Alternative to Burpees: The Exercises You Must Know

15 November 2020

Fitness

If you’ve ever seen or taken part in any kind of high-energy weight-loss training, there is a good chance that you know the muscle-pumping, lung shattering joy of burpees. We all hate them, and we all love them, because they are just so incredibly effective. However, burpees can be as rough on the joints as they are on the aerobic system. For this reason, it’s quite common to want an alternative.

What is the burpee?

Burpees are incredibly high powered movements, traditionally done for high set ranges, that use pretty much the whole body to produce power through a final jump. In essence, they are squat thrusts with a jump and stand between reps. Perfect for strength training, conditioning and aerobics, they pump your legs and, if you decide to add an optional push up, will work pretty much everything in your body bar the back.

Burpees begin from a standing position. From here, the athlete squats down, glutes low, and places their hands on the ground. They then kick their feet back into a plank. They can either keep their arms straight or perform a push up at this point.

To reverse, the athlete will jump their feet back in and either stand or, more commonly, jump back onto their feet.

However, this is all rough on the knees, hips and wrists so, effective as they are, you may want to have a couple of burpee alternatives in your arsenal to call upon.

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Low impact burpee alternatives

1. Walking pushups/ bear walks

Pushups are one of the top exercises going for upper body pressing strength and core control. However, if you begin from a standing position, keep your legs straight, touch your hands to the ground and walk out to the pushup for each rep, before reversing the motion and repeating, you will have a great, low-impact burpee substitute that will spike your heart rate nice and high.

2. Renegade rows

Renegade rows are a plank and then some. Begin in a plank position, with dumbbells in your hands. From here, row one dumbbell up to your ribcage, lower, then raise the other. This is one rep. To take it to the next level, add a pushup between reps. This will bring your heart rate up and engage every muscle in your torso.

3. Mountain climbers

Classic, low-impact, high heartrate stuff. Begin in a plank position and run your legs, bringing each knee up to your armpit for every stride. Simple and effective.

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