What Is a Burpee and How Do You Do It?

A burpee is a weight-free cardiovascular exercise that engages the entire body instead of one specific muscle region. The move begins with a squat, then immediately transitions into a push-up, and ends with a jump.

First, make sure the legs and arms have been properly stretched to avoid any muscle pain. Begin by standing in place with your feet spread approximately shoulder-width apart. Move down into a squat position by contracting the legs without shifting position and place the hands firmly on the ground in front of the feet, also shoulder-width apart. Shift the body weight onto the hands, and extend the feet backward in a swift and fluid motion. Lower the body down and perform a standard push-up. After raising the body back up, remain in the push-up position and pull the feet back into a lowered squat stance. Finally, jump up into the air and extend the arms above the head.

A typical set of burpees consists of 10 to 15 repetitions. As with any new exercise, it is important to begin slowly so that the body can become accustomed to the new motions. With time, the number of repetitions per set and the number of sets per workout can be increased.