Burpees: Working Muscles and Crazy Variations (videos)💥

Burpees muscles solicited: in fact they solicit many muscles of the body, both those of the bust, but also the legs and the muscles of the abdominal strap. But don't forget that it is a fabulous movement to develop your cardiovascular capacities.

It is one of the best exercises for toning the muscles of the entire body and burning a lot of calories. In addition, burpees require almost no equipment.

I will still talk to you at the end about 2 things you need to train in good conditions.

Burpees: Many muscles are used

muscle burpees
Burpees use many muscles

The burpees make work of numerous muscle groupsThis can be broken down as follows:

  • LEGS: hamstrings (back of thighs), quadriceps (front of thighs), buttocks and calves
  • ABDOMINAL STRAP: the rectus and obliques
  • UPPER BODY : pectorals, triceps and deltoids.

Since the heart is a muscle, you could really add it to the mix, as burpees are such a great way to do high-intensity workouts, also known as HIIT.

So, as you are very attentive and lucid, you will probably have noticed that the muscles that are missing are back and biceps. This is the only weakness of the burpees, but I'll give you a tip later on to fix that.

But first, let's see how to do burpees properly and how to do it if you are a beginner.

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How to do burpees?

I suggest that you follow this video that shows you how to do burpees:

Of course, this is the complete movement, the one you have to do when you already have the physical condition to do so.

If this is not the case and you have recently started exercising again, I recommend this very nice video from the Doctissimo site where Jeanna Dufraisse shows 5 ways to do burpees from a beginner level to an advanced level:

Keep in mind, however, that the easier versions of burpees don't challenge your muscles and heart rate as much as the full version. To read a description of the movement, check out this article:

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Make burpees even more difficult

If you're even crazier than the average person, you can make the muscles work even harder with a few variations of this complete exercise.

For example, clap your hands at the end of your push-ups. Of course, this requires a strong push to get there. You can also jump much higher and explosively or greatly increase the speed of your burpees.

NOTE : Whatever you do to make your burpees more difficult, never sacrifice the quality of your movement. This will be counterproductive for your muscles and increase your risk of injury.

You may not know Sean Vigue, but I really like what he does. I invite you to follow his video, even if it's in English, to show you what you can do with burpees. It's impressive:

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How to build back and biceps with burpees

As you have read above, burpees use almost every muscle in the body. Their weak point remains, however, the fact that the back and biceps are not or hardly used.

One of the burpee variations proposed by an American fitness magazine corrects this problem. You have to do burpees under a pull-up bar like this:

burpees muscles with pull-ups
Burpees with push-ups and pull-ups (Source: National Academy of Sports Medicine)

It is undoubtedly the most complete exercise that you can find on the entire fitness planet. It has its place in the best bodybuilding programs. But be careful, these burpees require a lot of energy!

Here is a video example:

Why do burpees make you lose weight?

Since the muscles involved in burpees are numerous, it naturally follows that this movement consumes a lot of calories in a short period of time. It can therefore be classified as both a strength and fitness exercise.

With burpees, you'll not only gain mass and develop your strength, but also your endurance. A true bodyweight workout and intensive cardio at the same time.

As always, the number of calories burned will depend on the intensity of your session and your weight. Of course, it takes more energy to move 100 kilos than to move 50. Similarly, your speed and number of repetitions will also have an impact on your caloric expenditure.

According to the Harvard Medical School website, burpees performed with a moderate intensity for 30 minutes burns :

  • 135 calories for a person of 57 kilos
  • 167 calories for a person of 70 kilos
  • 200 calories for a person of 84 kilos
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If you switch to a intensive levelthe results are :

  • 240 calories for a person of 57 kilos
  • 298 calories for a person of 70 kilos
  • 355 calories for a person of 84 kilos

Of course, these are the results you'll get from classic burpees. You're bound to burn a lot more calories with the variations you discovered just before, such as the one with pull-ups.

How to do burpees?

As with all strength and fitness exercises, it is extremely important to do the movements the right way.

Why ?

On the one hand, you will get the best possible benefits from your session since the muscles will be solicited in good conditions. On the other hand, you will limit the risk of injury to your muscles and joints.

For example, doing push-ups incorrectly creates a unnecessary stress on your shoulders, which are both complex and fragile joints. You could also injure your wrists or your back.

So, as soon as you feel like you're doing burpees the wrong way, stop and try a variation that is less challenging for you. The important thing is to exercise to build muscle and work your cardiovascular system. And enjoy what you're doing, of course!

How to prepare your muscles for burpees?

If burpees are still too difficult for you, even in the simplest versions, first practice each movement of this exercise separately. That way, you'll work the same muscles and prepare for future burpees.

For example, make a session that includes:

  • Knee push-ups or inclined push-ups
  • body weight squats or jump squats
  • boards (various examples of boards in this complete article)
  • assisted pull-ups with elastic bands

As the popular wisdom says, practice makes perfect. Likewise, it's by practicing the various exercises that make up this movement that you'll eventually be able to do it in spades 😉

And if you like this movement and you are crazy enough, you can also raise my burpee challenge over 30 days.

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2 useful equipments for burpees

As you read at the beginning, burpees require almost no equipment. In fact, you can do them without any equipment at all, but it is not ideal.

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People often talk about strength training without equipment, but this is not true at 100%. There is no exercise that doesn't require a minimum of equipment to be done in good conditions.

In reality, the amortization is important when you do burpees. And for that, you need only 2 things:

  1. A pair of fitness shoes
  2. A durable floor mat

Why do you need it?

The pair of shoes will ensure a good shock absorption, whether it is to bring your feet back or forward in the ground phase, or in the jump phase at the end of the movement.

Similarly, a ground sheet Will improve your training comfort by reducing the impact of jumps, but also wrist or hand fatigue on the ground. Not to mention, noise reduction for the neighbors below 😉

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Last updated on 4.11.2022 / Affiliate links / Some images are from the Amazon Product Advertising API

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