By Wanita Nicol
It’s time to up your burpee game. Why? Because if there’s one move to rule them all, this is it.
Not sure where to begin? Check out our beginner’s guide to basic burpees.
Remember that old saying that if medicine tastes bad, it works? The same can be said for exercise moves. If you dread a move, that’s probably because it gets results. And everyone hates burpees! Here’s what’s going on when you drop…
You’re Toning Your Bum And Legs
Burpees start with a squat, which is a brilliant move for toning your lower half, especially your quads – the muscles in the front of your thighs. When you jump up at the end – or even just stand up, depending on what variation you’re doing – you’re targeting your glutes and hamstrings, the muscles in your bum and the backs of your thighs.
TIP: Control your squat, rather than just dropping down, and try not use your hands as a boost when you jump or stand at the end.
You’re Working Your Abs
Your core is working over-time when you do a burpee, helping you keep your balance as you hop from one position to the next. But that’s not all it’s doing. When you jump your legs back into push-up position (and back again later), that power comes from your abs – including those lower abs that get neglected when you do crunches. You added a push-up? Awesome! That means you added extra toning for your abs. A lot of the strength needed for a push-up actually comes from you core.
TIP: It’s all about control again. Focus on doing the push-up with good form.
You’re Loading Your Guns
And sommer giving yourself a boob lift while you’re at it! As much as push-ups strengthen your core, they also work your arms and chest. Even if you didn’t add a push-up, just being in that high plank position is great for building strong arms!
You’re Strengthening Your Heart
Burpees are explosive moves or, in fitness-speak, they’re plyometric exercises. And plyos are an excellent form of cardio. You know how that feeling of gasping for air after banging out a few burpees? That’s your heart working – and getting stronger. In fact, like any other muscle, it can actually grow! A single heart-pounding, 30-minute workout has been shown to beef up the capillaries on the surface of your heart, increasing the amount of blood flow your heart can handle.
TIP: Make it intense by doing a burpee Tabata: Get a timer that counts seconds. Do as many burpees as you can in 20 seconds, rest for 10 seconds and then repeat for a total of eight rounds. Too much? After four rounds, rest for a full minute. Then do it all again.
Who’s Up For A Challenge?
Put your burpee game to the test with the WH Voting Day burpee challenge. Fit burpees into your voting day public holiday. Add a burpee Tabata to your workout or do one at home as a quick cardio workout. Tag us on Twitter and let us know how it went. Feeling brave? WH DARES YOU: Do a burpee in the queue to vote at your polling station. Post a video and tag us on Twitter or Instagram. We’ll regram our faves!
Need some inspiration? Watch this video, test your skills, then show us what you’ve got!