Tips from the Pros

Burpees: A Full-Body Strength Training Exercise

Sir, yes sir, Lieutenant Burpee! What a great idea to combine several strength training exercises to create burpees. This fat-­burning exercise is super­-efficient, strengthening all your body’s muscles and building your cardiovascular endurance.

Origins and principle of burpees

Originally developed by the military at the end of the 19th century, burpees were used to evaluate and enhance soldiers’ physical fitness. They were also a way to warm up troops during the winter when they were in the field. It has since been revised and is a full-body bodyweight strength training exercise that’s very popular among athletes.

Burpees are an intense multi­-joint exercise that engages your entire body. They involve a fast series of varied muscular movements, which also need to be explosive and agile. In general, the goal is to quickly go from a squat to a push-­up, then to a double mountain climber and to finish with a vertical jump, then repeat.

How to do burpees the right way

Burpees aren’t a difficult strength training exercise to do. However, they require agility and coordination. You just need to have a firm understanding of which movements you need to do and give it a try. Here’s how to do them:


  • Starting position: Stand with your feet shoulder-­width apart and pointing slightly outward, as if you were going to do a squat.
  • Step 1: Start to do a traditional squat, but continue to descend and place your hands on the floor. Then, immediately jump your feet backward and lower your torso until it barely touches the floor.
  • Step 2: Lying on the floor, do a push-­up and bring your feet forward by quickly jumping back into the squat position with your hands still on the floor.
  • Step 3: From the squat position, jump up and touch your hands together above your head. Lastly, land on your feet. Now you’re back in the squat position and ready for another repetition.

Your FizzUp trainer tips for perfect burpees

Because burpees are a combination of several muscular movements, it’s very easy to do them incorrectly. Here are a few tips to help you do them right and get the most out of this exercise:

  • In the squat position, remember to keep your feet shoulder-width apart and to not bend your knees too far.
  • In the push­-up and plank position, keep your backward straight while contracting your abdominal muscles for better core ­strengthening.
  • After jumping, remember to soften your landing by first coming down onto the balls of your feet, then your heels and bending your knees.

Which muscles do burpees work?

Burpees are a bit like the Rolls Royce of full-­body strength training exercises. They efficiently work virtually all the large muscle groups of your body synergistically.

  • Arm muscles: Delts, biceps and (to a lesser extent) triceps are the muscles that burpees target.
  • Leg muscles: By jumping and doing squats, you’ll develop your hamstrings, quads, calves and glutes, of course.
  • Core muscles: You work your abdominal muscles to keep your body straight during the entire exercise and your pectoral muscles when you go from the push­-up to squat position.


A few FizzUp variations: Burpees that are right for your levell

There are many burpee variations. Each one has a specific level of difficulty. This makes burpees a strength training exercise that can be adapted to suit your current fitness level and to how intense you want your workout to be.

  • The sprawl: This is an easier variation and is identical to the traditional burpee. Start by standing, then do a squat while placing your hands on the floor and jumping your feet backward. Then, instead of letting your torso lower to the floor, immediately return to the squat position by jumping forward. Finish as usual with a vertical jump and repeat.
  • The burpee + pull-­up: This is where it gets harder! Stand next to your pull­-up bar, then do a traditional burpee. When you jump, grab the bar and add a pull­-up at the end.

Burpee benefits

Burpees are a key exercise included in FizzUp fitness training. An intense exercise that engages your entire body, it speeds up your metabolism and has many benefits:

  • Burn lots of calories and excess fat.
  • Build muscle evenly throughout your entire body and increase your overall strength by using nearly all of your muscle groups.
  • Develop muscular endurance, as well as your ability to easily perform consecutive muscle contractions. This proves to be really useful for many sports and various day-­to­-day activities.
  • Improve your cardiovascular system by intensely working your heart and raising your heart rate during the entire exercise.

The FizzUp full-­body strength training program includes many exercises using your body weight, such as burpees. You can also try the equipment­-free rower or the Arlaud movement. They guarantee impressive results and allow you to work out at home, without any special equipment and in no time at all. Three workouts of 20 minutes per week is enough to evenly build your muscles and improve your physical fitness.

The Author

FizzUp Staff

FizzUp Staff

As passionate bloggers, the FizzUp Staff’s sole purpose is to motivate the community with insightful and fun articles. Team spirit is one of our core values, whether we’re at work or exercising together in the FizzUp Box.