This Might Just Be the Best Total-Body Exercise

The secret’s out: burpees are the real deal. Self explains why.

There are a ton of exercises that will get your blood pumping and muscles working (lookin’ at you squats and push-ups)| however| one move stands out above the rest. And while for some (okay| most)| it’s also one of the most dreaded.

Enter the burpee. It seems simple enough| you start in standing position| then squat down until your hands touch the floor and kick your feet back into push-up position. From there you push-up| then jump back and up into original position and repeat. Sounds doable in theory| but these babies will have you sweating. Which is exactly the point.

Published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research| the small study looked at 11 moderately-trained men and women| and aimed to compare a high-intensity calisthenics workout (burpees) against?a sprint interval cardio routine (performed on a stationary bike). The workouts consisted of doing the specific activity for 30 seconds at an all-out effort level| followed by four minutes of rest| repeated a total of four times.

What the researchers found was both exercises resulted in similar V02 max and heart rates. So| busting out as many burpees as you can in 30 seconds (aim for eight or more) delivers similar cardiovascular benefits to that of a more “traditional” cardio workout. The difference ¡ª burpees also count as a strength exercise| recruiting the muscles of your upper and lower body and core.

Impressed? So are we| which is why we’ll definitely be working more of this total-body exercise into our daily sweat sessions. For an added challenge| try these five burpee variations.

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