7 Incredible benefits of burpees you won’t believe until you try

A burpee workout is a potent one that attracts interest in fitness and exercise. A burpee is a simple yet intense exercise that has gained popularity among fitness enthusiasts, athletes, and people looking to improve their physical abilities.

With its dynamic combination of squats, planks, push-ups, and jumps, the burpee offers a multifaceted approach to fitness that delivers astonishing results.

Do burpees actually work?

At first glance, a burpee might seem like a combination of movements. These actions work together to give a full-body and cardiovascular workout.

A burpee is a multifaceted exercise that involves several distinct phases, seamlessly flowing into one another [1].

It starts with a squat, where you lower yourself into a crouched position, followed by a quick transition into a plank, where your body forms a straight line from head to heels. Next comes a push-up, engaging the chest, shoulders, and triceps.

The beauty of burpees lies in their ability to recruit a wide range of muscle groups simultaneously. The squat targets the quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes, promoting lower body strength. 

Moreover, the plank engages the core muscles, enhancing stability and improving posture. The push-up activates the chest, shoulders, and triceps, promoting upper body strength.

Burpees are not just about building muscle strength; they are also a potent cardiovascular exercise.

The rapid transitions between phases elevate your heart rate, driving oxygen-rich blood throughout your body. This boosts cardiovascular endurance, improving your body’s ability to efficiently transport oxygen and nutrients. 

What are the benefits of burpees?

A deceptively simple exercise, it encompasses a dynamic fusion of movements that beckon even the most seasoned fitness enthusiasts. In the next sections, we’ll uncover burpees’ astonishing and unexpected advantages. 

Brace yourself for a revelation – the seven incredible benefits of burpees you won’t believe until you try.

1. Full-body workout

In a fitness landscape overflowing with specialized exercises, the burpee shines as a quintessential embodiment of a full-body workout.

This single movement marries multiple muscle groups into a harmonious symphony of strength and coordination.

The burpee’s multifaceted nature is revealed through its components: the squat, plank, push-up, and jump. The squat engages the lower body, firing up the quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes. 

Unlike exercises that isolate specific muscle groups, the burpee synchronizes these movements, ensuring that no muscle remains uninvolved.

This synergy not only amplifies muscle engagement but also fosters a holistic sense of physical balance.

full body workout
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2. Cardiovascular endurance

Imagine an exercise that not only hones your physical strength but also propels your cardiovascular system to new heights – that’s where burpees come into play.

This deceptively intense movement challenges your heart and lungs, fostering exceptional cardiovascular endurance.

Burpees demand a rapid succession of movements, transitioning from squats to planks, push-ups, and jumps in a matter of seconds.

This rapid change in body position triggers an accelerated heart rate, boosting blood circulation and oxygen delivery to working muscles.

The sustained elevated heart rate during a bout of burpees contributes to improved cardiovascular health.

Regularly engaging in this exercise helps enhance your heart’s efficiency, making it more adept at pumping blood and oxygen throughout your body.

3. Fat-burning furnace

The secret to efficient fat burning lies in the heart-pounding rhythm of burpees. This exercise isn’t just a means of sculpting muscles – it’s a potent fat-burning furnace that ignites your metabolism and torches calories like never before.

Burpees demand exceptional energy due to their high-intensity nature [2]. The rapid sequence of movements triggers a surge in metabolic activity, elevating your resting metabolic rate and causing your body to burn more calories even when you’re at rest.

The caloric expenditure during a burpee session is impressive, making it an efficient tool for weight loss and fat reduction.

The energy required to transition from squats to planks, push-ups, and jumps creates a calorie deficit that plays a pivotal role in shedding excess pounds.

4. Core strengthening

While the burpee’s full-body engagement is undeniable, its impact on core strength is particularly noteworthy. 

Beyond the visible muscles of the arms and legs, the burpee challenges and strengthens the body’s core muscles, creating a foundation of stability and power.

The transition from the plank position to the jump phase is where the core muscles truly shine. Maintaining a stable plank requires the engagement of the abdominal muscles, lower back, and obliques.

A strong core is essential for maintaining proper posture and stability in everyday activities. The continuous engagement of the core muscles during burpees contributes to improved posture by reducing the strain on the lower back. 

As your core becomes stronger, you’ll notice an enhanced ability to maintain a balanced and upright posture, leading to greater comfort in various seated, standing, and moving positions.

5. Mental resilience

Beyond physical gains, burpees offer an unparalleled opportunity to cultivate mental resilience and fortitude.

This exercise isn’t just about challenging your body; it’s about pushing past mental barriers and unlocking a new level of mental toughness.

Burpees aren’t known for their comfort – they challenge you with intensity, demanding effort and perseverance.

