Burpee (exercise)

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The burpee, also known as the squat thrust, is a full body exercise used in strength training and as an aerobic exercise. It is performed in four steps, and was originally known as a "four-count Burpee":

  1. Begin in a standing position.
  2. Drop into a squat position with your hands on the ground. (count 1)
  3. Kick your feet back, while keeping your arms extended. (count 2)
  4. Immediately return your feet to the squat position. (count 3)
  5. Stand up from the squat position (count 4) [1]
See how to do a basic burpee.


Burpee push up 
The athlete performs one push-up after assuming the plank position.
Eight-count push up or Double burpee
The athlete performs two push-ups after assuming the plank position. This cancels the drive from landing after the jump and makes the next jump harder. Each part of the burpee might be repeated to make it even harder.
Knee push-up burpee 
The athlete bends their knees and rests them on the ground before performing the push up.
Jump up burpee 
The athlete jumps up as high as they can in at the end of the movement and before beginning the next Burpee.
Long-jump burpee 
The athlete jumps forward, not upward.
Tuck-jump burpee 
The athlete pulls their knees to their chest (tucks) at the peak of the jump.
Jump-over burpee 
The athlete jumps over an obstacle between burpees.
Box-jump burpee 
The athlete jumps onto a box, rather than straight up and down.
One-armed burpee 
The athlete uses only one arm for the whole exercise including the pushup.Single Arm Burpee Demo
Dumbbell burpee 
The athlete holds a pair of dumbbells while performing the exercise.
Parkour burpee 
Following one burpee on the ground, the athlete jumps upon a table and performs the second burpee on the table, then jumps back to the initial position.
Hindu push up burpee 
Instead of a regular push up, do a Hindu push up.
Pull-up burpee 
Combine a pull-up with the jump or do a pull-up instead of the jump.
Muscle-up burpee 
Combine a muscle-up (a variation of a pull-up) with the jump or do a muscle-up instead of the jump.
One leg burpee 
The athlete stands on one leg, bends at the waist and puts hands on ground so they are aligned with shoulders. Next jump back with the standing leg to plank position. Jump forward with the one leg that was extended, and do a one-leg jump. Repeat on opposite side.
Side burpee 
The athlete bends at waist and places hand shoulder-width apart to the side of right or left foot. Jump both legs out to side and land on the outer and inner sides of your feet. Jump back in, jump up, and repeat on opposite side.
Starting in plank position perform a push-up, then with hands maintaining position on the floor quickly bring feet forward so that the toes are even with the hands, then return to plank position.

Other variants[edit]

8 count body builder, a burpee with a jumping jack on the ground. The 8 counts are
  1. Squat with your hands on the ground,
  2. Kick your feet back,
  3. Kick your feet out to form a Y shape,
  4. Bring your feet back together,
  5. Down into a push-up,
  6. Up part of the push-up,
  7. Bring your feet back under you,
  8. Jump in the air.
Military 8 count bodybuilder
  1. Squat with hands on the ground,
  2. Kick back your feet,
  3. Down for push up,
  4. Up for Push up,
  5. Kick feet back in,
  6. Stand up,
  7. Motion one of a jumping jack,
  8. Motion two of a jumping jack.
Wall / incline / air burpee
the athlete kicks his feet up against a wall / up on a table / up in the air, instead of back. Usually, these variants are performed without a pushup.

Extreme variants[edit]

Burpee Mile 
The athlete performs the burpee exercise, then performs a standing long jump. This sequence is repeated until the athlete has traveled one mile. Start with a shorter distance and set goals for yourself.
Burpee Pull and Push Up 
The athlete performs a push up when in the plank position of the burpee, then jumps and finishes with a pull-up, and repeats.


According to Oxford Dictionaries Online, the exercise was named in the 1930s for American physiologist Royal H. Burpee, who developed the burpee test. He earned a PhD in applied physiology from Columbia University in 1940 and created the "burpee" exercise as part of his PhD thesis as a quick and simple way to assess fitness.[2] The exercise was popularized when the United States Armed Services adopted it as a way to assess the fitness level of recruits when the US entered WWII. Consisting of a series of the exercises performed in rapid succession, the test was meant to be a quick measure of agility, coordination and strength.[3]


  1. ^ Can we make our soldiers tough enough? from Popular Science, 1944. Retrieved 12 October 2012. 
  2. ^ "Reference extract from Columbia Teachers College archive". Teachers College, Columbia University. Retrieved 8 November 2011. 
  3. ^ "Definition of burpee from Oxford Dictionaries Online". Oxford University Press. Retrieved 24 May 2010. 

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