The burpee is one of the most frequently used moves by fitness trainers, right alongside push-ups and lunges—and for good reason! In essence, the burpee is one of those special bodyweight exercises that uses nearly every muscle in your body while burning tons of calories while you do them and for a long time even after you’re done. So let’s break down this killer move and learn to do it the right way; by understanding how to do a burpee you’ll be able to incorporate it into any workout to sculpt a leaner, stronger body.
History of the Burpee
According to the Huffington Post, the burpee was named for physiologist Royal H. Burpee. His granddaughter, Sheryl Burpee Dluginski, confirms that her grandfather was a “fitness fanatic” and wanted to design a quick fitness assessment for everyday people: it was the four count burpee as we know it today. The exercise became popular during WWII when it was used to assess the fitness level of military recruits.
The problem is that fitness fanantics have turned this exercise into excessive repetition. There is nothing good about 100 burpees in a row (as I saw on the Biggest Loser one episode) because as the body fatigues poor form will ensue and injury becomes more likely. Keep in mind that a little goes a long way with burpees. A series of five is a good number to start with.
How To Do An Effective Burpee
The basic movement is performed in four steps and known as a four-count burpee.
1. Start in standing position and drop down into a squat.