Few exercises have been as divisive in recent years as burpees. Advocates say they’re the perfect full-body exercise, while detractors say they’re dangerous.
When done correctly, burpees can be a great full-body conditioning move. After all, this dynamic exercise works your shoulders, triceps, back, core and legs simultaneously, making them a quick, effective calorie-burner. “The more muscles you use in your body simultaneously, the more your heart has to work to circulate blood and get those muscles working,” explains Eliza Nelson, ACE certified personal trainer and orthopedic exercise specialist.
That said, burpees can be tricky to perform correctly, especially when done quickly and in high-rep amounts. If you break the exercise down into its separate components, you’ll note that many of the components require a certain degree of strength, mobility and fitness. Burpees have you flowing from a standing position into a deep squat, then to a plank, a pushup and finally back to standing, where you perform a jump for good measure.