Burpees are highly recommended by Thefitnesssystem.com as part of your bodyweight burn program. They are powerful, effective exercises whose compound effect extends to nearly the whole body, and offer everything from muscle mass growth to boosted aerobic health to increased endurance. They are, in short, very tough and highly productive all-round exercises that will produce rapid results for you.
They are also generally overlooked by calisthenics enthusiasts, meaning that you may even get a boost ahead of your friends and acquaintances in your bodybuilding progress if you make use of burpees and they don’t!
Though the two basic forms of burpee – those with and those without a pushup at the “low point” of the exercise – are very challenging and effectual, literally dozens of variants have been devised. All of these add additional effort to the exercise. At this point, it is likely that you need no further resistance, but there will come a time in your workout future when you desire further development than the regular version of burpees offers.
You may even devise some burpees of your own, but there are many types already available for use, including the following:
- Double dip burpees involve carrying out two pushups in rapid succession after the initial drop to the floor. This cuts down on your momentum and forces you to use your muscles even more vigorously to keep the proper “explosive” motion going.
- Single armed burpees add the challenge of performing the whole pushup and extension routine with only one arm, the other remaining folded behind the small of the back. Alternate between arms on successive repetitions to provide a well-rounded workout. A single armed double dip burpee is likely to be one of your most grueling burpee experiences.
- Pull-up and burpee combinations can be carried out by doing your burpees near your chin-up bar. When you complete a burpee by leaping into the air from the second squatting position, seize the chip-up bar and complete a pull-up. Remember that a full pull-up ends with you either raising your head fully above the bar, or touching your chest to it. After the pull-up, drop back to the ground and start the next burpee immediately.
- Parkour burpees are those which involve leaping onto a table at the end of the burpee at the end of a repetition, doing another burpee atop it, then leaping back to the floor and repeating the process. This obviously requires a table low enough for you to reliably jump up on, tough enough not to collapse under your hurtling weight (which could potentially injure you badly), and large enough to easily do a burpee atop. The table should be secured in place, at least temporarily, so that it does not slide when you land on it, which could result in it slipping partly out from under you and slamming part of your body into the table-edge.
- Judo pushup burpees are a more challenging form as well. Instead of the standard plank pose, form your body into a pyramid with your neck and back aligned, your buttocks as the high point, and your legs sloping down on the other side. Fold your arms, dropping your chest close to the ground, then push forward, lowering your buttocks and pushing your chest and head upward at the same time. Go into the standard pushup pose, return to the pyramid shape, then pull your legs in while pushing up with your arms, first into a squat and then into an explosive upward jump to end the burpee. This is likely to require quite a bit of practice for successful execution, since it is a complex series of motions.
- Hurdle burpees end with you jumping over a hurdle or other obstacle to the other side at the end of each burpee, pivoting around, performing a burpee on the far side, then leaping back to the original side of the hurdle. Continue to jump back and forth until you have completed all your repetitions.
There are dozens of other burpee spinoffs, allowing you to find the right burpee for your unique bodyweight strength training needs.
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