Ah, burpees – the exercise that many people dread. While they can be challenging at the time, they offer so many strength and endurance benefits (plus, you can do them anywhere!). You can find burpees in just about any workout, whether it’s HIIT sessions, boot camps, or CrossFit, and there’s a good reason for that: They’re one of the most effective and functional exercises you can do.

Here’s why you should incorporate more burpees into your workout routine, the benefits of burpees, and how to do them safely and effectively.

But how do you do a burpee?
There are many variations of burpees: some include a plank, others a full push-up, a tuck, or even a pull-up at the end. That said, each trainer will have different instructions on how to do a standard burpee.

The HIIT workouts offered by Herehau, a sports coach at Tahiti Personal Training, tend to focus primarily on speed and control (rather than worrying about doing a full push-up on every rep), here’s how to do this type of burpee:

Stand up straight, then lower yourself into a squat position with your hands on the ground in front of you.
Bring your feet back into a push-up position and immediately drop your chest to the floor.
Raise your chest by bringing your feet back into a squat position as quickly as possible.
Jump into the air as high as you can.
Clap your hands for a little extra oomph.
Do these exercises seem difficult? They are, but they’re worth it. Here are five reasons why you should love them (and maybe do them every day!)

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-They work your entire body:

Unlike bodyweight exercises like biceps curls and triceps kickbacks, burpees work your entire body. That means you’re working virtually every muscle in your body, while also doing cardio.

Looking to strengthen your chest? Try burpees. Want to tone your upper body? Do repetitions of burpees. Burpees can work every muscle in your body (and make it hurt!), making them a valuable addition to any workout.

Plus, if you do them quickly and with intensity, you’ll get an even greater cardio effect and burn calories throughout the session.

-You can do them anywhere:
Since burpees require nothing but your own body to do them, you can seriously do them anywhere. It doesn’t matter if you’re traveling, don’t have access to a gym, or are working out – all you need is your body to do burpees. Bodyweight exercises are great, especially ones like burpees that are high intensity. And since no equipment is needed, you can add them to any workout (more on that later).

-They make you stronger:
Burpees are the best example of functional fitness, which means they can not only help you reach your weight loss and fitness goals, but also help you perform better in your daily activities, such as carrying groceries, lifting a suitcase over your head on an airplane, or playing with your child at the park. According to research, these abilities from functional fitness can improve quality of life.

Every time you do burpees, you work your arms, chest, quads, glutes, hamstrings and core muscles. After a few sets of burpees, your legs may feel like lead, your arms may shake – common signs that your muscles are getting stronger!

They can boost your endurance (without a treadmill):
Want to get in shape fast? Whether your goal is to train for a race, try a new sport, get in shape or just look good, burpees can get you there, fast.

In fact, burpees are one of the best exercises for improving your fitness and endurance for sports and other activities. Even 10 burpees in a row can get your heart pumping and your breathing going (try it!).

When you feel comfortable with 10, try pushing yourself to 15, then 20. Once you improve your endurance level, you can probably add more and more of these to your workout routine.

Do them regularly and watch your conditioning level soar:

They are a great addition to any workout.
Burpees are the dynamic, fast-paced exercises that fit perfectly into any type of workout, whether it’s a HIIT session or a quick tabata workout at any time of day. No equipment is required, making them a great addition to any workout program, whether it’s at the end of a yoga session or after a run. Feel free to get creative!

Should I do burpees every day?
Burpees are a great addition to any workout, but should you do them every day? The answer: it depends on your current fitness level.

For example, if you’re used to working out regularly at a fairly intense level, you can do burpees almost every day – just make sure you take at least one full day off per week to allow your body to rest and recover.

However, if you’re just starting burpees at a more beginner level, you can try alternating them every other day to give your body time to strengthen while recovering in between.

Are there any risks?
As a strength training exercise, burpees are relatively safe. And because they’re so versatile, you can do all sorts of burpee variations, regardless of your current fitness level. However, here are some precautions to take:

If you have had or currently have lower back issues, you should avoid doing the chest to floor burpee that is common in CrossFit gyms, as this variation can aggravate your back. Instead, keep your center of gravity engaged and do a plank or pump in a low position.
If you suffer from knee pain and avoid jumping exercises, it’s best not to do a jump at the end of the burpee. Instead of jumping, you can simply step back and forth from the push up, which will allow your burpees to have a much lower impact.
With the exception of those with injuries, it’s best for beginners to progress to a standard burpee – for example, they can do a plank instead of a full push up to make the burpees more accessible.
As always, it’s best to consult your doctor or physical therapist before trying a new exercise.

Burpee tuck jumps: Do a burpee, then jump up and pull your knees in toward your chest explosively.
Burpee side jumps: Do a burpee, then jump as far to one side as you can. On the next jump, return to your starting point.
Burpee mountain climbers: When you come down to the push-up position, do two mountain climbers (two on each side), then jump explosively.
Burpee box jumps: Stand in front of a plyo box, sturdy chair or stairs. Step down and do a burpee, then jump onto the box. Jump up or down and repeat.
Long jumps with burpee: Do a burpee, then jump forward as far as you can.

Given the many benefits and variations of this simple movement, you may want to try adding burpees to your next workout. Hopefully, as more people incorporate this functional exercise into their lifestyle, burpees will go from being a dreaded move to a beloved one.