Many people turn to running as a simple way to get their weekly requirement of cardiovascular exercise. While this workout is effective, it doesn't include a strength or plyometric component. Burpees, however, are the best of both worlds. This equipment-free workout not only improves your cardiovascular fitness, but offers a challenge for your muscles.
A basic burpee does not include the pushup, but an advanced burpee does. You start in a standing position, bend over and place your hands flat on the floor. Kick your feet out behind you, extending your legs. From this plank position, you can do a pushup. Kick your feet back in close to your hands and jump up into the air. Bend your knees when you land and repeat. For a more challenging variation, instead of jumping straight up at the end of the movement, jump forward.
Burpees are a convenient exercise that you can perform almost anywhere, including at home, at the gym and even on vacation. Running, however, requires a significant amount of open space. If indoors, you can use a treadmill, although this is not always a viable option. You can do burpees in a relatively small space, such as a corner of your living room or in your office at work. Burpees are easier to do indoors if the weather isn't cooperating.
Burpees and running involve impact to your joints, though you can modify both activities to reduce the impact. Select a softer running surface, such as grass or a running track, instead of concrete. Eliminate the vertical jump at the end of a burpee if you have knee issues. When you kick your feet out and back in, you can move one leg at a time. This reduces the difficulty of the exercise as well as the impact to your joints.
Burpees are a more intense exercise than running. They involve plyometric movements that increase the difficulty of the exercise. Even advanced athletes cannot perform burpees for long periods. While you may run for an hour, you perform burpees for one or two minutes at a time. Incorporate burpees into your running program to train your anaerobic and aerobic energy systems together. Design an interval session where you run for two minutes then perform burpees for one minute.