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Exercise Of The Week – The Burpee

Having recently started CrossFit, I can safely say I’m getting a good workout every session. To celebrate this, each week I’d like to introduce one of the various exercises we… endure. And where better to start than the classic burpee?

Origins according to Wikipedia: According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the exercise was named in the 1930s for American psychologist Royal H. Burpee, who developed the Burpee test. Consisting of a series of the exercises performed in rapid succession, the test was meant to measure agility and coordination. It is not clear whether the exercise itself was invented by Burpee, or if his test merely popularized it.

I can’t personally confirm the statement above (it is Wikipedia, the encyclopedia anyone can edit after all), but I think it goes without saying that whoever developed the burpee was obviously more machine than man. For those not in the know: you start in a squat position, hands on the floor in front of you. Next, you kick your feet back to a pushup position, then immediately return to the squat position. From there, you leap into the air, as high as you can. Repeat as necessary.

Basically, done right burpees are one of the best, most exhausting exercises anyone can do. Plus, with all the variations available, such as one-handed burpees and pull-up burpees, there’s potentially no part of your body burpees can’t work out. Give them a shot if you haven’t already. The results may surprise you.

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2 Responses to “Exercise Of The Week – The Burpee”

  1. Doc E says:

    Those are deadly. I’m still feeling them from two days ago

  2. Jay says:

    I was under the impression the burpee was an old Indian exercise brought back by the British. Also, a quick Google also says the officer was alive in the Revolutionary era. Whatever the case may be the burpee is a fantastic exercise that develops strength and cardio fitness at the same time. A particularly cruel variant is to do a press up when you first kick your legs back.