This discomfort catalyzes growth, teaching you to navigate challenging situations with a determined mindset. 

By willingly stepping into discomfort during burpees, you build mental resilience that extends far beyond your workouts.

The mental hurdles you encounter while performing burpees mirror the challenges you face in daily life. The desire to quit and the temptation to slow down are the barriers that test your resolve. 

As you conquer these mental obstacles through burpees, you develop a heightened ability to overcome challenges in other aspects of your life.

6. Boosts agility and coordination

In pursuing overall fitness, agility and coordination are often overlooked yet vital components. Burpees are unexpectedly effective for improving body movement.

Agility, the ability to change direction quickly and effectively, is crucial in various sports and everyday activities.

Burpees, with their seamless transitions from squats to planks and jumps, challenge your body to adapt swiftly to changing positions.

This translates to improved agility that can significantly impact your performance in sports and physical challenges.

The coordinated execution of various movements within a burpee refines your body’s ability to work harmoniously [3].

The synchronization of squatting, planking, pushing, and jumping demands precise coordination between different muscle groups. 

As you become more proficient in burpees, your overall body coordination improves, allowing you to move with fluidity and grace.

7. Endorphin release and mood enhancement

Burpees not only transform your physical fitness but also have a profound impact on your mental well-being. 

The intense nature of this exercise triggers a surge of endorphins – the body’s natural “feel-good” chemicals – leading to an immediate mood enhancement that lingers long after your workout is complete.

Endorphins are neurotransmitters that act as natural painkillers and mood elevators [4]. The demanding nature of burpees prompts your body to release these endorphins in response to the physical stress, creating a sensation of euphoria and reducing feelings of discomfort.

The euphoric rush of endorphins experienced during burpees can create a sense of joy and accomplishment that extends beyond your workout session.

This natural mood enhancement contributes to reduced stress, anxiety, and even symptoms of depression. 

Incorporating burpees into your routine provides a sustainable way to uplift your mood and promote mental well-being.

What is the proper burpee form?

While the burpee’s benefits are numerous, reaping them hinges on mastering the proper form. By adhering to core principles of correct burpee execution, you ensure that you maximize the advantages and prevent potential injuries.

Step-by-step guide

  • Squat position: Start by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart. Lower yourself into a squatting position, ensuring your knees are aligned with your toes.
  • Plank position: Place your hands on the ground in front of you and jump or step your feet back into a plank position. Your body should form a straight line from head to heels, engaging your core muscles.
  • Push-up: If desired, perform a push-up by lowering your body until your chest touches the ground or hovers slightly above it. Keep your elbows close to your body.
  • Jump or step: Explosively jump your feet back to the squat position, or step them forward if you’re opting for a lower-impact version.
  • Vertical jump: Propel yourself into a vertical jump, extending your arms overhead. Land softly, bending your knees to absorb the impact.
7 Incredible benefits of burpees you won't believe until you try
Photograph: crieneimages/Envato

Common mistakes to avoid

  • Poor plank alignment: Ensure your body remains straight in the plank position, avoiding a sagging or raised hip posture.
  • Improper push-up form: Maintain a straight line from head to heels during the push-up phase, and avoid arching your back or letting your hips sag.
  • Landing incorrectly: Land softly and distribute the impact throughout your feet to prevent strain on your joints.

Closing thoughts

Burpee has shown many advantages that go far beyond the initial difficulty. They are a prime example of the transforming potential of exercise due to their role as a dynamic full-body workout and their ability to increase cardiovascular endurance, burn fat, and promote mental toughness. 

These advantages provide a clear image of an activity that defies expectations and their capacity to improve agility, strengthen the core, produce endorphins, and increase general well-being.

FAQs

How many burpees should I do in a workout?

The number of burpees depends on your fitness level and goals. You can start with a set number and gradually increase as your stamina improves. Incorporating burpees into a high-intensity interval training (HIIT) routine or circuit training can be an effective way to structure your workouts.

Can I do burpees every day?

While burpees offer great benefits, it’s essential to allow your muscles time to recover. Incorporating burpees into your routine a few times a week, interspersed with other exercises, helps prevent overtraining and reduces the risk of injury.

Can I do burpees without equipment?

Absolutely. Burpees are a bodyweight exercise, making them ideal for performing anywhere, anytime. No equipment is required, making burpees a convenient option for home workouts or outdoor training.

[1] https://www.healthline.com/health/how-to-do-a-burpee
[2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9517252/
[3] https://www.healthline.com/health/how-to-do-a-burpee
[4] https://centerforfamilymedicine.com/general-health/mental-health-benefits-of-exercise-what-are-endorphins-serotonin/

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