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Why Burpees Are Great For Weight Loss

Published April 27, 2019
Ben Kissam

Written By: Ben Kissam, BS

Ben has a B.S. in Movement and Sports Science and over 7 years Certified Personal Training Experience.

why-burpees-are-one-of-the-best-exercises
<script type="application/ld+json"> { "@type":"BlogPosting", "headline":"Why Burpees Are Great For Weight Loss", "datePublished":"April 27, 2019", "description":"Burpees are one of the best exercises you can do to lose body fat. Here are three burpee variations you can do at home.", "image": "https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/media/public/2019/04/why-burpees-are-for-weightloss-thumbnail.jpg" }, } ] } </script> <article> <div> <ul> <li><a href="#section1">What Are Burpees?</a></li> <li><a href="#section2">When Would I Do Burpees for Workouts?</a></li> <li><a href="#section3">Do Burpees Help Burn Fat?</a></li> <li><a href="#section4">Are Burpees Bad for You?</a></li> <li><a href="#section5">Best Burpee Progression for Weight Loss</a></li> <li><a href="#section6">Burpees for Weight Loss—Wrapping Up</a></li> </ul> </div> <section> <p align="justify">It’s nearly impossible to spend time in fitness circles without <i>someone</i> talking about burpees. That’s because burpees are a simple, effective, and versatile tool for losing weight, adding muscle, and increasing strength. In every corner of the fitness world—from <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/exercise/why-people-are-choosing-boutique-fitness-studios/" rel="noreferrer"><b>boutique gyms</b></a> to <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/exercise/" rel="noreferrer"><b>at-home workouts</b></a>—you’ll find people using burpees to achieve their fitness goals.</p> <p align="justify">But maybe you don’t know what burpees are. Or maybe, you’ve heard that burpees are <i>bad</i> for you.</p> <p align="justify">In this article, we’ll break down all things burpees: the five positions of a burpee, how burpees help you burn fat, if they’re good or bad for you, and the three best burpee progressions for losing body fat.</p> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/tyler-burpee-2-0148.webp" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/tyler-burpee-2-0148.jp2" type="image/jpf"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/tyler-burpee-2-0148.jpg "> <img src="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/tyler-burpee-2-LR-0148.jpg" class="img-fluid" alt=" tyler-burpee-2"> </picture> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section id="section1"> <script type="application/ld+json">{"@context":"https://schema.org","@type":"FAQPage","mainEntity":[{"@type":"Question","name":"What Are Burpees?","acceptedAnswer":{"@type":"Answer","text":"Burpees are a full-body, functional strength and fitness exercise. Start to finish, a burpee is broken into five parts: Standing Position, Dropping into a squat, Kicking your feet behind your body to a plank, Returning to a squat and Standing up again. \n\nAs you’ll see, burpees are a perfect progression exercise. This means you can easily modify them based on your current fitness level to be easier, harder, or lower-impact on your joints.\n\nThe best three-part burpee progression (beginner to advanced) for weight loss is at the bottom of this article."}}]}</script> <h2>What Are Burpees?</h2> <p align="justify">Burpees are a full-body, <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/exercise/what-is-functional-training-and-can-it-benefit-you/" rel="noreferrer"><b>functional strength</b></a> and fitness exercise. Start to finish, a burpee is broken into five parts:</p> <ol> <li>Standing Position</li> <li>Dropping into a squat</li> <li>Kicking your feet behind your body to a plank</li> <li>Returning to a squat</li> <li>Standing up again</li> </ol> <p align="justify">As you’ll see, burpees are a perfect progression exercise. This means you can easily modify them based on your current fitness level to be easier, harder, or <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/exercise/7-low-impact-cardio-exercises/" rel="noreferrer"><b>lower-impact</b></a> on your joints.</p> <p align="justify">The best three-part burpee progression (beginner to advanced) for weight loss is at the bottom of this article.</p> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section id="section2"> <script type="application/ld+json">{"@context":"https://schema.org","@type":"FAQPage","mainEntity":[{"@type":"Question","name":"When Would I Do Burpees for Workouts?","acceptedAnswer":{"@type":"Answer","text":"Burpees fit perfectly into the types of workouts we love at Warrior Made. Burpees are the perfect exercise for burning calories without any equipment. You can do them right in your living room.\n\nBecause burpees are good for both cardio and functional strength training, burpees naturally fit into circuit training and other fat-burning forms of high-intensity interval training (HIIT)."}}]}</script> <h2>When Would I Do Burpees for Workouts?</h2> <p align="justify">Burpees fit perfectly into the types of workouts we love at <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/" rel="noreferrer"><b>Warrior Made</b></a>. Burpees are the perfect exercise for burning calories without <i>any</i> equipment. You can do them right in your living room. </P> <p align="justify">Because burpees are good for both <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/exercise/best-cardio-to-lose-fat/" rel="noreferrer"><b>cardio</b></a> <i>and</i> <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/exercise/functional-strength-training/" rel="noreferrer"><b>functional strength training</b></a>, burpees naturally fit into <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/exercise/circuit-training-for-weight-loss/" rel="noreferrer"><b>circuit training</b></a> and other fat-burning forms of <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/exercise/what-is-functional-training-and-can-it-benefit-you/" rel="noreferrer"><b>high-intensity interval training</b></a> (HIIT).