Burpees - Why they’re so good for you
When the word burpee is announced in class it is usually followed by moans, groans and a slight amount of fear. If you’re one of the many people who jump for joy when you hear the word, you’re a rarity. In fact a burpee is often used as a punishment in the sporting arena. Leaving equipment out - 50 burpees! Missing training? 20!
The reason for this is probably because the burpee is a taxing exercise to perform and no matter how hard you try - they are always a struggle. The burpee however has a lot of benefits. It is a simple exercise to execute, technique wise and can be done anytime, anywhere with just your body weight.
So what are the benefits of a burpee?
The burpee requires your full body strength to execute. With each full repetition, you’ll work your chest, arms, shoulder, legs and abs. Trust me. Multiple repetitions and your body will be aching by the end of it.
If you are hooked up to a myzone heart rate belt while in a class you will soon be seeing red. The reason your heart rate shoots up during a burpee is because it is a full body exercise that requires all of your muscles to execute.
Studies have shown that high intensity exercises, like burpees, burn up to 50% more fat than conventional strength training exercises. They’ve also been shown to speed up your metabolism which helps you burn more calories throughout the day.
The movement pattern of a burpee is similar to many of the every day activities/excersices we do without thinking about it. Squatting, bending and press ups ,ok maybe you don’t do press ups every day….but you could!
How do I get better at burpees?
Practice makes perfect. Yip that’s right do more burpees with good technique and you will master the art of a burpee. Ensure your engaging the correct muscles. Need help with technique? Ask your trainer when you’re next in studio.
Here are a few drills to help you increase your burpee resilience
Descending Burpee Ladder
Start with a set of 10 burpees. Rest one minute. Then do a set of 9. Rest one minute. Continue lowering your reps by one on each set until you reach just one rep.
Total time needed: 20 - 25minutes
2 Minute Drill
Set your stop watch and crank out as many burpees as you can in two minutes
Challenge: Keep track of how many burpees you do then challenge yourself to do more the next time you do the 2 minute drill.
Burpee Ladder with Sprints
This one is for when you feel you are mastering the burpee and ready to take your awesomeness to the next level. Perform the burpee ladder as described above, except instead of resting a minute between sets, run a 20m sprint.
Finally here are two tips to get you through that next burpee workout
1. As you come back up from the ground keep your feet wide and outside your hands. This reduces the energy expended on the body coming back into a squat position.
2. It’s the top 2 inches. Next time you see burpess in the work out, say yeeesss and fist pump, attack it knowing you can do it and the pain will be less.
Ok who is ready, 50 burpees! GO GO GO!