What Are Burpees?
Burpees (or Squat thrusts) are full-body exercises used in strength training and as aerobic exercises.
The basic movement of Burpees is done in four steps and is known as a four-count burpee.
These steps are:
- Start with a standing position.
- Get into a squat position with your hands on the ground. (count 1)
- While keeping your arms extended, kick your feet back into a plank position. (count 2)
- Immediately return your feet into the squat position. (count 3)
- Stand up from the squat position (count 4)
Furthermore, this exercise got its name in the 1930s from American physiologist Royal H. Burpee, who came up with the burpee test. In 1940, he earned a Ph.D. in Applied Physiology from Teachers College, Columbia University and developed the “burpee” exercise as part of his Ph.D. thesis as a quick simple way to assess fitness. The exercise gained popularity when the United States Armed Services chose to use it as a way to assess the fitness level of recruits when the US entered World War II. The test, consisting of a series of exercises performed in rapid succession, was supposed to be a quick measure of agility, coordination, and strength.
Again, Burpees have a dumb name but are actually pretty awesome. It combines strength training and aerobic conditioning which only a few other bodyweight exercises ever could.
In addition, burpees have a special place in the Spartan world. For some good reasons, it’s one of the best exercises you can do. For you to compete in a Spartan Race, you will have to do a lot of them. This is because Spartan races are meant to be tough.
Common Burpee Workout Mistakes We Make:
Burpees just like every other exercise have a way it should be done to reap the benefits it comes with. You can enjoy these benefits only when you perform this exercise correctly, otherwise, you might injure yourself without even enjoying these benefits.
Here are common burpee workout mistakes a lot of us make:
1. Not Doing A Warm Up
Despite the fact that burpees are full-body, body-weight exercises, they are not to be used as a warmup or be done cold. Hence, if you’re doing Squat thrusts first thing in the morning or after sitting for a long time, you should get your muscles warmed up before doing your daily set.
Furthermore, warmups you can do include:
- walking around for a bit
- taking your body through a series of dynamic stretches like butt kicks, high knees, side bends, swimmer’s hugs, arm circles.
The purpose of these warmups is to get your muscles moving, take your joints through their range of motion and elevates your heart rate.
2. Doing Them Too Quickly
It is very true that a lot of people hate burpees. However, rushing them so that they’re over sooner is the perfect way to get an injury.
You don’t need to move like someone sinking in quicksand. Take your time to exercise and evaluate your form with each rep and keep yourself in check.
3. Allowing Your Lower Back Arch
You definitely might have seen CrossFitters doing burpees with arched backs at the bottom of their plank, right? However, as a beginner, this could be dangerous for you.
Generally, allowing your lower back arch like that increases your risk for injury.
Thus, when you’re in the plank, take a pause and make sure your abs are engaged. Focusing on tightening your abs prevents your lower back from arching.
4. Incorrect Positioning Of Your Shoulder
Note that in the middle of this exercise you are doing a plank, so it’s very important to maintain proper plank form. Your shoulders should be directly in line so don’t allow them to drift over or behind your hands.
Again, doing a burpee with your shoulders out of position puts unnecessary stress on both your shoulders and wrists. This puts you at risk for injury.
Therefore, if you notice that you cannot fix your shoulder position easily, try adjusting until you become stronger.
5. Landing With Stiff Legs
It can be very tempting to collapse back to the ground after your jump. However, landing with your legs straight and your knees locked is another way you can injure yourself while doing burpees.
Instead, what you should do is protect your knees by keeping them slightly bent.
6. Not Giving It Everything You’ve Got
Technically, even though you’re already doing them, if you don’t put in a very good amount of effort, you will not reap the full benefits of doing Burpees.
Thus, why torture yourself? If you must take part in this challenge, give your best effort on each and every rep. Make sure you are giving it your all.
7. Not Knowing When You Should Rest
Without a doubt, “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” is great for motivational posters. However, when it comes to tough exercises like Squat thrusts, it’s wise to not push yourself past the exhaustion point.
Learn to listen to your body. Once you are in pain (not just discomfort), Stop!!! If you feel lightheaded or like you can’t catch your breath, take a pause.
Furthermore, this challenge is not about who does the most the fastest, it’s about pushing yourself in a smart and appropriate manner so you get stronger.
8. Holding Your Breath
Just like other exercises, when you do burpees, you need to remember to breathe! A lot goes on and there are so many things to remember. However, forgetting to breathe doesn’t help your efforts and deprives the muscles of the oxygen they require to function properly.
Additionally, if you find yourself holding your breath, pause for a second, get your breathing under control and then continue.
In this part of this article, we would talk about burpee benefits. Squat thrusts have a lot of benefits to offer and only people who do this exercise can get these benefits.
Here are a number of these Burpee Benefits:
#1. Quick Cardio
To begin with, we need to understand the meaning of Cardio. It got its short name from “Cardiovascular exercise”.
Again, Cardiovascular exercise refers to any exercise capable of increasing your cardiovascular capabilities and helps your cardiovascular organs perform much better.
Furthermore, one of the best of the Burpee benefits is it can work as fast cardio. This means you don’t need much time to complete a session unlike other cardio exercises like running, cycling, and so on.
Just in case you have a short time, use the 4 minute Tabata style burpee workout. It can burn your tons of calories and also increase the metabolic rate of your body.
