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  • Coach Paul Kuck

Exercise From Hell - The Burpees

I am sure many of you had the chance of doing burpees at some point in your lives especially during army or school days. They are often used as a form of physical activity or punishment. They are also known as squat thrusts. Simply, this has to be one of the best overall exercises ever. From athletes, students to elite military forces, everybody uses burpees in their workouts.

Why is that?

It works so many muscles. With each repetition, you’ll work your chest, arms, shoulders, thighs, hamstrings, and abs. Your legs will feel like they’re filled with battery acid after you complete a set of burpees.

It is great for fat/calorie burning. Don't need to search further for the next fat-busting exercise. This is it. Although no one has the exact figure how many calories doing burpees can help burn, because it uses so many muscles, it's a lot. It is the highest burner non weight-based exercise. They’ve also been shown to speed up your metabolism which helps you burn more calories throughout the day. If you’re looking to get rid of that spare tire, this exercise is unparalleled.

It is functional and great for working other components of fitness. Many exercisers do all the wrong possible exercises in the gym. From lateral raises, biceps curls to countless situps. All just work the showy muscles to look nice in clothes. But all of these exercises put together cannot match what some properly executed burpees can do for you as far as physical conditioning is concerned. Burpee trains speed, power, coordination and agility. It also requires high doses of mental and physical endurance. You definitely need some grit to knock out a few dozen reps.

Best of all it is portable and free. How good is that? You can do this exercise anywhere anytime. There are no gym memberships, classes or equipment required.

It is idiot proof to master this exercise you can't really go wrong. Here's how:

Begin in a standing position.Descend into a squat position with your hands on the ground.Thrust your feet back into a plank position (like a push up position), while keeping your arms extended.Immediately hop your feet back to the original squat position. Stand or Jump up (for added challenge) from the squat position. Repeat.If you are a beginner, do a set of 10 to get the feel. As you progressively become fitter, do 3 sets of 20 with 2 mins break between sets.

Here's a video to show you (this version has a pushup added to each burpee).

Now the question on why is often used a form of punishment?

It is intense, tough, and therefore hurts, especially if you need to do high repetitions (if you are quite fit, I suggest try 100 at a go). It isn't for the faint-hearted. Don't say I didn't warn you.

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