</p> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/tyler-burpee-1-0148.webp" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/tyler-burpee-1-0148.jp2" type="image/jpf"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/tyler-burpee-1-0148.jpg "> <img src="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/tyler-burpee-1-LR-0148.jpg" class="img-fluid" alt=" tyler-burpee-1"> </picture> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section id="section3"> <script type="application/ld+json">{"@context":"https://schema.org","@type":"FAQPage","mainEntity":[{"@type":"Question","name":"Do Burpees Help Burn Fat?","acceptedAnswer":{"@type":"Answer","text":"100%! Burpees are a top candidate for the best functional exercise for burning fat.\n\nWhy? Ask anyone that’s ever done several burpees fast. They’ll tell you what a phenomenal cardio workout they are.\n\nBut the reason burpees help you burn fat is three-fold.\n\nOne, you will get your heart rate up and burn calories during your workout.\n\nTwo, burpees fit perfectly into high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts, which help you burn fat during and after your workouts.\n\nAnd three, the more advanced progressions require push-ups. Even beginner burpees require you to hold a plank and do squats. So burpees help you add lean muscle to your lower, upper body, and core all at once.\n\nWhen you add lean muscle, your body burns more fat doing nothing, making it easier for you to lose weight."}}]}</script> <h2>Do Burpees Help Burn Fat?</h2> <p align="justify"><i>100%</i>! Burpees are a top candidate for the <i>best</i> functional exercise for burning fat.</p> <p align="justify">Why? Ask anyone that’s ever done several burpees fast. They’ll tell you what a phenomenal cardio workout they are. </p> <p align="justify">But the reason burpees help you burn fat is three-fold. </p> <p align="justify">One, you will get your heart rate up and burn calories during your workout. </p> <p align="justify">Two, burpees fit perfectly into <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/exercise/what-is-functional-training-and-can-it-benefit-you/" rel="noreferrer"><b>high-intensity interval training</b></a> (HIIT) workouts, which help you burn fat during and <i>after</i> your workouts. </p> <p align="justify">And three, the more advanced progressions require push-ups. Even beginner burpees require you to hold a plank and do squats. So burpees help you add lean muscle to your lower, upper body, and core all at once. </p> <p align="justify">When you <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/diet/top-7-post-workout-foods-for-lean-muscle/" rel="noreferrer"><b>add lean muscle</b></a>, your body burns more fat doing nothing, making it easier for you to lose weight.</p> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section id="section4"> <script type="application/ld+json">{"@context":"https://schema.org","@type":"FAQPage","mainEntity":[{"@type":"Question","name":"Are Burpees Bad for You?","acceptedAnswer":{"@type":"Answer","text":"This is a tricky question because any exercise can be bad for you.\n\nWhat does that mean? If your form is bad, you pick a burpee progression that’s too difficult, or you’re doing too many burpees and you’re new to fitness training, then burpees might lead to injury or discomfort.\n\nBut if you do burpees correctly, pick the right progression, and build up slowly over time, then no, burpees are not bad for you.\n\nBurpees are a popular exercise used in boutique gyms like CrossFit and Orange Theory. Often the people saying that “burpees are bad” for you had their only experience with the exercise in this setting. Sometimes that’s a good thing, but sometimes it isn’t."}}]}</script> <h2>Are Burpees Bad for You?</h2> <p align="justify">This is a tricky question because <i>any</i> exercise can be bad for you. </p> <p align="justify"><i>What does that mean</i>? If your form is bad, you pick a burpee progression that’s too difficult, or you’re doing too many burpees and you’re new to fitness training, then burpees might lead to injury or discomfort.</p> <p align="justify">But if you do burpees correctly, pick the right progression, and build up slowly over time, then no, burpees are not bad for you.</p> <p align="justify">Burpees are a popular exercise used in <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/exercise/why-people-are-choosing-boutique-fitness-studios/" rel="noreferrer"><b>boutique gyms</b></a> like CrossFit and Orange Theory. Often the people saying that “burpees are bad” for you had their only experience with the exercise in this setting. Sometimes that’s a good thing, but sometimes it isn’t.</p> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section id="section5"> <h2>Best Burpee Progression for Weight Loss</h2> <p align="justify">Here’s how we recommend you progress your burpees during your at-home workouts. If you’re just starting out with exercising again, start with the beginner level and work your way up.