The Burpee Workout for Runners
I won’t lie to you, this workout is kind of the worst.
It’s terrible, like most intense workouts are – it’s hard, you’re out of breath, you want to quit, your body hurts, your heart is racing, etc.
BUT you don’t quit (because you are amazing) and you feel like a rockstar afterwards.
However, in the moment it really is the worst.
And why is it so bad?
Why We Should Do Burpees Even When We Hate Them
There are many reasons to avoid doing burpees.
1-5. Really, really hard
Yes, that is technically one reason, but I feel that it’s a pretty good one so it counts for 5.
On the other hand, there are many reasons to incorporate them into your normal routine.
- Full body strength workout, working upper body, lower body, and core
- Quickly raises heart rate
- High intensity exercise, helping to increase anaerobic capacity
- Scorches calories
- No equipment needed
- Able to do anywhere and add in any workout
Looks like the burpee pros beat out the cons by 1. Let’s learn to love them.
The Burpee Workout
In this workout there are 6 rounds of exercises. Each round will include the following:
- 2 upper body, lower body, and/or core exercises
- 1 burpee variation
You’ll do 10 reps of each exercise back-to-back, take a 30-60 second rest, and then move on to the next round. After completing all 6 rounds you’ll feel like the coolest, strongest, most intense person on the planet. Please, soak up this feeling.
And yes, I did say burpee variation. Across the 60 burpees that you will dominate throughout the workout, only 20 will be this version of the “classic”:
- Lower down into a squat position and place your hands on the ground in front of you
- Kick your feet back into the push-up position and lower your body to the floor
- Raise your body back up and return your feet back to the squat position as quickly as possible
- Immediately jump up as high as you can
Move through each step in one seamless, quick motion. The other 40 will be split between reverse burpees, lunge burpees, and single-leg burpees. Read the exercise cues below carefully and practice each variation a few times (<- bonus burpees) before starting the workout.
It’s cardio. It’s bodyweight strength trainings. It’s intense and effective. Two bonuses are that it requires no equipment (except for maybe a yoga mat) and it will take you less than 25 minutes to complete.
Rounds 1 & 6:
Push Ups: Begin in push-up (plank) position. Keeping your body in a straight line with your core engaged, slowly lower your body while bending your elbows to 90 degrees. Push your body back up to starting position. Repeat 10 times.
Squats: Stand with feet hip-width distance apart, toes pointing forward. Squat down by bending your knees and flexing your hips, keeping your back straight and your knees behind your toes. Lower until your hamstring are parallel to the ground. Engage your glutes and rise back up to starting position. Repeat 10 times.
Classic Burpees: Lower down into a squat position and place your hands on the ground in front of you. Kick your feet back into the push-up position and lower your body to the floor. Raise your body back up and return your feet back to the squat position as quickly as possible. Immediately jump up as high as you can and land back in the squat position. Flow through this in one seamless, quick motion. Repeat 10 times.
Reverse Crunches: Lie on your back on top of a mat with your arms resting at your sides and bring your legs straight up in the air. Engage your lower core to bring your butt off of the mat and raise your legs higher into the air. Repeat 10 times.
Squats: see Round 1.
Reverse Burpees: Lower down into a squat position, bring your butt all the way to the floor, and roll onto your back with your knees tucked in towards your face. Use your momentum to roll back up to your feet in the squat position. Immediately jump up as high as you can and land back in the squat position. Repeat 10 times.
Push Ups: see Round 1.
Alternating Front Lunges: Stand with your feet facing forward and take a step forward with your right foot. Lower into a lunge, making sure that your right knee does not go past your right toe. Push down through your right heel, engage your glutes, and rise back up to standing position. Repeat this with the left foot forward. This is one rep. Repeat 10 times.
Lunge Burpees: Follow the same steps as the classic version, but instead of landing from the jump in a squat position, land in a lunge position with your right leg forward. Jump up switching your legs in the air and land in a lunge position with your left leg forward. Repeat 10 times.
Rounds 4 & 5:
Plank Knee to Elbow: Start in a plank position with hands directly below your shoulders and your body in a straight line from head to heels. Keeping your core tight and your body steady, bring your right knee to the outside of your right elbow. Return to plank. Repeat 10 times, then switch to the left leg in the next round.
Single-Leg Squat: Follow the same steps as the regular squat, but balance on your right leg. Lower down as far as you can (it’s ok if you don’t get parallel to the floor) and make sure that your knees stays in line with your foot. Repeat 10 times, then switch to the left leg in the next round.
Single-Leg Burpee: Follow the same steps as the classic version, but only use your right leg. Repeat 10 times, then switch to the left leg in the next round.
I hope you develop a strong love/hate relationship with burpees. Despite this workout being the worst, I hope that, deep down, some piece of you enjoys it.
As always, feel free to ask question in the comments section!