Finally—a burpee workout that challenges your muscles, spikes your heart rate, and boosts fat burn

By By the editors of Shape.com
Updated: September 19, 2017
Corbis Images

Love 'em (which we can imagine only crazy people do) or hate 'em, burpees are one exercise that's here to stay. Originally used in the military during boot camps and basic training to instill discipline and whip soldiers into shape, this full-body exercise isn't easy. It incorporates movements like a squat, jump, plank, and pushup, which, when combined, will seriously spike your heart rate.

"Burpees tax the cardio vascular system by making you go from vertical to horizontal with no time to adjust," says Alex Nicholas, NASM-CPT, owner and coach at Epic Hybrid Training in New York City. "They shock and wake the body up-especially if you're doing more than five at a time."

And how many calories does this killer combo burn? According to Spartan Race, 283 burpees can melt off the 270 calories consumed in that scoop of Ben and Jerry's Cookie Dough ice cream you may have devoured last night. We're looking to step up the burn and eliminate the tedious repetitiveness of the original burpee with four variations created by Nicholas himself. These are no walk in the park, so proceed with caution. When you're done though, you'll have torched more calories than the standard variety ever could. 3-2-1, begin!

One-Legged Burpee

A Stand with feet shoulder-width apart. Lift up your right foot off the ground. On one leg, jump down into a one-legged plank, shoulders directly over hands, glutes squeezed, abs engaged, and body in a straight line from head to toe.

B Perform a pushup, lowering until your chest hits the ground.

C Still using only one leg, jump your foot up towards your hands and stand up. Perform 10 reps total, five on each leg.

Modification: Do the pushup on your knee, but make sure to squeeze glutes and engage core so your butt doesn't stick up in the air as you lower down.

Burpee Broad Jumps

A Stand with feet shoulder-width apart. Begin to squat down and place hands on the ground, jump legs back into a plank and lower your chest until it hits the ground. Simultaneously push up with your arms to raise your chest and jump your feet back up to your hands to stand up.

B Sit back into your heels and lower to a quarter squat, then explode upward and jump forwards, using your arms for momentum, as far as you can. Turn around and repeat. Perform 10 reps.

Roll-Back Burpee

A Start sitting back into a squat and lower all the way down until your butt touches the ground. Continue to roll back on to your shoulders, then use the momentum to rock back up to standing, in one fluid motion.

B Perform a standard burpee, placing ands on the ground, jumping feet back into plank as your chest lowers to the ground. Simultaneously push up with your arms to raise your chest and jump your feet back up to your hands to stand up. Perform 10 reps.

Epic (or Spider Pushup) Burpee

A Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, then squat down and place hands on the ground as you jump your feet back into a high plank. Lift your right leg and reach your right knee to your right elbow as you perform a pushup, keeping the back flat, glutes squeezed, and core engaged. Extend the right leg back and place toes on the ground.

B Lift the left leg and reach the left knee to left elbow as you perform a pushup, keeping the back flat, glutes squeezed, and core engaged. Extend the left leg back and place toes on the ground.

C Jump feet to hands and stand up. That's one rep. Perform 10 reps.

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