A full-body workout that doesn't require any weights at all and yet trains muscles, endurance and the cardiovascular system in equal measure? Burpees make it possible. Unlike one-sided strength training, burpees can achieve unusual levels of fitness. In addition to muscle training, this exercise increases both responsiveness and endurance.
Imagine an exercise that combines all the movements and training effect of push-ups, squats and so-called leg thrusts. Properly executed, the sequence looks like this:
- You stand up straight and do a squat.
- Instead of getting back up, place your hands on the floor and push your legs back.
- In this position, perform a push-up and then pull your feet back towards your body with a slight jump.
- Finally, do either a normal squat or a jumped squat.
With this exercise you train your entire musculoskeletal system. As you learn to get up from a lying position in a flash, you equally shorten your reaction time. Sooner or later, your agility and pulse rate will also improve significantly. In strength training, burpees strengthen both biceps and triceps, chest, back, abdominal and leg muscles.
So many repetitions make sense
Beginners are best to start with 10 sets, each reduced by one burpee. So after each set is counted down until the exercise is performed only once at the end. Advanced exercisers can of course dare to do 15 repetitions right away. Anything beyond that is really only recommended for extremely trained people.
The history of origins
Incidentally, burpees originated in prison: many inmates of maximum-security prisons do not have access to fitness equipment. Because they are dangerous, they are only allowed to stay in workout rooms that do not contain dumbbells, equipment or anything else that could serve as a weapon. Since some of the prisoners also had to wear hand and foot shackles, they were left with few opportunities to exercise.
With burpees, the inmates finally found an effective way to exercise their entire bodies and at the same time gain the recognition of their fellow inmates. For example, a man is only considered a man if he manages 20 sets (even in prison, the number of burpees is reduced by one after each run; in between, however, the inmates run once across the gym).
Burpees are one of the very few exercises that you can do almost anywhere and without much effort. This full-body exercise makes you independent of the weight room and helps you to get your effective workout in between.