Training

Try These Burpee Variations to Burn Fat and Build Muscle

Burpees are one of the best fat-burning exercises you can add to your routine and can be done anytime, anyplace from a hotel room to the beach, and even in between sets at the gym. 

Because burpees are a full-body exercise, you burn lots of calories performing them. Since you can use them as a form of interval training, you can also keep your metabolism firing for hours, even after you have finished your workout. 

Its important to maintain good form in burpees to avoid any injuries, so we’ve outlined the best burpee technique, as well as some great burpee variations 

Basic Burpee Technique

  • Start the exercise in a squat position with your hands on the ground in front of you. 
  • Kick your feet back into a push-up position, perform a push-up. 
  • Straight away, return your feet to the squat position. 
  • Jump up as high and explosively as possible from the squat position. 

Burpees are a great exercise to add to any routine to increase the intensity as they get your heart rate up. You can use them in a circuit or interval-style, or simply build up your endurance by doing them in sets as you would with traditional resistance training exercises. 

 

Burpee Variations 

The burpee is an incredibly powerful move (when done correctly). When combined with other challenging moves, these burpee variations can take your fitness levels up a notch, torching calories and strengthening muscles.

1. Flapjack burpee

  • Begin by lying flat on your back. 
  • Flip over, and perform the basic burpee, above, but make the jump a tuck jump – knees right up! 
  • Land from the jump, hands down, jump legs back. 
  • Flip over so you’re back in the start position. Repeat.

 

2. Box jump burpee

  • Use a stable bench, table or stepper and adjust to a height you feel comfortable with. 
  • Instead of completing the exercise with a squat jump, end the burpee with a box jump. Land softly on top of the bench and jump back down to repeat. 

 

3. Decline burpee

  • Ensure that you have a stable surface at a height such as a sturdy box, chair, or bench. 
  • Complete burpee by jumping your feet onto the box (after putting your hands on the ground). 
  • Complete a decline push-up. 
  • Thrust your feet between your hands and jump up as normal to the starting position. 

4. Pull through burpee

  • Begin by placing a heavy weight such as a dumbbell or weight plate beside you. 
  • Make sure you’re on the ground that will allow the weight to slide to the opposite side of you. 
  • Start off with it beside you, do your push up as normal. 
  • Reach underneath, grab the weight and pull it to the other side of your body. 
  • Repeat in the opposite direction. 
  • Ensure you complete an equal amount of repetitions on each side. 

 

5. Walking burpee 

  • Ensure that you have about 5 feet of space to the side of you. 
  • Begin the burpee, finish the push-up and complete 3-5 steps of a plank walk. 
  • Thrust the feet up and complete the exercise with the squat jump. 
  • Repeat in the other direction. 

 

6. Pull up burpee 

  • Finish a burpee underneath a pull-up bar. 
  • When you complete the movement, while jumping up from the ground, grab the pull-up bar and finish with a pull-up. 
  • Jump down and repeat. 

 

7. Upright row burpee

  • Get a barbell and place it at your feet. 
  • Keeping a grip on the bar, maintain a tight core so that the bar doesn’t roll, do the push-up and complete the burpee. 
  • Instead of jumping, stand up (deadlift the bar) and complete the upright row.

 

8. Devil Press

  • Let the dumbbells/kettlebell hang next to the body. 
  • Hinge at the hip. 
  • Lower the weights to the ground (preferably inline with shoulders) 
  • Lower the body to the ground. 
  • Explode back up to standing with the dumbbell or kettle bell 
  • The rep finishes with the weight overhead 

 

9. Ball Slam Burpee 

  • Perform a normal burpee however, on your way up, pick the slam ball up and raise overhead before throwing back the floor. 
  • It is important to remember your technique when lifting the ball to avoid straining the back. 

10. Burpee Muscle-up 

  • This is a popular exercise amongst the CrossFit world and is an advanced one. 
  • Once the burpee is complete, jump onto the bar overhead and perform a power pull up into a tricep push before dropping back down to repeat the burpee. 

11. Kettlebell Upright Row Burpee 

  • Complete the burpee movement and with your back straight and shoulders pinned back, perform a deadlift with the kettlebell and follow through into an upright row.  Finish with your elbows next to your ears and kettlebell under the chin.  Drop down and repeat. 
  • Tuck jump burpee 
  • At the end of any burpee comes a jump, but on this one the jumps a little more difficult.  When you jump up, bring your knees into your chest to perform a tuck jump. 

12. Reverse burpees 

  • Begin standing with the arms extended overhead. Bend the knees and, in a controlled motion, lower your bum all the way to the floor. Roll onto your back, drawing your knees toward your face.
  • Use momentum and your core strength, avoid using your hands, to kick forward, landing on the feet. 

14. Burpee mountain climber 

  • A slight variation to the usual burpee.  We are replacing the movement of dropping your chest to the floor by performing a mountain climber when you are in the press-up position. 
  • Aim for four climbers before repeating the burpee. 

15. Superman burpee 

  • Once you have dropped the chest to the floor at the bottom of the burpee, you will now perform a superman pose.  Lifting your arms and legs off the floor before returning to complete the burpee. 
  • Star Jump Burpee 
  • Another slight variation in the jump here as we introduce a star jump once you have returned to standing and completed the original burpee movement. 

16. Burpee LeapFrog 

  • You may need a little more space for this one however, another great variation to introduce.  
  • Instead of returning to standing after the lower half of the burpee, remain in the squatted position and leapfrog forward and repeat the burpee. 

 

Burpees make a great finishing exercise that you can use at the end of a workout. Try setting your stopwatch and see how many burpees you can complete in two minutes, then try and beat your score at your next workout. 

Try the burpee pyramid 

This works really well using a skipping rope in between burpee sets. Begin by doing one burpee then skip for one minute, next do two burpees and skip for two minutes, then do three burpees and skip for three minutes and so on right up until ten minutes, and then increase the time the fitter you get going right up to twenty minutes. In between sets, you can perform abs work such as the bicycle or plank to make the workout even more challenging. 

Our articles should be used for informational and educational purposes only and are not intended to be taken as medical advice. If you’re concerned, consult a health professional before taking dietary supplements or introducing any major changes to your diet.



Chris Appleton

Chris Appleton

Writer and expert

Chris is an editor and a level 3 qualified Personal Trainer, with a BA honours degree in Sports Coaching and Development, and a level 3 qualification in Sports Nutrition. He has experience providing fitness classes and programs for beginners and advanced levels of clients and sports athletes. Chris is also a qualified football coach, delivering high-level goalkeeping and fitness training at a semi-professional level, with nutritional advice to help maintain optimal performance. His experience in the sports and fitness industry spans 15 years and is continuously looking to improve. In his spare time, Chris likes to dedicate it to his family while training in the gym.


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