3 Exercises to Substitute for Burpees
by Jari Love
Burpees are a perfect example of a three-for-one exercise. With one exercise, you not only burn calories but also, build upper-body strength and increase power. With so many gains, there is obviously a catch, and to put it bluntly, the catch of doing burpees is they are just unpleasant.
So how can you have your cake and eat it too? Well, there are a few different workout combos that you can use when you want to skip the burpees but still see the results.
We broke down three of the best combos that you can take to the gym and add to your arsenal. We’re not saying these are necessarily easier, but they will give you similar results.
- Med ball slams/med ball push-ups
All you need to complete a med ball into push-up combo is a med ball. The weight of the ball can change depending on how hard or easy you want to make the exercise, or based on your overall goals.
According to Men’s Fitness, med ball slams are a key exercise to sculpt a strong midsection. By adding in a push-up, you are getting an extra upper body push, and balancing on the ball works your entire core.
Take the med ball over your head with arms extended, and slam the ball down. Then placing your hands on the ball, facing the floor, complete a push up while balancing on the ball.
If you do not want to make the exercise into a combo, you can complete your med ball slam reps followed by your push-up reps.
Recommended reps: We recommend doing 15 reps of each exercise and four sets. Remember to complete the reps as quickly as possible without sacrificing form, and then rest a full minute before attacking your next set.
- Walking push-ups
For this exercise, we take the agility of quick ladders and pair it with a total upper-body burner. Push-ups are a great full body exercise. According to Livestrong, “Pushups will elevate your metabolic rate while you are doing them and as you recover afterward, all of which can help contribute to weight loss.” Push-ups, like burpees, are a workout for your entire body and will rev up your metabolism.
Lay down a quick foot ladder (or if you are outside you can draw one out with chalk). Placing both hands in the box, go down to a full push-up, and then walk your hands to the next box. Complete one set, going down and back.
Recommended reps: Do three total sets (down and back is one set).
- Squat jumps
Squat jumps are basically the burpee without the push-up. In order to complete a successful squat jump, keep your feet shoulder-width apart, bring your hands down as you squat (making sure you get below parallel), and then as you jump up, thrust your hands up over your head so that you can jump as high as possible.
According to Livestrong, “Squatting is another important part of the burpee, working the large muscles in your legs like the glutes, quads and hamstrings.” By adding an extra jump at the end, you can make the variation even harder and work on your explosion.
While squat jumps may seem easy at first, you will definitely be feeling the burn after multiple reps.
Recommended reps: Complete 10 reps and three sets, taking a minute rest between each set.
Jari Love – original creator of Get RIPPED! DVD series and group exercise classes. The hot-selling and critically acclaimed Get RIPPED! series enables individuals of any fitness level to burn up to three times more calories than the traditional weight-training program, and has received rave reviews from fitness critics throughout North America since the first title debuted in late 2005.