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The Burpee exercise is named after its inventor – Royal Berphy, a doctor of physiology at Columbia University. In 1939, Dr. Barfi developed a fitness test based on the exercise designed to assess the level of fitness, agility, coordination and strength of conscripts in the United States Army prior to the entry of American force into World War II. If you consistently incorporate it into your fitness training, you will find that it is totally worth the effort, especially if you want to increase your calorie burn and build your cardio endurance in a short time.
Here are 5 reasons that makes the Burpee so great:
it improves both aerobic fitness and muscular strength at the same time
Standing up is an aerobic exercise that contributes to improving cardio endurance, but at the same time it also contributes to strengthening the many muscle groups that participate in the upper and lower body and core muscles – the abdominal muscles, pelvic floor, back and diagonals.
Burns more calories compared to other exercises
Like any aerobic exercise it raises the heart rate and builds cardio endurance, but due to the use of several large muscle groups at the same time it causes a higher caloric expenditure relative to the performance time compared to other exercises.
Improves daily functioning significantly
As it simulates and practices the ability to descend and rise from the floor, it is defined as a functional exercise, that is, one that contributes to the improvement of daily functioning.
Contrary to myth, anyone can do it
The prevailing opinion is that this is a powerful exercise designed only for experienced trainees, but in fact, in its various variations and with personalization, it may suit people of almost any age, at all levels of fitness and even those with physical limitations (like overweight) and health (like hypertension) .
And more than that: it is especially recommended for seniors
Thanks to the braking element on the floor the barfi is considered one of the most important exercises for people with a tendency to fall. The practice teaches a proper pattern of braking and pushing off the floor using the palms of the hands, thus reducing the risk of injury as a result of falls typical of old age such as a fracture of the femoral neck.
Okay, how do you do that?
As mentioned, the exercise has variations that can be adapted to different audiences depending on age, fitness level and health status. Here are some examples:
The intensity of the exercise can be reduced initially, and over time the performance can be improved. For example, you can skip the upward jump on both legs and perform the exercise by skipping leg after leg. In addition, the stage in which momentum is given to the body from a supine to a standing position can be replaced by a static plank posture, after which one slowly ascends back to the starting position.
Exercising with low blood pressure
The rapid transitions from lying down to exercise can cause dizziness, especially for people with low blood pressure. The solution: reduce the range of motion and avoid switching from standing to complete lying down. For example, instead of reaching for lying on the floor, use an elevated surface such as an armchair or a stable chair.
Exercising with joint problems or high overweight
Perform the exercise slowly and accurately, giving up jumping up from a supine position and jumping.
One way to increase the difficulty level is by adding weight. How do you do that? Just hold a pair of weights in your hands and perform the sequence of exercises with them.
Another way: Finish each exercise with a really high jump. For this purpose, you can use a dedicated jump box. Each time you finish the exercise by detaching your feet from the floor toward the box, put more effort into your body. The higher the box, the higher the difficulty level.