Burpee Benefits and Variations: A Step-by-Step Guide

Discover the benefits of burpees with different variations including low impact, incline, and more, in our step-by-step guide for the burpee exercise movement.

4 min read

Health & Wellness

young woman burpee push up exercise

Burpees are one of the most feared exercises for a reason. When it comes to bodyweight exercise, you’ll be hard-pressed to find an exercise more challenging and effective.

A burpee is a combination of a squat thrust, pushup, and squat jump. Scared yet? Don’t be! This challenging exercise comes with a big payoff, and if you’re looking for results, you’ll want to be sure to add this exercise to your fitness routine.

To get the most out of every rep, it’s important to know how to perform burpees safely and correctly. Have a look below at how to properly execute a burpee, benefits, as well as modifications you can try if you want an easier option during your next workout!


4 Benefits of Doing Burpees

If you’re unsure whether to add burpees to your fitness routine, the following benefits may encourage you to reconsider.


1. Get a Full Body Workout

The burpee is a great full body bodyweight exercise. Burpees target most of the major muscle groups in your body like your shoulders, chest, abs, triceps, glutes, quads, hamstrings, and more! The goal of a burpee is to strengthen your entire body at once including your upper body, core, and lower body.


2. Build Cardiovascular Fitness

Performing burpees will send your heart rate through the roof, making it a great exercise to not only build strength but cardiovascular endurance as well. Benefits of increasing cardio in your routine include a stronger heart and lungs, improved blood flow, reduced risk of a preventable disease like heart disease and diabetes, lower blood pressure, improved brain health, and more.

In addition, since burpees are high intensity by nature, they make a great addition to high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts. HIIT workouts can help you burn more calories, and fat during your sessions.


3. Burn Calories

Due to their ability to boost your heart rate, and target a wide variety of muscles at once, burpees can burn a relatively high number of calories. Boost your calorie-burning potential by completing a series of burpees in a row or completing burpees at a higher intensity.


4. Do Them Anywhere

Burpees are extremely versatile and convenient. Because burpees are a bodyweight exercise, you can do them virtually anywhere, with no equipment needed. So, even if you’re limited on space - living in a small apartment, or a hotel room - you can do burpees anywhere!


Burpee How-To

Whenever you complete burpees, you want to focus on performing them correctly and safely before adding on speed. Follow the steps below for a perfect burpee every time!

  1. Start with your feet wide, about shoulder-width apart, and weight in your heels.
  2. Squat down, shifting your hips back, while keeping your back straight.
  3. Lower your hands and place them directly in front of your feet, about shoulder-width apart, and shift your weight into your hands.
  4. Jump your feet back and land softly in a plank position. Keep your core tight, hips up, careful not to let your lower back sag, just as you would if you were holding a standard plank.
  5. Lower into a pushup, keeping your elbows tucked close to your sides, then push back up into your plank position.
  6. Jump your feet back up towards your hands, shifting your weight into your feet.
  7. Return to your squat position, then spring up into the air with your arms overhead.
  8. Land softly and lower immediately back into your squat to start your next rep!


3 Burpee Variations for Beginners

There’s no avoiding it, burpees are tough! If you’re not ready for a standard burpee, the burpee modifications below are a great place to start. Use these exercises as a starting point to help you work your way up to doing a classic burpee.


1. No Pushup Burpees

If your upper body strength isn’t quite there yet, simply remove the pushup portion from the burpee. In this version, you’ll step or hop straight into a plank position and jump right back up to standing.


2. Low Impact Burpees

Burpees involve some jumping and jarring movements that may not be ideal for those with joint pain. Make a burpee lower impact by taking out the jumping. Instead of jumping out to plank position, you can walk each foot out to plank position one at a time, and then walk them back up to your hands when you’re done. You can also omit the jump at the top altogether.


3. Incline Burpees

Perform burpees while resting your hands on a raised surface like a bench, chair, or bed. The incline angle of the burpee will make it easier to perform your pushups and less taxing on your muscles.



After reading this article, I hope you hate this exercise just a little bit less, and that you’ll consider adding the infamous burpee to your workout routine! Give the modifications a try and be sure to let us know how your burpee game is going in the comments.


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1 comment

Vicki Stone

a BURPEE! are you insane?? I can barely walk! seriously. I got your cross trainer recumbent bike. waaay more my speed! lol