Are burpees good for you? A cardiologist and trainer explain

If there’s one exercise guaranteed to make your forehead sweat, it’s the burpee. But is this exercise really as good for you as it seems? A cardiologist and trainer share their take on burpees.

The burpee can be found in many a home workout schedule because it is an excellent way to train your entire body. In the exercise you combine a push-up, a jump and a squat with each other. Usually at a high pace, so it can also be seen as cardio.

Sounds like a great exercise that you should incorporate into your schedule anyway, but is that really the case? A trainer and cardiologist share their thoughts on burpees.

What is a Burpee?

A burpee is an exercise that you can do at the gym or at home. You don’t need weights for it. This exercise grew in popularity during World War II as it was used to test the fitness of soldiers.

You can break down the burpee into three different exercises: the push-up, a jump and the squat. With this exercise you also train your legs, hamstrings, abs, chest muscles and back muscles. An exercise that trains your entire body.

This is how you perform the burpee

The basis of the burpee is as follows: you jump in the air with your arms straight. Think of a straight back. During the landing, bend your knees so that you end up in a squat position. Then place your hands on the floor and jump your legs back so that you end up in the plank position.

Next, do a push-up, jump your legs back into a squat position, and continue by jumping up and repeating the exercise. Congratulations, you just performed one repetition. If it went too fast for you, you can watch this video for the correct execution of burpees.

The effect of burpees on your heart

Sounds like a tiring exercise and it is. Cardiologist Satjit Bhusri even dares to say that the burpee is one of the best exercises to train your condition. Because of the burpee, your heart rate goes through the roof. It’s a tough exercise, and both your heart and your lungs are forced to do their best and provide your body with enough air and blood.

In addition, the burpee is a good way to lose extra pounds, because compared to other heavy exercises (squats, deadlifts and lunges, for example) you burn more calories by performing burpees. So adding this exercise to your training schedule sounds like an ideal move to lose your belly.

Execute well, don’t overdo it

However, it is not recommended to perform this exercise for more than a few minutes in a row (or even more extreme, such as this soldier). A great achievement if you can keep it up, but personal trainer Cat Kom warns that this intensive exercise will also make you tired. If you continue while your body can no longer handle it, there is a good chance that you will perform the exercise incorrectly and that can cause injuries. And you can therefore better prevent this by stopping in time. We know that too.


Burpees are fine, but don’t overdo it. With a wrong execution you do your body more harm than good. This exercise can also be very stressful for your wrists and vertebrae. Either you do the exercise well, or you don’t do it at all.

Video: Beast of a Soldier Breaks Burpees World Record

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Are burpees good for you? A cardiologist and trainer explain

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