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For a good 4 years after high school, I did not perform a burpee because my high school football coach punished us for bad plays with unending burpees. I remember my teammates (not me of course!) passing out, throwing up and burning out after only doing 20 or so. Once I got over the trauma, I realized that although our coach was punishing us, it was probably the best exercise we could do for total body strength and cardiovascular conditioning. If you are not familiar with the beloved burpee, here is how you do the simple, but effective exercise:

How to Perform a Proper Burpee Exercise

  1. Stand feet shoulder-width apart
  2. Bend down and put both hands on the ground near your feet
  3. Kick both your feet out behind you so that you are in the push-up position (Do a push up here to make it more advanced, but you don’t have to)
  4. Bring your feet back to the starting position, underneath you (same position as step two)
  5. Jump from this position as you stand back up (jump as high as you can)
Let me tell you… Even as I am writing down the steps of this exercise, it seems easy. But the burpee is much more difficult than it seems. I guarantee that you will be winded after doing ten. Do 25 and you will feel like you finished at strong 5K road race.
As I mentioned in the steps, there are different variations you can do. You can add a push-up into the sequence. If you have a curl bar, you can do a curl up after your jump. You can hold dumbbells or a weighted vest to increase the resistance. Or just get creative and throw in whatever additional movement you come up with.
I really try not to make statements that are too BOLD, but seriously, if you only do the burpee exercise as your entire workout (to fatigue of course), you probably will have a well-rounded workout. With that being said, this workout is perfect to do on days when you don’t have time to workout, don’t have any equipment, or just want to do a quick exercise and get it over with.
The burpee gets a five star recommendation from me.