Effective Full-Body Exercises

The Burpee – One of the Most Effective Full-Body Exercises You Can Do

Ah, the burpee.  One of the most dreaded exercises ever devised to punish fitness junkies, and for good reason.  Doing even five or ten burpees with the proper form will have even the fittest person gasping for air.  A basic burpee involves starting in a standing position, squatting to put the hands on the floor, jumping your feet back into a high plank position, performing a push-up,  then jumping the feet back towards the hands while simultaneously standing up, and finally jumping in the air.  While it’s a simple exercise, it’s also one of the most effective full-body exercises you can do, whether your goal is to build cardiovascular endurance, increase your strength, or burn fat.

At first glance, burpees may not seem like a very effective exercise.  If performing them for a minute, you can plan on burning anywhere from 10-15 calories, depending on your weight.  That doesn’t seem like a lot, and really, you’re not doing burpees to burn a lot of calories.  However, burpees done for time intervals, such as in a high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workout, have the added benefit of kicking your metabolism into high gear for a time after you’re done training; this is something that steady state cardio isn’t as effective at.  Indeed, burpees are a great exercise to add to any HIIT workout to get some cardio into the workout.

Burpees are effective as well because of how they train the whole body.  Your legs, core, arms, and back are all engaged at various times throughout the movements, and you can increase the intensity by increasing your tempo, adding pushups while you’re on the floor, or adding in weights. Instead of doing a workout consisting of pushups, squats, jumping, or planks, you can get the benefits of all of them as well as the elevated heart rate by doing some burpees.

If burpees are an exercise that you think would work for you, try doing a burpee pyramid workout and time yourself to see how long it takes, or do a HIIT workout where you perform burpees for 30 seconds or a minute, followed by a break of the same amount of time.  Performing five rounds of such a workout would be a good finisher for any gym workout, it’s simple and easy to remember, and you can keep burning calories longer in the day.  Keep pushing yourself to beat your best time or to do more rounds until you get the results you’re after.  Burpees are a good full-body exercise you can incorporate into your workout routine today.

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