The exercise you love to hate comes in several flavors. Read on to get a taste of the pain rainbow, then join the #OxygenBadassBurpees Challenge — if you dare!

Love ’em or hate ’em, burpees are an incredible exercise, working nearly every muscle in your body to build strength, power, endurance, coordination and agility. At their foundation, they require no equipment, and as for fat burning? They kick ass. Use these eight variations to shred up for summer and rock those short shorts with confidence.

Nothing spells nausea more than a workout riddled with burpees. And though you might think it was created by an evil masochist, the burpee was actually invented in the 1930s by an unassuming American physiologist and Ph.D. candidate at Columbia University named Royal Huddleston Burpee. He designed an exercise he called a “squat thrust”— place your hands on the ground, jump your feet back into plank, jump your feet back underneath you and stand up — as part of a fitness test he created for the YMCA: The assessor would take an individual’s heart rate four times both before and after performing four squat thrusts in a row. Those results would be plugged into an equation to determine the heart’s efficiency at pumping blood.

Little did Burpee know that his simple mark of fitness would soon assume his surname and go on to become one of the most hated exercises on the planet. Today, everyone from the military to CrossFit to heartless trainers worldwide use the burpee as an unremitting way to elevate heart rate, impart punishment for slacking and produce lasting metabolic change.

Regardless of your opinion, the burpee is an incredibly efficient exercise, delivering essentially six bodyweight movements in a row at its simplest and incorporating equipment, plyometrics, weights and even inversions — depending on your penchant for punishment — at its most complex. The eight burpee variations in this article demonstrate just a sampling of the sweet agony the burpee can impart. Try them for yourself, and see if you can refrain from cursing poor Royal Huddleston at the end.

Standard Burpee

This version is the modern standard, having added a push-up and a jump to the original move designed by Mr. Burpee. This will be the template you’ll use as a starting point for the burpees in this article, as well as most burpee variations around today.

1. Stand with your feet about shoulder-width apart, arms at your sides.

2. Crouch and place your hands on the floor, then hop your feet behind you so you’re in plank — head, hips and heels aligned, spine and head neutral.

3. Bend your elbows to do a push-up, lowering until your chest touches or nearly touches down.

4. Extend your arms to return to plank and hop your feet back underneath you.

5. Extend your legs and hips explosively, jumping into the air and clapping your hands over your head. Land softly and repeat right away.

X-Jump Burpee

Trying to develop explosive power and speed? Then try this version, which requires coordination and concentration as well as athletic capacity.

Perform the Standard Burpee through Step 4. Then as you leap into the air, quickly open your arms and legs out into an X-shape, bringing them back together before you land.

Burpee Over Barbell

This version requires coordination and agility, and it can either be done laterally or bar-facing. Either way, you should take off and land with both feet, and the bar should be loaded with plates to give it a little elevation — there’s not much challenge in jumping over a 2-inch bar.

Lateral

Stand next to a loaded barbell, then perform the Standard Burpee through Step 4 parallel to the bar. For Step 5, leap laterally over the bar to the other side and drop right down into your next rep. Note that you do not have to stand all the way up before you jump; stay low and quick to power through your reps like a ninja.

Bar-Facing

Stand facing a loaded barbell and perform a Standard Burpee through Step 4 perpendicular to the bar. Hop your feet back underneath you, and try to get them as close to your hands as possible so you don’t have to take a step forward before jumping over the bar to the other side. Turn around and repeat the other direction. Feeling badass? Turn 180 degrees midair so you land facing the bar and drop right down into your next burpee.

One-Footed Burpee

Core strength and balance are key with this variety, which also trains each side of your body separately to promote balance and kinesthetic awareness. Switch things up and try it one-handed instead!

Stand on one foot with the other lifted behind you, knee bent. Crouch and place your hands on the floor, then hop your standing foot back into plank, keeping your other leg raised. Do your push-up, then hop your foot back underneath you. Leap into the air on one leg and lift your non-working knee to the front. Land softly and repeat. Do all reps on one side, then switch.

