My 3 Alternative Exercises For Burpees (give them a shot today)
By Kevin DiDonato MS, CES--Level 1 Certified Precision Nutrition and Certified Personal Trainer
There I was…
Dripping with sweat…so much sweat that it was running into my eyes, down my chest, and dripping off my legs.
I was already 35 minutes deep teaching a bootcamp class when I called out the next order:
Burpees—10…strict form…no rounding…push up at the bottom.
I heard the moans and groans as I started my descent.
Then it occurred to me…
Although burpees are a great exercise, they are one of the most dreaded forms of torture an exercise instructor could give their class.
Sure, they target your whole body…
…but those with hip, knee, or shoulder problems may not be able to do it!
So, for those people who can’t—or really just don’t want to do the burpees—here are three different options that I give my classes that work just as well as burpees do:
1. Medicine Ball Slams
Have some aggression you need to get out? Want to throw an object as something? Need a great metabolic workout that doesn’t include burpees?
Then medicine ball slams are the exercise for you! Not only does this exercise target your core, it gives pretty much every muscle group in your body a workout.
From your shoulders to your legs, medicine ball slams are a great total body conditioning workout.
Here’s how to do it:
First, take a medicine ball that you can handle lifting up and putting it over your head. Start by lifting the medicine ball over your head.
Then, with all the force you can muster, slam the ball on the ground, finishing in a squat position.
Pick up the medicine ball and repeat! To make this even more challenge and metabolic, slam the ball down and then to do one pushup off the ball. Get up and repeat.
Do 15 slams (as hard as you can) and then rest one minute.
2. Squat Jumps
Squats are an ideal exercise for anyone who wants to strengthen their legs.
This exercise targets the quads, hamstrings, and glutes—and depending if you use a bar or not, you can get your core involved as well.
But a jump squat is a completely different beast of an exercise.
Adding in the jump (and subsequent landing) adds a plyometric component to the normal squat.
This adds tension, leading to more work being down by the muscles of the legs.
Here’s how to do it:
Start in your normal squat position with your feet slightly wide than your shoulders. Lower your body down into a squat position.
Once at the bottom, pause for one second, and then use your legs to power yourself up into a jump.
Once you land, descend back down into the squat position and repeat.
***Note: IF you have hip, knee, or ankle issues, avoid this exercise and perform a less aggressive movement to target your legs.
3. Battle Ropes
These are another great full body workout that you can do anywhere!
Battle ropes are heavy ropes that you use for different motions and activities. Although you can do burpees with them, they are not the only thing you can do.
Battle ropes will give your shoulders, back, arms, legs, and core one heck of a workout!
There are many different motions you can use, but the basics are just as effective as the more complex movements.
You should always start in a squatting position to target your legs, with your abs contracted and pull in towards your spine.
Start with simple two arm waves (arms move up towards the ceiling and down in one motion) to alternating arms waves.
You can also do power rope slams, where you raise the ropes as high as you can and slam them down on the ground and repeat.
Although burpees are an effective full-body workout, they are not the most pleasant exercise to do.
But, there is a way to get the same intensity workout as a burpee without doing a burpee.
Medicine ball slams, battle ropes, and jump squats are effective alternatives to doing a burpee.
Plus, each exercise gives you one heck of a workout!
So, if you would like to torch fat, get in shape, and do it without doing another burpee, then you should give one—or all—of these three exercises a try!