Another Workout Wednesday has arrived! Just like last week, I’ll be spending this one at New York Sports Club getting my butt kicked in a small group training class called UXF, short for “Ultimate Fitness Experience.” Thanks to some great instruction from my friend and master personal trainer Roberto Murichi, my classmates and I are mastering some of the simplest exercises that can make an amazing impact on the body.
One of those exercises is the burpee. It’s one of those strength training exercises that also offers one heck of a cardio kick. Here’s the “basic” breakdown to the four-step exercise:
- Start off standing with feet hip-width apart, back straight and abs tight (draw in your navel toward the spine).
- Bend knees and drop your hands to the floor.
- Kick your feet back to a push-up position and immediately return your feet to the hands with knees bent.
- Jump straight into the air as high as possible. Repeat, moving as fast as possible. Make sure you keep your abs drawn in throughout the movement.
With each rep, you work your chest, arms, deltoids, thighs, hamstrings and abs. After ten reps, my heart rate is up and my legs are seriously burning. After Roberto made us run through a circuit that featured a combination of kettlebell swings and burpees, I felt like I pushed myself harder than I would have during a typical jaunt on the elliptical.
Aside from the full-body benefits, there’s another great perk associated with burpees: you don’t need equipment to get them done! You can do burpees in your living room, in a park or in your hotel room if you’re on the road for work.
In the end, I love this exercise because I can feel so many parts of my body working hard to get through each rep. Of course, this is the same reason I hate the exercise, too. (Usually, the “hate” factor starts after the first set of ten reps.) But if you’re looking for a full-body exercise to kick your workout into high gear, adding the burpee to your fitness program is a surefire way to have fun, be fit and feel fabulous!