Medicine-Ball Burpee

Adding some ballast to a burpee changes the dynamics of the exercise and spikes your heart rate, since you’re essentially making yourself heavier. Using a medicine ball adds another level of difficulty by incorporating elements of balance and core control.

Hold a medicine ball in front of you with both hands, arms extended. Crouch and place the ball on the floor, centering your hands on top. Jump your legs behind you into plank and do your push-up, keeping your elbows close to your sides and touching your chest to the ball. Jump your feet back underneath you, grab the ball and jump into the air, reaching it overhead. Land softly and repeat.

Barbell Burpee Deadlift

Combining a strength move with a burpee is the ultimate timesaver. This version uses a barbell to get the job done, hitting your posterior chain hard with high-volume deadlifts. Remember not to rush during any weighted burpee, however, because you need time to set up for your lifts to ensure correct form.

Load a barbell with a light to moderate weight and hold it in front of your legs with a shoulder-width overhand grip. Push your hips back and bend your knees while keeping your weight in your heels to lower the bar straight toward the floor. When it touches down, hop your feet behind you into plank, keeping your hands on the bar and bracing your core to keep you steady. Hop your feet back underneath you, assume your deadlift stance (feet hip-width apart, shoulders over the bar, hips higher than your knees), then stand all the way up, pulling the bar straight up along the front of your body.

(Wo)man Maker

Nothing says biliousness more than this burpee version, which combines six compound exercises into one move: a plank, a push-up, a renegade row, a clean, a front squat and an overhead press.

Hold a set of dumbbells at your sides, then crouch and place them parallel to one another on the floor. With your hands on the dumbbells, jump your feet back into plank and do a push-up. Hold at the top and perform a one-arm row on each side, hips square. Do another push-up, then hop your feet underneath you outside the dumbbells. As you stand, clean the dumbbells by pulling them along the front of your body in an upward rowing motion, then do a shrug and flip your elbows underneath to catch them lightly on your shoulders. Hold them here as you squat down as low as you can, then drive up explosively, using that momentum to help you press the weights overhead to complete one rep.

Lateral Plank Walk

As if your core didn’t have enough to do during a Standard Burpee, this one hammers it with some sustained time under tension. Increase the difficulty here by adding more steps in each direction.

Perform a Standard Burpee through Step 3. Stay in the top of your push-up/plank, brace your core, then move laterally by stepping your hands and feet in unison several steps to one side. Do another push-up, then finish out your burpee as with the Standard (steps 4 and 5). Repeat, alternating directions with each round.

Plug and Program

Incorporating burpees into your workout is simple — use them as a warm-up, as a finisher, or as part of a daily metcon or WOD. Or, if you want to get creative, here are a few programming ideas:

  • Start with one, then add a burpee every day for 100 days.
  • Do burpee broad jumps around a track for distance.
  • Do 20 burpees unbroken, rest, then do 19 unbroken, rest, and so on, down to one.
  • Death by burpee: Start with one burpee, then every minute on the minute add another burpee, continuing until you can’t complete that number within the minute.
  • Establish a set number of burpees — for example, 50 — then perform them as fast as possible using good form, for time.

Join the #OxygenBadassBurpees Challenge!

Want to shape up for summer in short shrift? Then join the exclusive 15-day #OxygenBadassBurpees Challenge. Beginning on May 15, 2018, you’ll be given two burpees every day for 15 days to incorporate into your routine as best you can. Watch each video carefully, read the descriptions for form and instruction tips, then get to work. Beginners can do one to two sets of five to 10 reps apiece; more advanced participants can shoot for three sets of 15, 20 or more reps. You also can blend the burpees into your existing programming, WOD, circuit or metcon of the day. Feeling like a total badass? Pair your daily duo into a Tabata — just be sure to have a bucket nearby.

If getting into great shape isn’t reason enough to enter, now hear this: All participants will have a chance to win great prizes and schwag — everything from limited-edition tank tops to protein powder to free entry into the Oxygen Challenge 4! Sign up now for more details.

