Burpee is an amazing whole-body exercise routine that can tone most of your muscles and greatly improve your overall health. Doing a few sets of 5-15 repetitions will dramatically enhance your conditioning and endurance, while making your heart and lungs exceptionally strong. They are also one of the most helpful exercises out there to make you burn calories like crazy, especially if you do them fast and with intensity.

But there's no magic to it. Burpees will help you achieve all these amazing things because they are really really hard to do. If you are reading this, you probably have one or another strong reasons to look for alternative to burpees.

Basically, a burpee exercise consists of four movements: plank, push-up, squat, and jump. Sounds really easy only until you try it a few times. If this exercise is new to you, you may want to prepare your body with less intense workouts. It's especially important if you know you have weaker wrists or knees, because burpees will give them no mercy.

Also, if you haven't got enough strength to begin with, say, if you haven't been working out so much before this, you may be dealing with a higher risk of ending up with an injury. All dangers aside, it's a good idea to start a new challenge by easing into it and not plunging in like there's no tomorrow. Here are some exercises similar to burpees but less demanding.

1. Jumping Jacks

jumping jacks

This simple exercise that many of us where forced to do in gym class when we where kids is really beneficial if done with serious attitude and intensity. If you happened to forget how they're done, no worries, we'll remind you. Stand tall with your arms at your sides, then hop spreading your legs to the sides and swinging your arms straight over your head. As soon as you land, hop again and bring back your legs and arms to the starting position. Repeat quickly again and again for as many repetitions as you can.

2. Jumping Rope


Another simple yet highly effective burpee replacement is our good old jumping rope. This exercise is one of the best cardio-respiratory workout routines, warming you up and bringing your heart rate up in no time. Jumping rope awards your knees and calves with strength and resilience getting your lower body ready for more challenging exercises like burpees. Plus, it easily brings joy and inspires you to get creative with your intervals.

3. Half Burpee to Lunge


This substitute for real burpees takes it easy on your knees, hips, and lower back as it doesn't involve full-on squatting, standing up, nor jumping. Start with a plank with your knees set on the ground, then make a half push-up, then step one leg forward to low-lunge and bring your arms straight up high a-la yoga's warrior pose. Gently return to the starting position and repeat with the other leg.

4. Mountain Climbers


This is another great whole-body exercise, especially beneficial to your legs and abdomen muscles. Position yourself in high plank, keeping the rest of the body straight and firm, hips stay low. Draw one knee towards your chest without lifting your hips up. Then start alternating the legs, as if you are climbing a mountain. The faster you do these repetitions, the higher your heart rate will rise, and that's what you need.

5. Plank with Shoulder Tap


High and low plank is one of those exercises that should be included in everyone's workout routines. It strengthens most of your muscles, especially your back, abdomen, thighs, and shoulders. To prepare your arms for the burpee challenge try this variation of plank. Move yourself to a high plank with your arms straight. Then slowly but surely move your left hand and tap your right shoulder and slowly bring it back to plank. Repeat with the other hand. Repeat for several repetitions until you start dreaming about the jumping jacks.

Written by Audra Bajori
Audra is a writer, an ethical vegan, a compulsive self-experimenter and health-hacker, who plans on living for at least 100 years. She's also a cinephile,...
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