Learn how to finally do a burpee to get the most fat-blasting results. Use this step-by-step guide to learn how to do a proper burpee and how to make the move easier or more difficult.

By By K. Aleisha Fetters
Updated September 20, 2020

Burpees have a reputation for a reason. They're one of the most effective-and crazy-challenging-exercises out there. And fitness buffs everywhere just love to hate them. (Related: The 30-Day Burpee Challenge That Will Totally Kick Your Butt)

What is a burpee you ask? Well, the sweat-drenching move turns your body into the best piece of workout equipment ever, training virtually every muscle in your body—including your shoulders, chest, abs, quads, inner thighs, butt, and triceps—and sending your heart rate through the roof for awesome calorie-torching, muscle-building benefits, says personal trainer Mike Donavanik, C.S.C.S.

But to get the most from every rep, you need to know not just how to do a burpee, but how to do a proper burpee with picture-perfect form. Here, Donavanik shares step-by-step tips on how to do a burpee.

How to Do a Burpee

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, weight in your heels, and your arms at your sides.
  2. Push your hips back, bend your knees, and lower your body into a squat.
  3. Place your hands on the floor directly in front of, and just inside, your feet. Shift your weight onto your hands.
  4. Jump your feet back to softly land on the balls of your feet in a plank position. Your body should form a straight line from your head to heels. Be careful not to let your back sag or your butt stick up in the air, as both can keep you from effectively working your core.
  5. Jump your feet back so that they land just outside of your hands.
  6. Reach your arms over head and explosively jump up into the air.
  7. Land and immediately lower back into a squat for your next rep.

Form tip: Avoid "snaking" the body off the ground by lifting the chest first and leaving the hips on the ground when raising body back up off the floor.

Luckily, this move is super versatile and can be tailored to any fitness level.

How to Make a Burpee Easier

  • Move into a plank position by stepping, rather than jumping, your feet behind you.

How to Make a Burpee Even More Challenging

  • Add a push-up to the plank position.
  • Add a knee tuck to the jump.
  • Perform the entire burpee on just one leg (then switch sides and do on the opposite leg).

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March 28, 2018
I workout about 5 days a week--doing a variety of strength training & cardio. I'm no stranger to burpees but how many times a week should I incorporate burpees into my routine?