Burpees are the best bodyweight exercise to maximize your strength and cardio in one simple movement. With traditional Burpees, you work your upper body's pushing muscles (chest, triceps), your core and your lower body. With the ballistic jumping movement, Burpees also increase your metabolic conditioning. It is one of the hardest exercises you can do with your own body weight.
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One problem with traditional Burpees is that they don't work your upper-body pulling muscles (lats, rhomboids and biceps). But with a slight variation, you can work these muscles to create what I believe is the best full-body bodyweight exercise you can perform for strength and conditioning.
Jump Pull-Up Burpees
The one difference: You add a Jump Pull-Up to the Burpee. Here's how to perform Jump Pull-Up Burpees:
- Stand under a pull-up bar. A squat rack is a perfect spot to perform this exercise.
- Jump down to a high plank (or Push-Up) position.
- Lower into a Push-Up and touch your chest to the ground.
- Drive up out of the Push-Up and hop your feet forward next to your hands.
- Jump up and grasp the pull-up bar. Pull yourself up explosively.
- Release your hands from the pull-up bar and land with soft knees.
- Move immediately into the next rep.
This is a challenging exercise, so start slowly. Beginners: instead of jumping right into Burpees or this variation, start with traditional Push-Ups, Pull-Ups and Planks. Complete 5-10 Push-Ups, 5-10 Pull-Ups and two 30-second Plank holds. Once you are comfortable performing multiple repetitions of these, you will be ready for Burpees. Perform 2-3 Burpee variations in the beginning and continue to add more repetitions as you progress.
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