Boost the Badassedness

Add one or more of these variables to a Standard Burpee or existing variation to amp the physical intensity and mental challenge:

  • Weighted vest
  • Battle ropes
  • Medicine ball
  • Incline/decline angle
  • Weights (barbell, dumbbell, kettlebell, plates)
  • Inversion
  • Plyometrics
  • Rig/pull-up bar
  • Direction/distance (lateral, backward, forward)
  • Gymnastics (flips, rolls, etc.)

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You made it to Day 15! Finish off strong with your final two burpees and show us on social media!

Watch each video carefully, follow our instructions below, and post yourself crushing these burpees with the hashtag #OxygenBadassBurpees for your chance to win.

Beginners can do one to two sets of five to 10 reps each. More advanced participants can shoot for three sets of 15, 20 or more reps. You also can blend them into your existing exercise program, circuit, metcon or Workout of the Day.

Burpee Pull-Up (; 0:23)

Burpee Pull-Up 

1. Find an overhead target such as a pull-up bar that is about 6 to 8 inches above your fingertips when you extend your arms overhead. Center yourself underneath the bar and stand with your feet hip-width apart, arms at your sides.

2. Crouch and place your hands on the floor, then hop your feet behind you so you’re in plank — head, hips and heels aligned, spine and head neutral.

3. Bend your elbows to do a push-up, lowering until your chest touches or nearly touches down.

4. Jump your feet back underneath you and explode upward, reaching your arms overhead and grabbing the bar about shoulder-width apart.

5. Drive your elbows down and back to pull your chest up to the bar. Lower slowly to the start and drop off the bar to the floor.

6. Go right into your next rep.

Burpee Broad Jump (; 0:29)

Burpee Broad Jump

1. Stand with your feet about shoulder-width apart, arms at your sides.

2. Crouch and place your hands on the floor, then hop your feet behind you so you’re in plank — head, hips and heels aligned, spine and head neutral.

3. Bend your elbows to do a push-up, lowering until your chest touches or nearly touches down.

4. Extend your arms into plank, then jump your feet back underneath you.

5. Come to standing and then leap forward as far as you can, swinging your arms to help you cover more distance.

6. Land softly and repeat.

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We can’t lie. Today’s burpees are brutal. You only have two days left, though! Show us your grit and determination on social media.

Watch each video carefully, follow our instructions below, and post yourself crushing these burpees with the hashtag #OxygenBadassBurpees for your chance to win.

Beginners can do one to two sets of five to 10 reps each. More advanced participants can shoot for three sets of 15, 20 or more reps. You also can blend them into your existing exercise program, circuit, metcon or Workout of the Day.

One-Arm Push-Up Burpee (; 0:21)

One-Arm Push-Up Burpee

1. Stand with your feet about shoulder-width apart, arms at your sides.

2. Crouch and place your hands on the floor, then hop your feet behind you so you’re in plank — head, hips and heels aligned, spine and head neutral.

3. Jump your feet wide apart for stability, place one hand behind your back, then bend your elbow to lower your upper body down toward the floor as far as you can.

4. Extend to the start, replace your hand, then jump your feet underneath you.

5. Leap into the air and reach your arms overhead.

Duck-Walk Burpee (; 0:25)

Duck-Walk Burpee

1. Stand with your feet about shoulder-width apart, arms at your sides.

2. Crouch and place your hands on the floor, then hop your feet behind you so you’re in plank — head, hips and heels aligned, spine and head neutral.

3. Bend your elbows to do a push-up, lowering until your chest touches or nearly touches down.

4. Extend your arms back to plank, then jump your feet wide underneath you, outside your hands if possible, then stay in a low squat as you sit up tall with your upper body.

5. Staying low, take four steps forward, wide and waddling, like a duck.

6. Extend your legs to stand and jump into the air, then drop right into the next rep.

Didn’t get a chance to sign up for the challenge? Join in the fun here.

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We’re on the home stretch, and we aren’t taking it easy on you. Show up, do your best, and tag us on social media!

Watch each video carefully, follow our instructions below, and post yourself crushing these burpees with the hashtag #OxygenBadassBurpees for your chance to win.

