Those 4 Challenging Burpee Movements Finally Explained

Burpees are no longer available upon request.
Today's Burpees workouts barely resemble the original Burpee created in 1939. In fact, when Royal H Burpee invented his namesake exercise, he likely never envisioned it as a workout at all. Rather, he administered it simply as a fitness test to get your heart pumping.

My, how times have changed.

Compare today's standards to his original test:
  1. Bend your knees, and place your hands flat on the floor in front of you.
  2. Jump your legs straight out to the rear, and leave them there.
  3. Jump your legs back.
  4. Stand up.
Notice anything missing? Not a word about pushups or chest and thighs to the floor. No squats. No jumping. No clapping of the hands.

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So, what are the proper movements in today's style of burpee? We explain it with these simple to understand, yet challenging when combined together movements:

Movement 1: Fall down.
Royal H. Burpee was a disciplined man, and was all about efficiency. What's more efficient than using gravity as your friend? Plus, the sooner you get to the floor, the quicker (in theory) you can get back up. But, it's also ok to just lay there for awhile and just enjoy the music, assuming you can hear it over that thumping against your skull.

Movement 2: Get back up.
Sounds simple, right? It even looks easy - I mean, just look at this unassuming little pictograph:

Burpee Movements


No biggie, huh? At least not for awhile. Until your lungs start to resemble an inferno and your heart is beating deep inside your brain.

Movement 3: Jump.
Gravity rapidly becomes your enemy during this part of the Burpee. Your coach may request that you somehow touch your hands together at the highest point in your jump. But, coach also says listen to your body, and it will quickly adapt causing you to look more like a floundering waterfowl with a vertical leap of about two and a half inches.


Movement 4: Repeat.
This is where your love/hate relationship with the burpee starts to bloom. But once you get into a rhythm, it's just like riding a bike. Or is it? Did you know Royal's original test only required his subjects to perform the burpee four times to assess their physical ability? Imagine that?!? "Today's WOD: 4 Burpees. 3…2…1…" Although he did up his game with a WWII military-level version which included an AMRAP of 20 seconds and another version for one minute, even Royal couldn't let well enough alone. And thus began the slippery slope of never-ending burpee variations.

Compare Calories Burned from Burpees vs. Riding an Ebike >>

The Final Movement:
But like all good things, whatever variation of Burpee workout exercise you started, finally draws to its conclusion. Afterwards, you're left surrounded in a pile of euphoric exhaustion. That "cherry on top" final movement that inspired our brand: The Burpee Bod.

The Burpee Bod

So the next time you challenge yourself with a Burpees workout, just remember these 4 movements and the one thing they all have in common: they are move-ments. So, keep moving! And take comfort in knowing we all end up in the same place once we're done moving.

Pro Tip: Wear a Cool shirt. Yes, Burpees Suck. But we *promise if you sport an awesome looking burpees workout shirt while doing burpees? Well…
*Promises are made to be broken.

Bonus Tip: Remove the Cool shirt. At some point during your burpee workout - and the timing of this maneuver is critical - *rip off your shirt and throw it on the ground.
*Warning: not to be performed by novices


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