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3 Substitutes for Burpees

There's a reason fitness experts love to include burpees in their programs: They're an extremely effective way to burn calories, build upper-body strength, and increase power. But they're also one of the exercises we love to hate the most. To eliminate the dread, not the results, from your sweat session, try swapping one of these moves into your routine. Just like burpees, each one combines plyometrics and strength training into one dynamic, fat-burning move.

How it works: Perform one of the three exercises on it's own or in place of burpees in your regular routine. Do 3 sets, resting 30 seconds in between.

Total Time: up to 15 minutes

You will need: Medicine ball

1. Medicine Ball Jump Backs

A.

Stand with feet hip width, holding a medicine ball at your chest.

B.

Bend both knees, shift your hips back, and lower into a squat. Keep your chest lifted as you place the medicine ball on the floor.

C.

Place both hands next to the ball and jump or step back to a straight-arm plank. Jump or step forward with toes pointed straight ahead.

D.

Pick up the ball and raise it straight overhead as you come all the way back to standing. Slightly bend both knees and throw the ball straight down as hard as possible. Catch the ball at your chest and repeat the entire movement.

Sets:

3

Reps:

10

2. Advanced Mountain Climbers

A.

Come into a straight-arm plank with wrists directly below shoulders, feet hip-width apart. Quickly drive knees in toward chest (alternating) for 10 reps.

B.

Lower into a triceps pushup with elbows in by sides. Do not let hips sink, keeping core engaged the entire time. That's one rep (10 mountain climbers plus one pushup).

Sets:

3

Reps:

10

3. Skater to Shoulder Tap

A.

Shift weight into right foot, bend right knee, and explosively jump to the left, driving off right leg. Land softly with left knee bent. Repeat the movement in the other direction.

B.

Bring feet back under hips. Bend both knees and place hands on the ground. Step or jump back into a straight-arm plank.

C.

Keep hips still as you touch left hand to right shoulder. Then touch right hand to left shoulder. Do 10 shoulder touches (5 each side), then step or jump forward and return to standing to complete one rep (one skater plus 10 shoulder touches).

Sets:

3

Reps:

10