January 25, 2013 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

Burpees are a very simple concept, yet they are difficult movements to execute across many repetitions, which makes them a total body workout. There’s no equipment needed, just your body and some floor space. However, coordination is necessary as you control your body throughout the properly timed movements of getting on the ground and back up. Burpees elicit a great metabolic (cardiovascular) stimulus. Depending on current level of strength, you may gain strength and body control. If the exercise is relatively simple for you, you will be able to move quicker and gain even more of a conditioning response.

Setup & Starting Position:

  1. Start standing tall with feet hip-width apart (or slightly closer together).

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Exercise:

  1. Squat down and reach for the ground, hands placed half a foot in front of your toes.20130104_bs_8954
  2. With hands planted, kick feet back into push-up position.20130104_bs_8956_2
  3. Complete full push-up with elbows in close to the body by resting entire body on floor.20130104_bs_8960
  4. Hop back up into a narrow squat.20130104_bs_8954
  5. Explode out of the squat and follow through with a nice, straight jump. Time a clap behind your head as your feet are off the ground.

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Tip: If the exercise seems easy, try speeding up your movements for more of a cardio blast. Just make sure that you fully complete each movement.

Amanda Schlegel is a NSCA CSCS, CrossFit Level I coach at CrossFit Omaha. For more information, visit crossfitomaha.com.