Friday Fit Focus: The Burpee

I thought it would be fun to start a series of posts on Fridays highlighting different fitness moves that you have seen or will see  here on my blog, in the gym, in fitness magazines, or on other blogs or fitness websites.

There is nothing worse than starting a workout and halfway through you see, “next do 10 monkey pushups.” You then proceed to surf youtube for the next 15 minutes deciding which variation of the monkey pushup seems like the original.
We’ve all been there. My hope is that I will be able to build an archive of simple explanations of common exercises that you can use as a resource whenever you’d like to incorporate something new into your fitness routine.

This Friday’s Fit Focus: The Burpee

The Burpee is one of my favorite full body exercises. With each burpee you perform you will be using you chest, arms, abs, legs, and shoulders. Because you are using your full body to complete a burpee, this exercise is a fantastic fat burner! Another thing I love about burpees, you can do them anywhere. As long as you have enough space to extend your body into a pushup position you can do a burpee.

How to do it? –


1.  Begin in a low squat position with you hands on the floor in front of you.

2. Jump your feet back so you are in a push up position.

3. Next jump your feet forward again to the squat position

4. And jump into the air as high as possible from the squat position

Here is the burpee in action!

Burpee Variations –

Once you’ve mastered the basic burpee, there are hundreds of burpee variations that are not only fun to learn, but will challenge your body in new ways, helping to keep your workouts fresh and exciting. Here is a non-exhaustive list of other burpee variations to experiment with.

burpee with a push up – when your body is in push up position, keeping your back and butt straight and abs tight, do a push up before jumping your feet forward.

burpee with 180 degree jump – do the basic burpee, but as you jump up spin around 180 degree to face the opposite direction, and then continue with another burpee again turning as you jump.

competition burpee – when you jump your feet back bring your body all the way down so your chest and hips are touching the ground. Then use your arms to push yourself up as you jump your feet forward and jump up into the air.

sumo burpee – do the basic burpee beginning with your feet in a wide squat stance. When you jump your feet forward, jump again into a wide squat stance and from here jump up.

one legged burpee – complete the basic burpee on one leg and after you’ve complete your number of reps, switch legs. These are tough!

weighted burpee – squat down placing your hands on a pair of dumbbells. Complete the burpee and carry the dumbbells up with you when you jump/or just come up to a stand.

Burpee Workouts

Burpees are a versatile workout move because you can use them many different ways in your workouts. For example, if you are doing a weight lifting routine, you can throw in 10 burpees for a blast of cardio in between weight sets. During a run you can throw in 10 burpees every 1/4 mile, etc.

Or, if you want a quick and sweaty home workout a burpee challenge is where it’s at! Try one of these…

100 Burpee Challenge – do 100 burpees as fast as you can.

Timed Burpee Challenge – set a time limit, for example 5 minutes, and see how many burpees you can do in 5 min.

Descending Burpee Challenge – do 10 burpees then rest for 1 min, then do 9 burpees, rest for 1 min., then 8, 7, 6 etc.

Week of Burpees Challenge – do 50 burpees every day for an entire week!  Challenge your friends, spouse, or family members to do it with you for some accountability.

Month of Burpees Challenge – challenge yourself to do 50 to 100 burpees everyday for an entire month!! Make it interesting by switching up the variations of the burpees every 4 days.

Fit Question? Have you done burpees before? Which burpee variation is your favorite one? Which exercises would you like to see feature here on the Friday Fit Focus?

Have a great weekend!


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