While not everyone is a fan of them, it is hard to deny that burpees offer valuable benefits. Discover a few of the most important ones.
One thing to note is that burpees can be hard in the wrong ways too. If you are new to exercise, it can be smart to start with softer alternatives to strengthen your body.
1. Burpees can improve your cardiovascular health
Your heart, lungs, and blood vessels move a variety of important substances throughout your body so that it can function.
When doing an exercise like burpees, a variety of body parts need more oxygen and nutrients. In turn, your heart starts beating faster and you breathe at a higher rate to make this happen.
If you work your cardiovascular system enough by doing burpees intensely (but not too intensely), you can even strengthen it.
There is not really a perfect number for how many burpees you should do to improve cardiovascular health.
If your body can deal with them, HIIT burpee workouts where you alternate between intense sets and rest periods tend to be good choices for improving cardiovascular health.
2. You can do burpees almost anywhere
There are many examples of workouts where you have to go to a specific location or use equipment options you likely don’t have in your living room.
Going to these specific locations can still be worth it if the workouts are fun and/or effective but you do want to keep in mind the extra transport time can really add up.
Only a 10-minute car ride per workout means an extra 30 minutes gone per week if you exercise 3 times a week.
Additionally, you may find it easier to skip your workout with the extra steps involved.
That being said, one of the benefits of burpees is that you can do them basically anywhere. All you need to do the exercise is a small amount of space.
You could even step out of bed, do a quick warmup, and do a few burpees in the morning.
3. Burpees can improve muscle endurance and potentially mass
Whether burpees are a cardiovascular workout or a strength training exercise can vary from person to person.
However, one thing is certain. Burpees will work a variety of muscles to at least some extent. The main muscles include:
- Pectoral (chest)
- Triceps (back part upper arms)
- Front deltoids (shoulders)
- Hip flexors (front hips)
- Quadriceps (front thighs)
- Glutes (butt)
- Hamstrings (back thighs)
In less scientific terms, burpees work a variety of muscles.
If you can do fewer than 50 burpees in a row and the reason you can’t continue is certain muscles (likely chest, triceps, and front deltoids) fatiguing, burpees could actually help you build some muscle.
Even if the bodyweight version is not enough to make this happen, you could consider doing burpees with a weighted vest or other weights.
At the same time, it is also worth mentioning that burpees are far from ideal for building muscle mass. If this is your goal, resistance training burpee alternatives will be better options.
4. Burpees can benefit weight loss
While there are definitely conditions, you can definitely say that burpees can help you lose weight to a nice extent.
The first reason for this is that the movements will burn more energy (aka calories) than typical daily activities. In fact, the number of calories burned with burpees is relatively high.
A 185-pound (84 kg) person will burn around 175 calories while doing vigorous burpees for 15 minutes.
This is still far away from the 3500 calories in about one pound of body fat but compared to many other workouts burpees are effective in this area.
Additionally, it is also possible that burpees can help you build a bit of muscle mass. This would increase your energy usage throughout the day.
All this extra calorie burning from burpees makes it easier to get into a situation where you burn more energy than is coming in from your diet. When this happens, you start losing weight.
5. Burpees are budget-friendly
Investing in your health can be a great idea but that does not always mean you have to spend money to benefit your health.
For example, a bodyweight exercise like burpees theoretically does not require any budget at all (even though a good pair of workout shoes can help).
Even if you do have the budget, this allows you to invest in other areas of your health (or other things).
6. Burpees can improve coordination and balance
Coordination and balance are basically moving your body parts as intended and not falling down while doing so.
It may feel like some people are born with these fitness components but they are also trainable skills.
To train these you consistently want to do activities like burpees that are challenging in these areas and potentially make some mistakes which helps your brain get better.
At first, coordination and balance may sound like unnecessary luxuries. However, these skills help you avoid accidents in daily activities like climbing the stairs.
7. Burpees can improve your bone density
Many people get the impression that your bones are just pieces of static material inside of your body.
However, your bones are also part of your “living” body in the sense that they can adapt to the way you challenge them.
Even if you are still on the younger side, this can be worth paying extra attention to. As you get older, it becomes harder to improve density.
As briefly noted, burpees are a relatively good cardiovascular exercise for improving bone density thanks to the jumping involved.
At the same time, it is worth mentioning that lifting heavy weights is likely even more effective for improving bone density.
Something else exercise beginners want to know is that these shocks can also be a disadvantage of burpees. At the start of your fitness journey, your body may not be strong enough to deal with them.