep your arms parallel to the ground and your spine in a neutral position. Push your hips and butt back and bend from your knees. Keep your knees above your feet (not inside or wider than your feet) as you descend until your hips are slightly below your knees. Return to the original position by pushing your heels into the ground and squeezing your glutes. Be sure to keep your back neutral and core engaged.
The move: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, and squat down to touch the mat below you. Quickly kick your feet back into a pushup position and complete one pushup. At the top of the pushup, jump your feet back toward your hands, stand and explode upward. At the peak of your jump, clap your hands above your head. Return to the neutral position and repeat.