In the world of fitness, ‘trendy’ exercises come and go, but burpees have withstood the test of time and stuck around. There’s a reason why they’re called the king of bodyweight exercises—every time you get into a set, you’re challenging both your upper and lower body.
Burpees require a combination of strength, agility, coordination, and mobility. If done right, even basic burpees work your quads, glutes, core, chest, back and shoulders, providing a super-effective full-body workout.
How To Do A Burpee
Unless you’ve been living under a rock all your life, you know what a basic burpee is. To catch you up, however, a burpee involves a series of movements that take you from a standing position into a squat, followed by a thrust into a plank, thrust back out into another squat, and a squat jump to finish. Just four sets of 10 to 12 reps will leave you drenched in sweat and gasping for breath.
However, burpees have evolved over the years, and you should too. That’s why we talked to Amit Chhikara, Senior Fitness Manager at Fitness First India, to prepare this list of seven burpee variations that’ll take your variation to the next level. They’re designed to make everything burn—your muscles, your lungs, and most of all, a lot of that pesky body fat!
1. Double Burpees
What’s twice as hard as a single burpee? One where each step is performed twice, of course! And yes, this means two squats, two thrusters, two push ups, two MORE thrusts, and two squat jumps that make up one rep. Talk about double trouble!
2. Box Jump Burpees
Set up a box, bench, or stepper to a height you’re comfortable with—and instead of finishing off with a squat jump, end with a box jump to really work your lower body. If you’re feeling especially limber, you can step it up a notch by jumping OVER the box before heading into your next rep!
3. Single Leg Burpees
Isolate your legs with this hellish variation—burpees are hard enough on two legs, but this one requires you to complete the entire movement on just one. You can choose to complete your entire set on one leg and then switch, or alternate legs with every rep.
4. Pull Up Burpees
Did you really think we’d forget about your upper body workout? No such luck—at the end of every rep, jump straight into a pull up. Your arms will feel sore, but it’ll be good soreness!
5. Mountain Climber Burpees
One fantastic fat-burning exercise combined with another—simply throw in two mountain climbers (with each leg) along with each rep, and the basic burpee will feel like child’s play to you!
6. Renegade Row Burpees
Another variation that’ll tax your arms—after you complete the push up, perform a row with each arm before getting back up again. Not hardcore enough for you? Try doing this with a pair of dumbbells in your hands.
7. Twister Burpees
This one tests your balance as much as anything else—at the end of each rep, jump up into a 180-degree turn and go straight into the next rep!
The beauty of burpees is that they can be scaled up or down to suit any level of fitness—so you don’t have any excuse not to try out these variations during your next workout!