How to perform a burpee

Burpees, quite possibly the most hated yet incredibly effective exercise. In one single move, you combine cardiovascular and muscular training. And the only thing you need for this is your own body weight! You can simply do burpees anywhere – at home, in the office, or in the park. Unfortunately, performing a proper burpee isn’t as simple as it seems. That’s why we’re here to assist you in executing a proper burpee and to explain why you should start incorporating such a super effective burpee into your routine!

What is a burpee?

Burpees fall under High-Intensity Training (HIT), thanks to their explosive blend of cardio and strength. These powerhouses can melt away up to 50% more fat than traditional strength exercises in other sports. Why? Because burpees kick your metabolism into overdrive, keeping you burning not just during, but even after your workout. And let’s not forget that burpees put your entire body to work. They activate: 

How to perform a proper burpee

Performing a proper burpee involves a sequence of movements that combine cardio and strength. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to do a proper burpee: 

  1. Starting position: Begin by standing straight with your feet shoulder-width apart and your arms at your sides.
  2. Squatting down: Bend your knees and lower your body into a squatting position, placing your hands on the ground in front of you. Your hands should be slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.
  3. Kicking back: Kick your feet back swiftly, landing in a plank position with your body in a straight line from head to heels. Your core should be engaged, and your hands should be directly under your shoulders. 
  4. Push up (optional): If you want to add an extra challenge and incorporate more upper body strength, perform a push-up by lowering your chest towards the ground and then pushing back up. 
  5. Jumping forward: From the plank position, quickly jump your feet forward to the squatting position. Try to land with your feet just outside your hands.
  6. Jumping up: Explosively jump up, reaching your arms overhead. As you jump, engage your core and push through your heels. 
  7. Landing: Land softly on the balls of your feet and return to the squatting position.
  8. Repeat: Complete the movement by immediately transitioning into the next repetition. Aim for a fluid and controlled rhythm. 

Our tips for a proper burpee

Remember, burpees can be quite demanding, so start with a manageable number of repetitions and gradually increase as your fitness level improves. Always prioritise proper form to avoid injury. To help you perform a proper burpee, we have collected the following tips:

Tip 1: Keep your core engaged throughout the movement to maintain stability.

When performing burpees, one of the most crucial tips to keep in mind is to maintain a consistently engaged core throughout the entire movement. This not only helps you achieve better stability but also enhances the effectiveness of the exercise. The core, which includes your abdominal muscles, lower back muscles, and obliques, acts as the central support system for your body during physical activities.

Man jumping in air with burpee

Tip 2: Focus on landing softly to reduce impact on your joints. 

As you seamlessly transition from the explosive jump to the squat position during a burpee, it’s easy to overlook the impact that your landing can have on your body. However, by consciously focusing on landing softly, you significantly diminish the stress on your joints, particularly the knees and ankles. This becomes especially crucial when you’re performing a series of burpees in a workout routine, as repetitive high-impact landings can accumulate and potentially lead to discomfort or even injury.

Tip 3: Maintain a steady pace, but don’t sacrifice proper form for speed. 

By maintaining a consistent and deliberate pace, you give your muscles the chance to engage properly and execute each movement with precision. This approach not only enhances muscle activation but also minimises the chances of strain or injury due to rushed and jerky motions. When you’re conscious of the quality of each burpee, you foster a deeper connection between your mind and body, ensuring that you’re reaping the full benefits of the exercise.

Women doing burpee on box

Tip 4: Modify the burpees to your needs.

If you’re new to burpees, you can modify the exercise by skipping the push-up and the jump, stepping back and forward instead of jumping, or even eliminating the final jump. The key is to listen to your body and adjust the exercise to your comfort level. As you become more familiar with the movement, you can gradually increase the intensity. Remember, modifying the exercise not only helps prevent potential strain but also allows you to build your strength and endurance progressively.

The benefits and drawbacks of the burpee

Burpees are a popular and intense exercise that offers a range of benefits along with some drawbacks. Here’s a closer look at both sides of the coin.


  1. Full-body workout: One of the standout advantages of burpees is their ability to engage multiple muscle groups. From legs and core to chest and arms, almost every major muscle gets involved, leading to a comprehensive full-body workout.
  2. No equipment necessary: If you’re short on workout equipment or prefer bodyweight exercises, burpees are ideal. They require no special gear, making them a convenient option for home workouts or when you’re on the go.
  3. Cardiovascular boost: These exercises significantly elevate the heart rate, making them excellent for improving cardiovascular endurance. The intense bursts of activity during burpees contribute to fat burning and overall cardiovascular fitness.


  1. Intensity challenge: Burpees are high-intensity exercises, which might pose a significant challenge for beginners or individuals with certain medical conditions. Starting gradually and consulting a fitness professional is crucial.
  2. Injury risk: Incorrect form or overdoing burpees can lead to injuries, particularly to the shoulders, wrists, and lower back. Proper technique is paramount to avoid these risks.
  3. Muscle fatigue: Frequent burpee sessions can lead to muscle fatigue, potentially affecting your exercise form and overall performance.

Workout with Fit at Home

If you want to lose weight and achieve your goals, burpees alone are not enough. Add this to your training routine. Do you want to achieve your goals but don’t feel like going to the gym or don’t have the time? With Fit at Home you never have to go to the gym to do a workout ever again! Do you want to lose weight or work on your core? It’s possible from the comfort of your own home! The Fit at Home app is available 24/7 on-demand. You can use the app on your SMART tv or via your television provider. Of course you can also use Fit at Home online on your smartphone, tablet or laptop.  

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