Learning to Hate Burpees Less

I haven’t been running too much as of late, even though we’ve been having beautiful weather here – cool and crisp and perfect for pounding out the miles. I’ve been enjoying the weather with a lot of walks, but just haven’t had the motivation to lace up the running shoes.

So instead, I’ve been doing burpees. Sometimes part of my strength workouts, and sometimes as workouts on their own. What is a burpee, you may ask? Well according to the Art of Manliness, it’s the one exercise to rule them all. (Sidenote: Apparently women don’t do burpees). According to the 12 Minute Athlete, burpees should be your favorite exercise.

The gist of it is, you start in  squat, shoot back into a push up position, jump your feet to your hands, and jump up as high as you can.

It sounds deceivingly simple. Especially if you already workout often, you’ll think, “oh, what could a burpee do to me? I will OWN THEM!”

And then you (*cough* I *cough*) do three, and want to lie on the floor and never get up again.

Burpees are hard. For me, they’re like…really hard. So whilst I’m in this running funk, which I know I’ll get out of eventually, I’m going to try to make them a little easier. And hate them a little less. Because honestly, I do feel a little like a badass after completing three sets of ten, even if I have to sometimes step in to my feet and not jump.

Why Burpees are Awesome

  • No equipment required – Do them at home, do them while traveling; heck, do them on your lunch break at the office! (But maybe bring a change of clothes).
  • Full body exercise – Burpees work your arms, chest, quads, glutes, hamstrings, and abs! They work them in a way that your body naturally moves, making them a great functional fitness exercise.
  • Endurance training – Burpees get your heart rate up quickly and they are great conditioning for any sport.
  • They’re efficient – You don’t need to do a lot of them to get a lot of out of them.

How to Incorporate Burpees Into your Workout Routine*

  • Warm up with three sets of 5 – 10 burpees
  • Join a 100 Burpee Challenge
  • Add 5 burpees to the end of your strength workout
  • Do burpee intervals – 30 seconds of burpees, 1 minute of another exercise (high knees, jumping jacks, shadow boxing, etc); rest and repeat
  • Google “Burpee workouts” and find something that sounds tolerable even as it sounds terrifying and awful

I know we’re supposed to “find workouts that we enjoy doing.” And I’m a big proponent of that. Especially if you’re just starting a workout routine. But sometimes, it’s empowering to take something super, super hard and do it anyway – even though there a million other ways to move that wouldn’t be so mentally or physically challenging.

*Always check with your healthcare provider before starting a new workout routine, or adding a new exercise. Listen to your body and stop if something doesn’t feel right. 

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