We all know how much our clients love burpees and how they request that we put them in every single workout (where is the sarcasm font on this thing!).
The least we can do for our client’s least favourite exercise (ie The Exercise That Shall Not Be Named) is to give them some variety from time to time. And for those clients of yours that actually DO love burpees, you can give them a challenge with some new progressions.
Check them out below!
The 8 count burpee has 8 movements. Start off standing then 1) crouch to the ground, 2) jump your legs back into a plank, 3) jump your feet apart, 4) jump your feet back together, 5) drop into a push up, 6) come back up from your push up, 7) jump your legs back into your hands and 8) jump up into the air with your hands reaching up.
Starting in a high plank position, do the following: 1 Push Up, 1 Mountain Climber (both left and right knee to elbow equals 1) and 1 Plank Jack — then complete with the final move — 1 Burpee.\
Jump Rope Burpee
Start with a basic skip with the jump rope. At the end of the skip drop down for a Burpee with a Push Up. When returning to standing, go back to the basic skip. This is a fun variation to do as a ladder sequence. For example, start with 10 Skips / 1 Burpee and go down the ladder for Skips while going up the ladder for Burpees.
Lateral Jump Burpee
Starting with a Basic Burpee, drop down and jump back into the plank position and back. Instead of launching straight into a vertical jump, stand and jump laterally with both feet. Repeat the sequence to return back to start.
Lateral Jump Windmill Burpees
Pretty much same deal as with the Lateral Jump Burpee above, only after dropping down and jumping back into the plank position the challenge is to fit one press-up in (from a modified push-up position for beginners) then a windmill (also known as a T-bar, where you transition from the push-up position plank into a side plank then back again). Now, as with the standard Lateral Jump Burpee, instead of launching straight into a vertical jump, stand and jump laterally with both feet. Repeat the sequence to return back to start.
Box Jump Burpee
Much like the Lateral Jump Burpee, we add another element to the mix. From the Basic Burpee, instead of doing the vertical jump, jump immediately on to the box and back down. This move can be down with either a Lateral Jump or a Basic Box Jump (facing the box instead of standing parallel to it).
Okay, first up the video below doesn’t actually show the real version of the burpee. The video only shows me (Rob) jumping across and back the width of the camera, the real Travelling Burpee should have your clients moving forward a fair distance, of course how far is up to you my friends.
In fact one of the bootcamp workouts I’ve set teams of my campers is ONE MILE of Travelling Burpees (no I’m not kidding – I think this doozy may have originated from the very awesome Chris Commando). To complete a Travelling Burpee start with a Basic Burpee, drop down and jump back into the plank position and back (add a chest the ground push-up for the advanced). Now instead of jumping up, jump and launch yourself forward in a big broad jump (aka bunny hop), then drop your hands to floor and repeat.
If tackling the Mile of Burpees challenge above, put people into teams of 3-4 and set them off at the same time. The team takes turns to burpee across the mile with only one person in the team working at a time, the others walking along with them. The advanced in the team can perform 6-8 burpees at a time, intermediates 4-5 burpees and beginners 2-3 burpees. If travelling across rough ground make sure your campers bring gloves too.
This one needs some hip mobility, so make sure you’ve included some mobility or stretching drills in your warm-up. Start with a Basic Burpee, drop down and jump back into the plank position. Now jump your right foot right all the way up beside your hands (hence why you need good flexible hips), jump the right foot back and at the same time jump the left foot up beside your hands. Repeat this one more time before jumping back into a push-up plank and completing the burpee with a jump, and repeat. As always get advanced clients to add a chest to floor push-up.
Start with a Basic Burpee, drop down and jump back into the push-up plank position. Now add the footgrabber drill by simultaneously taking one hand and and the opposite side foot off the floor, bring the knee up underneath and take the hand down to grab or tap the foot. Return the hand and foot back and do the same with the other hand and foot. Do a couple of these footgrabbers on each side before jumping your feet back in and completing the burpee jump. As always, get advanced clients to add a chest to floor push-up.
To make this into a nice Finisher workout I like to challenge my campers to a descending drill. Basically start with 20 footgrabbers per burpee, then 18 footgrabbers per burpee, then 16 footgrabbers, and so on until they reach 2 footgrabbers. With a mixed group get the advanced to start at 26, intermediates at 20 and beginners at 16 footgrabbers.
Battling Rope Burpees
Anchor the rope around a tree or post. Hold both ends of the rope and begin by completing the bottom half of a simple burpee, keep your hands on the rope but open your hands so you don’t crush your fingers. On the way up from your burpee, grip the rope again and perform one slam. That’s 1 rep.
Sandbell Slam Burpees
You’ll need a sandbell or similar type of sand bag that can be thrown for this variation. Place sandbell approximately six inches in front of feet. Place hands on ground on either side of the sandbell and jump feet back into a plank. Lower your body to the ground and push back up into plank. Jump feet forward, pick up sandbell, and press legs back up to standing. Lift sandbell overhead and bend knees to slam it to the ground. Repeat.
Tuck Jump Burpees
Just like a regular ole’ burpee except get those knees nice and high on the jump!
Shoulder Press Burpees
Place a set of dumbbells about six inches in front of feet. From standing, place hands on ground to the outside of each dumbbell and jump feet back into plank. Lower body to ground and push yourself back up. Jump feet to hands. Squat down and pick up weights. Instead of jumping, stand up and curl and press weights overhead. Return weights back down in same pattern and place back on ground before repeating the sequence.
This requires a pair of dumbbells. Place dumbbells on the ground in front of our feet, then jump your legs back and complete a pushup (like a regular burpee). Make sure your hands and feet are both hip/shoulder width apart for this next part. Row the dumbbells towards your chest one at a time – keep your hips steady on this part to engage your core. Then jump your feet back up like a normal burpee, stand up and do one shoulder press. This is one complete rep.
Burpee Tyre Press
Hold onto the outside of a tyre. Place the tyre on the ground and jump back your legs as a normal burpee would go. You can get advanced clients to do a push up on the tyre here. Then jump the legs back in wide and close to the tyre. Keep the hips low as you lift the tyre and press it over head. Bring the tyre back down and that’s 1 rep.
Star Jump Burpees
Start in standing position. Place hands on ground, hop feet back into plank and lower body to ground. Push yourself back up, jump feet forward so that they land together. Jump explosively with arms and legs extended and land in squat with feet together.
From standing, drop down to butt and roll on to your back while lifting your legs in the air in a reverse crunch. Roll back to ground and use your momentum to return to your feet in a crouching position. Place hands directly in front of your feet and hop your feet back into a plank. Lower your body to the ground and push yourself back into a plank. Jump feet back to hands and jump. When you land back on the ground from your jump, drop back down and repeat the roll to a reverse crunch.
Single Arm Burpee
Complete a regular burpee with only hand touching the ground. Put your other hand behind your back during the exercise.
Single Leg Burpee
Complete a regular burpee with only foot touching the ground (keep the other foot in the air).
Single Arm, Single Leg Burpee
Complete a regular burpee with only one hand and one foot touching the ground the whole time (make it opposite hand/leg, e.g. right hand and left leg). Keep the other hand and foot in the air.