Burpees: The Ultimate Guide From Beginner To Advanced

how  to do a burpee

What Is A Burpee?

The Burpee is perhaps one of the most effective​ tools in any fitness workout or weight loss routine. 

Over 25 years no exercise has ever come close to helping to increase my fitness as the burpee has. In short it  really is the ultimate exercise​. 

In this article we are going to go 'deep' into the world of the burpee. I will show you how to do a burpee and then move into the history of the exercise and why it is so important. Following on form this we will list you a range of exercies and workouts that you can use which involve the burpee.

From beginner to advanced this really is the ultimate article on the dreaded burpee.


Let's do this;​

How To Do A Burpee

The basic burpee is a relatively easy exercise to master.

To start you need to take position one:

Position One: Standing​

Begin the exercise in the standing position. From here simply stand straight with your feet shoulder width apart.

Position 2: The Drop​

The next stage in the burpee  is to simple drop to your hands and knees. This is a really simple and fluid motion.

The aim here is to bring your body to the floo​r and rest the weight on the hands and feet. Your next step is to thrust your legs out in an explosive fashion so you will not be in this position for more than a few seconds.

Position 3: The Leg Thrust​

The next aspect of the burpee is to thrust your legs out straight. The key here is to make sure that your back is also straight.

Position 4: The Reverse​

The next stage of our burpee is very simple. Just bring your legs back up in one motion to your centre. We are going to reverse everything we have just done.

Position 5: The Jump 

Once again, you need to stand up. Now you have 2 ways to finishthis exercise off in the basic fashion.

Traditionally you can jump and perform a tuck jump​ by bringing your knees to your chest and then returning to the standing position or you can simple to a small jump

Once you are back to the standing position you have completed one burpee rep. The video below does a great job of explaining the burpee

Why Is It Called A Burpee: The History of The Burpee

So now you ​know what a basic burpee is I think before we go further you should know a little more about the exercise that will be getting you into super shape in record time.

The burpee​ is named  after a physiologist named Royal H Burpee who invented the exercise. He originally designed the exercise in 1939 as a way to measure a persons fitness.

Needless to say his simple 4 repetition version of the exercise has evolved over time but it is the basic motion of the burpee that delivers those incredible lung busting results.

The Burpee formed part of a larger 7 exercise test and people were asked to perform 4 burpees and their heart rate was measured before and after. The aim of the test was to see how ling it took for the heart rate to return to normal

The Benefits of Burpees

Ok so you get it, the burpee is a brutal exercise but why are burpees so good for developing fitness?

Well in truth it is down to  the fact that the burpees tax every major muslcle group especially the legs.

Our quadriceps (thigh muscles)​ are the largest muscle in the human body. As such they require more energy to move. 

I know this sounds like common sense but  if you really want to get in shape fast, the legs will always be your fastest route. Squats, mountain climbers, tuck jumps, leg thrusts and other similar exercises will drain your lungs and get those thighs working hard.

The harder you work the more calories you will burn!

That being said here are the real benefits of doing a burpee:

1. Increased Core Strength​

If you want to work the core a burpee is going to tax it.

From the plank position you use, to the jump/ stand and leg thrust, the burpee will work that core. You need the core to stabilise your body throughout​.

2. Improved Shoulder And Arm Strength​

Every time you hit the deck ready to thrust those legs out you prop your body weight onto your arms. This is great for increasing strength.

3. ​Great Leg Endurance Workout

If you are looking to gain increased endurance in your legs the burpee delivers like no other exercise. 

If you tweak the exercise (as we will learn later) you will be able to punish those legs like never before. This is great ​for those in other sports

4. You Can Do A Burpee Anywhere​

Have you ever purchased a type of home training equipment ​that promised to deliver great results, a more tones stomach, burn calories etc etc etc.

Yeah, me too.

But the burpee is the one I always come back to time and time again.

You just need a small amount of space and you are ready to go!​

Burpee Workouts For Beginners

​So now you are at the stage where you are ready to get working out.

I have used the burpee as a stand alone workout or part of a 'workout  finisher'. Basically I used to add this on the end of any training that I did​, be that boxing, Judo, grappling or any other martial arts.

But first let us look at a basic burpee workout for you.

Burpee Workout 1: The Simple Stand​

This is a very basic workout using the burpee on its own. It is a bit repetitive ​but if you have really low levels of fitness you can use this to start off.

Now remember everything we do here at HIIT is about rounds.

We have 4 rounds of exercises with rest in between.

So here it is:

Start with your feet shoulder width apart and slowly go to the squat position, next walk each leg out slowly so that you are in the plank position.

Then bring them back in one at a time.

Now stand up.

This is one rep, it is just doing a burpee but slowly.

The workout is as follows:

Round 1: 10 x simple standing burpees

1 minute rest​

Round 2: 10 x simple standing burpees​

1 minute rest

Round 3: 10 x simple standing burpees

1 Minute rest

Round: 4 10 x Simple standing burpees ​


This is your basic low fitness workout that is great for people who have had an injury or who have never done any type of fitness work. It is a great way to start!

Burpee Workout  2: The Full Burpee

Ok I am not going to go over ground here, the same format of 4 rounds but this time you do the burpee as you should.

This means you thrust those legs up and then jump to the standing position at the end.

10 x burpees with a minutes rest after each one​.

Burpee  Workout 3: The Tuck Burpee​

This is our final beginner workout, once you can do 10 of these you are ready to move on to harder workouts.

The aim here is that you finish the burpee with a tuck jump.

So go down, thrust those legs out and bring them back in now explode upwards into  a tuck jump and back down.

Same format is 10 reps per round with a minute rest in between.

Advanced Guide To Burpees

The burpee can be altered, added to  and basically re designed to fit any kind of need or level of fitness.

To do this just think of exercise as a chef thinks of food, there are a lot of ingredients that go into making a meal!

With the burpee there are really just three ingredients

1. The drop

2. The exercise

3. The return​

For example you can start standing, drop down and do 10 x clapping press ups and then return to a tuck jump finish.

Or perhaps you want to drop down, extend the legs not  once but 10 times by using the leg thrust exercise.

There is no end to what variations that you can do​

Advanced Burpee Workouts​

To make life easier for you we have scoured  the web to find the best advanced burpee workout videos that you can use. Just look at the variations and build your own workout plan.

However ​make sure you use them in our HIIT format of 4 rounds per fight and have no more than 5 fights per session.

Ready, here they are.​


Ok so there you have it.

Our complete guide to Burpees. Now you have all the information you need to add burpees to your workout programme.

Our HIIT system is easy, it is free and it is proven.

Remember, build your own HIIT  workout and  you are more likely to keep going!

Thanks for reading, now get doing your  burpees!​

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