What's the Deal With Burpees?

When it comes to burpees, we've got a lot of questions. First question: "WHYYYY???" Second question: "Do we have to?"

Lucky for us, Dodi Darrow of Box Canyon Booties is always willing to hear us out and help us out. Keep reading to learn about the various benefits, styles, and real-life applications of burpees. 

DTGS: Where did Burpees come from? Why is everyone so obsessed with them? 

DD: Over the past decade, the “burpee” has become a household name. Love ‘em or curse ‘em, they’re not going anywhere and it’s with a good reason. 

Burpees are a fantastic total body movement. They are highly efficient at raising your heart rate and conditioning the body to be able to get on and off the floor incredibly quickly. Numerous doctors use getting off the floor without assistance of any kind (such as holding on to a table or chair) to determine if an elderly person has the ability to live alone. So if you can still do burpees as an octogenarian, chances are, you can live alone. 

Burpees are so fantastic that they can be added to other movements in a workout where you want to combine strength and add in some cardio. However, the burpee is such a versatile (crushing) movement, it can even stand alone as it's own workout.


DD: There are different styles of burpees for different levels and needs. The best way to start is to try them out! Here are three:

1. The Plank Burpee. 

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This burpee you place your hands on the floor and shoot both legs back simultaneously into “plank position” and quickly bring both feet simultaneously back toward your hands and you finish with a standing jump and clap overhead. This burpee is a great substitute for beginners, pregnant mothers, or if you are highly fatigued and need a break from traditional burpees.

2. The Traditional Burpee. 

This burpee is similar to the plank burpee except when you shoot both legs back, you allow your stomach & chest to go onto the floor. You press up and bring both your feet back under your hips before you stand, jump and clap overhead.

3. The Steroid Burpee. 

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This is the mother of all burpees. The difference is that you incorporate a push up as you are lowering your chest to the floor, and once you are back in standing position, your jump is a tuck jump rather than a small jump meaning you bring your knees as close to your chest as possible as you jump.

Q: How CAN they fit into OUR workouts?

Burpees can be integrated into workouts, set aside as stand alone workouts, or done as you need some energy to get through out day. Here are some specific ideas:

1. On a jog? Stop every 3 minutes and do 10 burpees.

2. Repeat the following movements for 10 minutes.

  • 5 burpees
  • 10 squats
  • 15 sit ups

3. Do 100 burpess as quickly as possible. Yup, that’s the workout.

4. 30 burpees for a quick fix.

If I know that I'm not going to be able to get in my morning workout for some reason, I like to do 30 burpees as soon as I get out of bed. Right away. The first couple are a little stiff, but it’s a great way to give your system a quick shot of adrenaline! 

In fact, you can do 30 burpees anytime, anyplace through the day if you are feeling sluggish. It’s a great little energy boost. 

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