#2. Full Body Workout
Another burpee benefit is it works on your whole body. This means you can get the benefit of multiple exercises in a single session of doing this exercise.
Squat thrusts work on your shoulders, chest, lats, glutes, quads, and hamstrings. There’s no other exercise with this capability to touch so many body parts.
In addition, Burpees give you the flexibility to improvise the resistance. It does this by adding variations or skipping some steps like you can skip doing pushups after getting back into plank position.
#3. Requires No Equipment
The main benefit of doing burpees is that it can be done anytime and anywhere. This is because it simply doesn’t need any equipment. It has no need for any dumbbell, barbell or any other machine.
Again, all you need to perform burpees is strong willpower and great cardiovascular strength. This is because this exercise is going to test your body’s limit.
There might actually be no exercise as versatile as burpees. You can either add or decrease the level of intensity to make it work for you.
There are a number of burpee variations that can be performed with burpees. They are as follows:
- Box jump burpees
- Kettlebell burpees
- Dumbbells burpees
- Burpees broad jump
- Jump forward burpee
- Burpee’s push-up (Original burpees)
- Hindu pushup burpees
- Jump over burpees
- Single legged burpees
#5. Makes You Stronger
The ultimate and unique squat thrust benefit is that it makes you stronger and more efficient in your daily life work.
Also, it is gotten from all functional workouts. It is not only a cardiovascular workout or a weight training workout.
Furthermore, all the steps involved are functional. A functional workout is a workout that improves your body’s capability to do its daily utility works. For example, body squats help in picking items from the floor.
In addition, Burpees are done with these five(5) major steps.
- Squat position – helps in the body’s natural movement to bend knees.
- Squat thrust – helps in the body’s natural movement to pick anything from the ground.
- Pushup – provides a natural ability to push anything or anyone through the chest.
- Frog jump – stabilizes and strengthens your core.
- Jump squat – natural movement for stronger legs and generate blasting power.
#6. Endurance Booster
Do you need a single exercise to exhaust your cardiac system in a short period of time? Burpees are the perfect solution. For some, they are the best way to get into shape as well.
Also, you can opt to perform a few rounds of burpees instead of running for 3 miles a day to boost your endurance capabilities.
Furthermore, the reason why most athletes and military personnel choose burpees is to improve their cardiac endurance. The squat thrust is an exercise that will challenge you your whole life.
#7. Body Conditioning
Body conditioning is also a Burpee benefit. It is a term used by many elite athletes to boost their overall body’s capabilities. It means to enhance your whole body for strength, endurance and fat loss.
Burpees are an excellent functional exercise that helps in full-body conditioning with its multi-joint movements.
#8. Perfect Workout Finisher
Burpees are dynamic and fast-paced exercises that can be added after any workout session to burn extra calories.
A lot of fitness coaches perform burpees as a workout finisher workout. You might be wondering why they are used as a workout finisher and not in the beginning.
There are numerous reasons why burpees are done in the end. They are:
- It is a high-intensity exercise that can put extreme pressure on your joints.
- Performing burpees at the beginning of workout will surely run you out of breath and will reduce your endurance to perform other heavy exercises.
- When you do burpees at the end of a workout, it is very helpful in shedding that additional fat from your body.
- At the end of intense weightlifting, your body tends to lose all its glycogen levels. When you perform burpees as a finisher, your body will most likely burn that stubborn fat for energy supply.
#9. Improves Agility
Agility has to do with your body’s capability to be move quickly and sharply. Being agile and gaining muscle are two totally different things. It is required of most sports athletes to be agiler rather than developing muscle power.
Again, agility is a vital part of a healthy lifestyle and the burpee helps you with this extremely beneficial quality.
Burpees enhance your body’s ability to work for multiple joints and muscle groups symmetrically.
With the improved endurance, total body coordination and multi-joint functional movements, you are training your body not just to remove excess fat but to be agiler too.
#10. Multi-joint Movements
Multi-joint movements is another Burpee benefit. They are very helpful, why? Because through multi-joint movements, you help yourself gain more muscle in a shorter period of time.
Additionally, for those with tight daily schedules or people who can’t spare an hour for fitness activities, multi-joint movements are the ultimate solution to their daily fitness.
#11. Faster Metabolism
Another of the burpee benefits is faster metabolism. We have been talking about the involvement of multi-joint movements, enhanced endurance and better strength in this article.
Burpee is an excellent HIIT exercise. According to researchers, HIIT workout tends to burn 50% more calories than the normal workout.
The question now is what makes burpees an ultimate fat burning exercise?
Activating multiple muscle groups improves your metabolism because your body needs energy to repair those muscles.
Furthermore, Burpee is regarded as an ultimate HIIT workout. HIIT workouts lead to an afterburn effect in the body. The afterburn effect is a condition where your body feels the body’s oxygen level depleting. This, in turn, activates the body’s natural process to stock-up its oxygen reserves. Your body keeps working for the next 24 hours to maintain an optimum oxygen level through this process. Ultimately, this leads to higher metabolism for the whole day.
Burpees are just like every other exercise. There is a way they should be done to reap the benefits they come with. Don’t do them too quickly and make sure you give it your all if you must do it.
In addition, when you don’t perform this exercise correctly, you might injure yourself without even enjoying these benefits.
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Just Health Care Tips.