Beginners can do one to two sets of five to 10 reps each. More advanced participants can shoot for three sets of 15, 20 or more reps. You also can blend them into your existing exercise program, circuit, metcon or Workout of the Day.

Decline Burpee (; 0:23)

Decline Burpee

1. Stand with your back to a plyometric box (or a bench) that is knee height or lower.

2. Crouch and place your hands on the floor, then hop your feet behind you and on top of the box.

3. Keep your core tight and your hips aligned with your head and heels as you bend your arms and do a decline push-up.

4. Extend your arms, jump your feet back to the floor underneath you, then leap into the air, reaching your arms overhead.

360 Burpee (; 0:29)

360 Burpee

1. Stand with your feet about shoulder-width apart, arms at your sides.

2. Crouch and place your hands on the floor, then hop your feet behind you so you’re in plank — head, hips and heels aligned, spine and head neutral.

3. Bend your elbows to do a push-up, lowering until your chest touches or nearly touches down.

4. Jump your feet back underneath you, and as you extend your legs, spin in the air all the way around 360 degrees so you land facing the same direction. Go right into your next burpee.

Tip: Alternate directions with each leap to prevent dizziness!

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Hope you’re ready to jump into today’s challenge – and remember to tag us on social media!

Watch each video carefully, follow our instructions below, and post yourself crushing these burpees with the hashtag #OxygenBadassBurpees for your chance to win.

Beginners can do one to two sets of five to 10 reps each. More advanced participants can shoot for three sets of 15, 20 or more reps. You also can blend them into your existing exercise program, circuit, metcon or Workout of the Day.

Lateral Burpee Box Jump-Over (; 0:20)

Lateral Burpee Box Jump-Over

1. Stand to the side of a plyometric box that is knee height or below, feet shoulder-width apart, arms at your sides.

2. Crouch and place your hands on the floor, then hop your feet behind you so you’re in plank next to the box — head, hips and heels aligned, spine and head neutral.

3. Bend your elbows to do a push-up, lowering until your chest touches or nearly touches down, then press back up to plank.

4. Extend your legs, and as you come to standing, leap laterally onto the box, landing lightly with soft knees, then continuing over to jump off on the other side.

5. Go immediately into your next repetition on the other side of the box. 

Burpee Side-to-Side Tuck Jump (; 0:24)

Burpee Side-to-Side Tuck Jump

1. Stand with your feet about shoulder-width apart, arms at your sides.

2. Crouch and place your hands on the floor, then hop your feet behind you so you’re in plank — head, hips and heels aligned, spine and head neutral.

3. Bend your elbows to do a push-up, lowering until your chest touches or nearly touches down.

4. Extend your arms so you’re in plank, then hop your feet underneath you and to the left side, then back to plank. Then hop your feet underneath you and to the right side, then back to plank.

5. Jump your feet back underneath you, then extend your legs and hips explosively, and as you jump into the air, lift and tuck your knees up in front of you, trying to touch your hands at hip height. Extend your legs quickly to land. 

Didn’t get a chance to sign up for the challenge? Join in the fun here.

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Today’s burpees aren’t for the faint of heart, but you’ve made it this far. Show us what you’re made of on social media!

Watch each video carefully, follow our instructions below, and post yourself crushing these burpees with the hashtag #OxygenBadassBurpees for your chance to win.

Beginners can do one to two sets of five to 10 reps each. More advanced participants can shoot for three sets of 15, 20 or more reps. You also can blend them into your existing exercise program, circuit, metcon or Workout of the Day.

Donkey-Kick Burpee (; 0:18)

Donkey-Kick Burpee

1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart, arms at your sides.

2. Crouch and place your hands on the floor, then hop your feet behind you so you’re in plank — head, hips and heels aligned, spine and head neutral.

3. Do a push-up, then jump your feet in halfway back toward your hands.

4. Balance on your hands as you kick both feet up into the air like a donkey kicking behind him.

When your feet land, stand up and leap into the air, reaching your arms overhead.

