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3 Ways to Do a Burpee, aka Squat Thrust

The Classic Burpee 3 Ways

Burpees, the classic exercise everyone loves to hate, is also known as a squat thrust. No matter what you call it, this full-body move will work you. But, we know burpees can be intimidating, so we've broken the exercise down into three variations: beginner, intermediate, and advanced.

Beginner: Walk Out
Aside from introducing your body to the basic mechanics of a burpee, this version makes for a great active warm-up exercise. Going from standing to the plank gets your heart pumping and wakes up your core.

  • Start standing, bend your knees and bring your hands to the floor just in front of your feet.
  • Walk your hands out into a plank position, then walk yourself back to a low squat and stand up. This complete one rep.
  • Do 15 reps for a set.

Intermediate: Push-ups and Plyometrics
Adding a push-up at the bottom of the move and jump at the top increases the difficulty level and your heart rate.

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  • Begin standing. Bring your hands to the floor just in front of your feet; jump your feet into a plank position.
  • Do one push-up.
  • Jump your feet back to your hands, and from this crouched position jump up, similar to a squat jump. Do jump as high up as you can. This completes one rep. (Here's a detailed description of the classic Burpee with photos illustrating each move.)
  • 15 reps completes a set.

Learn the advanced version after the break.

Advanced: Add Weights
Replacing the jump squat with a weighted overhead press adds an extra challenge to the arms and core. Use five- to 10-pound weight for the exercise.

  • Place dumbbells by your feet. Squat down bringing hands in front of your feet, jump your legs into plank position.
  • Do a push-up.
  • Jump your feet forward to your hands returning to a deep squat position. Grab your weights and stand up while pressing weight overhead. Engage your abs to keep torso aligned.
  • Bring the weights back down by your feet as you prepare to walk out again.
  • Do 15 reps for a set.

If you choose to suffer through two to three sets of 15 reps of any of these three versions, feel proud and know you have worked your arms, legs, glutes, shoulders, and core. That's a lot of bang for your exercise buck.

Source: Megan Wolfe Photography at J+K Fitness Studio

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