In the fitness world, burpees are the go-to workout. They offer a full body workout, offering strength training and cardio, all without equipment or weights. The movements that are involved in burpees employ every muscle group in the body, and all that is required is enough free space as you would need to do pushups. Burpees can literally be done anywhere, at any time. Their intensity can range from mild to moderate to intense; they can be done slowly and methodically, or they can be done quickly, similar to a sprint. If you need to warm up quickly, doing a set of 15 or so burpees will get your heart rate pumping and increase your body temperature at a rapid rate.
The list of burpee benefits go on and on, but despite all of the incredible advantages that they offer, a lot of people don’t like doing them. They can be demanding and difficult to master. Since they involve three separate movements, some people just might not be able to execute burpees properly. And, after a while, doing the same repetitive motions that are involved with burpees gets kind of boring.
No matter what the reason is, if you aren’t feeling burpees, but you still want to reap the incredible benefits that they offer, here are some exercises that offer the same results….
Murpees are a modified burpee. With a traditional burpee, you have to shoot your legs back, drop down into an explosive pushup, quickly jump up onto your feet, and then spring yourself upward, repeating each movement as quickly as possible. With a murpee, you do the same movements, but you slow them down, relying on your strength, balance and sheer momentum in order to get in a workout.
Here’s how you do them:
- Slowly lower yourself down into a squat position until your hands can easily be placed on the floor in front of you
- Slowly place one leg behind you at a time, putting yourself in a pushup position
- Execute a pushup (though you can eliminate this step if you choose)
- Slowly bring one leg forward, touching your knee to your elbow, and hold it there for a few seconds. Pull the other leg forward. Then, position your feet so that they are flat on the floor and you are positioned into a squat. With each rep, switch the leg you bring forward first.
- Slowly stand up or jump. The benefit of doing everything slowly allows you to develop as much force as possible for each jump and enables you to safely land.
- Repeat the process
Broad Jump Burpees
A broad jump burpee is a traditional burpee with a jump; however, instead of jumping in place, you will jump forward, as far as you can possibly go. Make sure that you do broad jump burpees on a stable, comfortable surface that offers decent traction. Do less broad jump burpees than you would regular burpees because this exercise puts a lot of strain on the body and can increase the chance of injury.
180 Degree Burpees
This exercise involves doing a traditional burpee with a jump; however, instead of jumping in place, you will turn 180 degrees while you jump. Switch the direction you turn your body. Adding in the turn exerts more energy, which will allow you to yield even greater results.
Remember those jumping jacks that you used to do in gym class at school? Well, there’s a reason why they were a staple part of those workouts: they provide outstanding benefits. They get your heart rate pumping and utilize most of the muscle groups in the body, just like the burpee. They don’t involve having to do three different positions, which means that they are easier to execute than a burpee, which is definitely a plus.
Squat thrusts are essentially burpees, minus the pushup and the jump. Actually, squat thrusts are the foundation of the burpee. This exercise involves squatting down and placing your hands on the floor, then shooting your legs back, placing your body in a plant position, and shooting them forward and getting back into a squat position.
Squat thrusts are a lot easier to execute than burpees, but they definitely offer a great workout.
Get Up, Stand Ups
With this exercise, you start sitting down on the ground with your legs stretched out straight, your knees together, your back held tall and your hands placed flat on the grounds at your sides. Once positioned, pop yourself up by using your hands to push you off of the ground and then quickly bring your feet underneath you so that you are in a standing position. Return to the starting position as quickly as possible, without using your hands, if possible, and then repeat as many times as you can.
While you do need a piece of equipment for this exercise – a kettlebell – it yields some pretty awesome results. Kettlebell swings use the muscles in your legs, arms, abdomen, glutes and pretty much every other part of your body, and they get your heart rate moving. Make sure you exercise caution while you are swinging the kettlebell to avoid injury, and choose a kettlebell that is the proper weight (pick one that’s too heavy and muscle strain is almost guaranteed.)
You will need a piece of equipment for this exercise, but it’s one that you can either make on your own or that you can purchase for just a few dollars at a surplus supply store.
To execute sandbag shouldering, pick up the sandbag and bring it up to your shoulder, then lower it back down to the ground. Repeat the process with your opposite shoulder. While your executing the movement, make sure you hold your spine as neutral as possible.
Basically, this exercise is a deadlift (picking up the sandbag) and a power clean (hoisting it up to your shoulder) hybrid. It works virtually every muscle in the body.
When you aren’t in the mood for burpees, give these alternatives a try. They offer outstanding results and are just as effective as a burpee.