Let’s be completely honest with ourselves here, no one excatly likes burpees. Plain and simple. They are hard, they suck, and when your instructor at bootcamp or pilates says “10 burpees”, we all dread it. Am I right!?
Wrong. NO ONE IS ALLERGIC TO BURPEES, SO DO THEM! We are going to embrace burpees and make them our absolute best friends for the month of December and then beyond. Why? Because burpees are a magic workout move. You might be sitting here reading this wondering what the heck a burpee exactly is. An offical burpee looks a little like this:
Looks simple enough, right?
Essentially a burpee is an intense exercise combining both push-ups and squat jumps into one physically demanding activity. You start in a standing position and jump up. You then jump down into a deep squat and jump your legs back into a plank. You then perform a push-up. Then jump your legs back in and jump up to a standing position. Burpees provide many benefits, and can help improve your physical conditioning.
They do not require equipment, but they can be difficult to perform. Never tried one before? You can modify the burpee into a “slow burpee” where instead of jumping your legs back into a plank, you step each leg back seperatly, controlled and slowed. Once in a plank position, perform a push-up and then step each leg back under you, then jump up as high as you can. That is one rep. Let’s do 9 more.
December “No one is allergic to Burpees” advent calendar challenge:
Sorry, say what!? I thought advent calendars had chocolate in them… Not Run Like A Girl’s advent calendar! What we are challenging everyone to participate in our burpee challenge for the month of December! Why? Because challenges are awesome, and help us stay motivated and accountable, especially in a month full of delicious treats and family dinners! The challenge is simple. For everyday in December, we are going to a burpee for the corresponding day. So if today was December 7th, we are doing 7 burpees. By December 31st, you will be doing 31 burpees. Get it? Good? Still not convinced? Read on!
Okay, so why do we do a burpee, other than looking a little ridiculous while performing the move? Simple!
One benefit of burpees is strength-building. Burpees include a push-up which is a classic strength building exercise for your core, arms, and shoulders. You are also performing squats which is a key move for strengthening glute and quad muscles. High-repetition squats, such as those performed during a set of burpees, strengthen not only your leg muscles, but your entire body.
Burpees are often done in rapid a succession, 10-15 reps is pretty standard, in a fast time period. Burpees also require you to use your entire body weight, which makes them a high-load exercise. Research published in the August 2004 issue of the “Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research” explains that high-repetition and high-load exercises are effective at increasing muscular endurance.
Increased Cardiovascular Capacity:
Burpees not only train your upper and lower body muscles, they also improve the health of your heart and lungs. Burpees are an anaerobic exercise which means a high-intensity activity, in a duration and requires your body to produce energy without the assistance of oxygen. By performing burpees often, you may improve your body’s anaerobic exercise capacity.
Many running injuries are often caused by a weak core. Burpees work wonders for core strength when you jump into the plank position and perform a push-up. Increasing the strength of your core can help decrease your chance of injury. Building stronger leg muscles in addition to strength gained from running can improve your performance, speed, and ability to tackle hills.
Because Burpees work so many different muscle at one time, and are an intense anaerobic exercise, they burn a lot of calories when performed in high rep intervals. Try 3 rounds of 10 reps. Guaranteed you are going to be sweaty, out of breath and feeling the burn.
Different Types of Burpees:
Alright, so we already talked about the standard burpee, and the slow burpee, but there are many different types. For instance, in an army burpee, instead of doing a push-up, drop completely so your stomach and chest are on the ground and raise your arms, then get yourself off the ground using your arms. Watch with this burpee that you do not drive your glutes up first, use the strength of your arms to get you back up to a crotching position. You can also add weight to the burpee equation by holding a weight while jumping up and into the squat, and then placing the weight on the floor while you do the push-up, and then grabbing them again when you jump up. It is important to choose a weight that is not to heavy, and to bend with your knees, not your back when lifting the weight up. Competition burpees are the same as standard burpees expect when you jump back up, you do a tuck jump. A tuck jump is jumping as high as you can driving your knees up to meet your hands. You can also try Tara’s favourite burpee, a regular burpee, but when you come up you do 5 “smurf jacks”. Smurf jacks are mini jumping jacks where you jump squat your feet in and out. Try 10 of these. They burn. I promise.
Have we sold you yet? Burpees are hard, yes. But are not the most challenging things, also the most rewarding? They are awesome, and something that everyone should incorporate into their fitness regime. They will leave you sweaty, sore, and out of breath. You will have a love/hate relationship with them forever, but learn to embrace the challenge and get them done!
Who is with us for this challenge? Answer YES in the comments!