Burpees are an intense exercise that combine push-ups and squat jumps into one physically demanding activity, fitness expert and personal trainer Ross Enamait explains. Burpees provide many benefits, and may help improve your physical conditioning. Despite the benefits, you should only perform burpees and other exercises with appropriate supervision and after getting a clean bill of health from your doctor
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Burpees do not require equipment, but they can be difficult to perform. As the website for the CrossFit exercise program explains, you should begin a burpee by crouching on the floor with your hands in front of you. Swiftly move your feet back and bend your arms so you are in a push-up position. Perform a push-up and quickly bring your feet back under you, then jump as high as you can, landing in the squat position. Repeat as many times as your workout plan requires.
One benefit of burpees is strength-building. Burpees require you to perform push-ups, a classic strength-building exercise, as well as squats. High-repetition squats, such as those performed during a set of burpees, "work wonders for building muscular bulk and strength, not just for the legs, but for the entire body," writes fitness expert David Whitley.
Burpees are performed in rapid succession, Enamait writes, with up to 15 repetitions in a 30-second period. In addition, burpees require you to use your entire body weight, which makes them a high-load exercise. Research published in the August 2004 issue of the "Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research" explains that high-repetition and high-load exercises are effective at increasing muscular endurance.
Improved Anaerobic Capacity
In addition to training your upper- and lower-body muscles, burpees can improve the health of your heart and lungs. Enamait notes that burpees are a type of anaerobic training — high-intensity activity that is short in duration and requires your body to produce energy without the assistance of oxygen. By performing burpees often, you may improve your body's anaerobic exercise capacity.
The intensity of burpees and the number of muscles needed to perform this exercise results in a large caloric expenditure. Because you lose weight by burning more calories than you consume, burpees may help you lose weight.