The Burpee is one of those exercises we love to hate, but we cannot deny its crazy heart-pumping benefits. CrossFit imposes a Burpee penalty for arriving late to class and for other infractions.
30 Burpees in a row is punishment for not completing an obstacle at a Spartan Race. The complete motion—dropping to the ground from a standing position, kicking your feet out behind you, doing a Push-Up, pulling your legs back in, and then jumping as high as possible—builds muscle and cardiovascular endurance.
The exercise is one of the foundations of old-fashioned calisthenics—dynamic exercises or movements designed to increase strength and agility using only bodyweight for resistance.
RELATED: 4 Alternatives to Burpees
But where did the Burpee come from?
The Burpee is named for a physiologist named Royal Huddleston Burpee. For his Ph.D. thesis at Columbia University in 1940, he invented exercise as a way to assess the fitness of non-active adults.
Burpee made participants perform only four Burpees at a time, and he actually specified that the movement should not be performed for a high number of repetitions. He was testing people who were generally unfit, and he warned that Burpees could be harmful to the knees and back and detrimental to those without proper core strength.
Originally, the exercise was called a Squat Thrust with four parts – the squat, plank, jump back and return to standing. The push-up and jump were added later.
During WW2, the American military added the exercise as part of its required fitness test. Those entering had to do them for 20 seconds until years later the requirement went to 60 seconds.
Thus began the tradition of Burpees as a grueling punishment with many variations added since. It remains one of the best full-body exercises.
Try these variations:
Source: Huffington Post