Few bodyweight movement are as demanding as the burpee – and they can be done anywhere. The great thing about burpees is that by making a few subtle changes, you can target different muscles.
Here are 8 burpee variations which are guaranteed to work your entire body.
Add a Push Up
Some people believe that the burpee without a push up is merely a squat thrust. A true burpee adds a rapid push up at the bottom before using the hips, core and legs to accelerate into a jump.
Add In a Side Hop
Throwing in a side hop is a great agility exercise. You can use a cone, kettlebell or some other obstacle as an object to hop over. This one variation is ideal for sports people who need to work on lateral movement and balance as well as conditioning.
To execute the side hop, make sure both feet are close together and then leap laterally at the same time.
Add In a Broad Jump
A broad jump is simply a forward jump with the feet apart as wide as your shoulder. The broad jump is a plyometric exercise used in virtually every athletic training regime. When performing the jump, make sure you absorb the landing by bending the knees on impact. You can perform this burpee by working your way forward or by jumping backward to the start position.
Widen Your Leg Stance
Take a wider stance and you’ll take the emphasis from the hips and place it on the lats (back). The reason for this is that instead of the hips thrusting the legs forward into the squat position, the lats are used to pull the legs forward.
Jump Forwards and Rotate 180 Degrees
In this variation, jump forward while twisting 180 degrees in the air. Drop down into a burpee again and jump back to where you started. Do this 10 times and you’ll be able to work the rotational core and hips quite nicely.
Throw the Legs Back on a 45 Degree Angle
Burpee With a Twist
This variation involves a twist when throwing the legs back for the plank position. Simply turn your feet to one side, and then activate the hips, glutes and obliques.
Lateral Bound Burpee
In this variation, you are rising up out of the push up, leaping laterally and landing on one leg. On the next rep, jump back to where you started.
Progression and Sample Workout
These burpee variations make the burpee a cornerstone of hockey conditioning program for some people. Here is a sample routine in using these variations:
Pair a burpee variation with a horizontal core exercise and perform them as a superset. Rest 10-20 seconds between supersets. Here are some example pairings:
- Burpee + Mountain climber
- Burpee side hop + Plank
- Burpee lateral lunge + Plank elbows-to-hands (moving between elbows and hands while in a plank position)
- Wide stance burpee + Side plank
- Burpee + broad jump + Side plank (other side)
Have fun with these variations and come up with your own where you will feel most comfortable at. Part of what makes the burpee so great is its adaptability and the fact that it provides such a great total body workout. For some people, the burpee certainly is complete exercise in existence.
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