Burpees...just writing the word sends shivers down my spine. We all hate them, but yet we all know that the reason we hate them is because they hurt so much; which means they are awesome because they're burning a lot of fat! I am with the rest of you; I hate burpees too, but I've been trying to include more into my workouts lately because the rewards they give are fantastic.
How do you do a burpee?
- Image credit: http://www.stepandswing.net/
This video perfectly demonstrates how to do a burpee without causing any injury. Ensure that your back isn't rounded and that when you land from the jump, you don't let your knees take all of the pressure.
What's so great about them?
1. They are a full body workout
- Image credit: Torsten Fleischer featured at http://www.e-concierge.de/
Burpees are awesome because they work your entire body. This one exercise involves a squat, press up and jump squat; and you seriously feel it! Because so many muscles are involved, your heart rate can become very elevated during burpees, and you burn loads of calories! According to an article by 12 minute athlete
, research has shown that high intensity exercises like burpees actually burn up to 50% more fat than moderate exercising.
2. They combine the two best workout methods
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Burpees combine plyometrics and strength training, which, in my opinion, are the two best workout methods. Plyometrics, otherwise known as "jump training", increases muscular power and joint protection; while strength training also improves muscular power, but is great for increasing flexibility, improving balance and aiding weight loss as well. Burpees are an extremely effective way to burn calories, build upper-body strength, and increase power.
3. You can do them anywhere
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No equipment is needed to perform a burpee; so you really do have no excuse to not do them! You can do them in your home, at the gym, in the garden, on holiday...anywhere.
4. They improve your anaerobic capacity
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Burpees aren't just great for helping you to lose fat and build muscle; they can actually help to improve the health of your heart and lungs. This is due to burpees being classes as an anaerobic exercise, which means that your muscles aren't using oxygen during the workout. Instead your body uses glycogen (the storage form of glucose in the body) as fuel. Anaerobic exercise can also increase endurance and fitness levels.
5. They make you stronger
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When you feel like your legs and arms are about to give up while you are doing burpees, it's pretty obvious that they're working; but they aren't just getting you fit, they're actually making you stronger. This may sound strange as there are no weights involved, other than your body weight, but because burpees involve push ups and squats, you are actually building muscle (and strength). People who have a higher percentage of muscle mass burn more calories, even at rest. So get building that muscle now!
6. They improve your endurance
After your first time of trying burpees you probably felt like you'd never be able to do more than a handful at one time, but it's highly likely that the more you've done them, the better you've become. When I first tried burpees I was exhausted after just a few, but now I can do plenty of them and, although I do feel the burn, I'm able to keep going. That's because they improve your endurance; burpees are typically grouped into high reps and they're something that requires a high performance speed, so, over time, you will find that you are able to do more reps than when you first started.
7. They burn fat
Everything outlined above shows just how great burpees are, and all of this points to one of the main reasons many people workout; to lose weight. Burpees burn fat; there's no doubt about it. They hurt, and for good reason; they are pushing your body to the limit, and, providing you don't give in as soon as the workout gets tough, burpees will help you to burn fat. Now go do some burpees!
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. Picture credit for featured image: http://www.stepandswing.net/ Sources: http://www.12minuteathlete.com/burpees-are-awesome/ http://www.livestrong.com/article/331299-burpees-benefits/ http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-13415/5-reasons-to-do-burpees-every-day.html http://www.livestrong.com/article/356741-what-muscles-do-burpees-work/ http://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/guide/plyometrics-exercise-workouts http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/bhcv2/bhcarticles.nsf/pages/Resistance_training_the_health_benefits http://www.fitness19.com/aerobic-and-anaerobic-exercise-what-is-the-difference/