Learning to do a burpee, let alone mastering the full-body move, is a feat of unspeakable strength. Maybe that’s a tad dramatic, but getting yourself (myself) into the workout warrior mind-set required to do a exercise that involves squatting, jumping, and planking in one fell swoop is not an easy task. But, practice makes perfect, and once you have the burpee down (courtesy of some strategic modifications), you might need some variations to take the move to the next level. Fitness superstar (and self-admitted superfan of the OG burpee) Kayla Itsines recently shared on her website three ways to up the burpee ante.
The first variation is the broad-jump burpee: It takes the hardest part of the burpee (in my opinion), the jump, and adds another one. It’s your basic burpee, except you’re starting and ending the move with a jump squat.
The second next-level variation is the burpee and box jump, which, as its name implies, involves a box jump. To do it, set up for your burpee with a plyometric box in front of your feet. Then start your burpee by squat jumping onto the box in front of you, step down from the box, and finish the move using the traditional next steps.
The final twist on the move is the weighted burpee, which amps up the sequence by adding weight and resistance (but also requires zero vertical jumping). To begin, place a dumbbell under each hand, on the ground, lean forward to hold the dumbbells, and jump back into your plank position. Then, jump back in, extend (like, almost totally straighten) your legs to raise your hips and stand, and lift the weights toward your chest. Then lift the weights overhead before bending at the elbow and bringing them into your chest, and finally putting your arms down by your side.
If you’re feeling especially confident in your burpee skills, maybe try all three in the same workout—just have your bathroom stocked to transform into the recovery zone you’ll surely be needing afterward.