</p> <div style="text-align:center;"> <video autoplay loop muted> <source src="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/media/public/Assets/media/exercises/beginner/BURPEE-WALKOUT.webm" type="video/webm"> <source src="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/media/public/Assets/media/exercises/beginner/BURPEE-WALKOUT.mp4" type="video/mp4"> </video> </div> <ol> <b><li><h3>Burpee Walkouts</h3></li></b> <p align="justify">Burpee walkouts are one of twenty-seven <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/exercise/27-beginner-bodyweight-exercises-that-get-results/" rel="noreferrer"><b>beginner exercises</b></a> we recommend for fat loss. If you have <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/exercise/3-low-impact-exercises-for-bad-knees/" rel="noreferrer"><b>knee</b></a> or <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/exercise/at-home-exercises-to-strengthen-your-shoulders/" rel="noreferrer"><b>shoulder pain</b></a> or need a lower-impact version of this exercise to start, burpee walkouts are perfect. You don’t have to jump at all with burpee walkouts.</p> <p align="justify">Begin standing with your feet shoulder-width apart and knees slightly bent. Instead of squatting, hinge at the hips and bring your hands down to the floor. A good hinge looks like you reaching out to grab something in front of you on the floor, with active chest and upper back muscles, keeping your spine flat.</p> <p align="justify">With your hands on the floor, keep your shoulders and arms active as you step back into a plank position. Then return to where you started from. Step your hands back so you’re in a crouch. The way up will be more of a squat than a hinge. </p> <p align="justify">Finally, stand back up. That’s one!</p> <b><li><h3>Squat Thrusts</h3></li></b> <p align="justify">Many ask what the difference is between a squat thrust and a burpee. And, is one easier?</p> <p align="justify">Squat thrusts are slightly easier than burpees because they do not have a plyometric (jumping) portion at the end. And with squat thrusts you don’t have to do a push-up at the bottom if you aren’t strong enough yet.</p> <p align="justify">To do a squat thrust, follow all the guidelines of a good burpee outlined above and in the burpee walkout section. Remember the five points: <i>stand, squat, plank, squat,</i> and <i>stand again</i>.</p> <p align="justify">Make sure you stand up fully after each rep. Accomplish this by <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/6-week-challenge/join/" rel="noreferrer"><b>squeezing your glutes</b></a> at the top of each squat thrust. Squeezing your glutes pushes your hips forward and ensures you aren’t still hunched over. Don’t stand too long, though—go back down!</p> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/tyler-burpee-3-0148.webp" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/tyler-burpee-3-0148.jp2" type="image/jpf"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/tyler-burpee-3-0148.jpg "> <img src="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/tyler-burpee-3-LR-0148.jpg" class="img-fluid" alt=" tyler-burpee-3"> </picture> <b><li><h3>Burpees</h3></li></b> <p align="justify">Burpees require more coordination and strength than squat thrusts and burpee walkouts. When you’re ready to do them, here’s how.</p> <p align="justify">Begin standing. After a quick squat and hinge forward, your hands will make contact with the ground as you kick your feet behind your body into a plank. These happen fast. One second you’re standing, the next you’re only touching with your hands and toes.</p> <p align="justify">Burpees are the most challenging because each rep requires a push-up. Bend your arms at the top of the plank and control your body down to the floor, then press up. Activate your shoulders and arms, keep a tight core, and squeeze your glutes throughout—you know, the keys to a <a target="_blank" href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YUT0f9P7GpQ&t=208s" rel="nofollow noreferrer"><b>perfect push-up</b></a>.</p> <p align="justify">When your arms straighten, <i>jump</i> your feet to your hands. From this crouching position, squat up and jump. It doesn’t have to be more than a few inches, but a full burpee does require you to leave the ground.</p> <p align="justify">Take care of your knees by landing softly after each burpee. Each jump equals the end of one rep. Take a breath and go back down.</p> </ol> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section id="section6"> <h2>Burpees for Weight Loss—Wrapping Up</h2> <p align="justify">Burpees are a fantastic full-body, functional—<i>whew, lots of Fs</i>—exercise you can use during your at-home workouts to lose weight and add lean muscle.</p> <p align="justify">The speculation about burpees being ‘bad’ for you is subjective based on experience. As long as you start with the right progression and practice burpees with good form, they are not a bad exercise. In fact, they’re about as good an exercise as there is for weight loss!</p> <p align="justify">We particularly love burpees because they help you lose weight in the short term (by burning calories) and in the long term (by adding lean muscle that makes losing fat easier). </p> <p align="justify">Of course, the <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/diet/keto-101-a-beginners-guide/" rel="noreferrer"><b>right diet</b></a> and <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/" rel="noreferrer"><b>community</b></a> will go a long way to achieving those health and weight loss goals, too. </p> <p align="justify">Wherever you are on your health and fitness journey, let our tribe and coaches at <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/" rel="noreferrer"><b>Warrior Made</b></a> help you get there!</p>

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