Sandbag Squat-Clean Burpee (; 0:36)

Sandbag Squat-Clean Burpee  

1. Stand behind a sandbag with your feet hip-width apart, arms at your sides. Make sure the sandbag handles are pulled toward you or are easily reachable.

2. Crouch and place your hands on the far side of the sandbag and jump your feet back into plank.

3. Jump your feet back underneath you and grab a sandbag handle in each hand.

4. As you stand, pull the sandbag up in front of you and use momentum and the handles to flip it over so it’s resting on your shoulders and upper chest, and lift your elbows to shoulder height.

5. Hold the sandbag in this front rack position as you drop your hips and lower into a squat, chest lifted. Extend your legs to return to the start.

6. Flip the sandbag back off your arms and release the handles to drop it to the floor.  

Didn’t get a chance to sign up for the challenge? Join in the fun here.

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Up your resistance and feel the different when you tackle today’s burpees. Tag us on social media!

Watch each video carefully, follow our instructions below, and post yourself crushing these burpees with the hashtag #OxygenBadassBurpees for your chance to win.

Beginners can do one to two sets of five to 10 reps each. More advanced participants can shoot for three sets of 15, 20 or more reps. You also can blend them into your existing exercise program, circuit, metcon or Workout of the Day.

Medicine Ball Burpee (; 0:36)

Medicine-Ball Burpee

1. Hold a medicine ball in front of you with both hands, arms extended.

2. Crouch and place the ball on the floor, centering your hands on top.

3. Jump your legs behind you into plank and do your push-up on top of the ball, keeping your elbows close to your sides and touching your chest to the ball at the bottom.

4. Jump your feet back underneath you, grab the ball with both hands and jump into the air, reaching it overhead. Land softly and repeat.

Manmaker Burpee (; 0:48)

Manmaker Burpee

1. Hold a set of dumbbells at your sides, then crouch and place them parallel to one another on the floor.

2. With your hands on the dumbbells, jump your feet back into plank and do a push-up. Extend back to plank.

3. Hold at the top of plank and perform a one-arm row on each side, hips square.

4. Do another push-up, then hop your feet underneath you outside the dumbbells.

5. As you stand, clean the dumbbells off the floor by pulling them along the front of your body in an upward rowing motion, then do a shrug and flip your elbows underneath to catch them lightly on your shoulders.

6. Hold them here as you squat down as low as you can, then drive up explosively, using that momentum to help you press the weights overhead to complete one rep.

Didn’t get a chance to sign up for the challenge? Join in the fun here.

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Today is all about adding extra elements to an already-challenging exercise – just for fun! Show us your stuff on social media.

Watch each video carefully, follow our instructions below, and post yourself crushing these burpees with the hashtag #OxygenBadassBurpees for your chance to win.

Beginners can do one to two sets of five to 10 reps each. More advanced participants can shoot for three sets of 15, 20 or more reps. You also can blend them into your existing exercise program, circuit, metcon or Workout of the Day.

Burpee to Target (; 0:23)

Burpee to Target

1. Find an overhead target such as a pull-up bar that is about 6 to 8 inches above your fingertips when you extend your arms overhead.

2. Center yourself underneath the pull-up bar and stand with your feet hip-width apart, arms at your sides.

3. Crouch and place your hands on the floor, then hop your feet behind you so you’re in plank — head, hips and heels aligned, spine and head neutral. You should be perpendicular to the barbell.

4. Bend your elbows to do a push-up, lowering until your chest touches or nearly touches down.

5. Jump your feet back underneath you and explode upward, reaching your arms overhead and touching both hands lightly to the bar. Land softly and repeat.

When in your push-up, align your shoulders with the legs of the pull-up rig. That way the bar will be directly overhead when you go to jump.

Plank Up/Down Burpee (; 0:21)

Plank Up/Down Burpee 

1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart, arms at your sides.

2. Crouch and place your hands on the floor, then hop your feet behind you so you’re in plank — head, hips and heels aligned, spine and head neutral.

3. Hold plank as you drop down one arm at a time your hands onto your elbows, then back up one arm at a time from elbows to hands.

4. Jump your feet underneath you and leap into the air.

5. Continue, alternating lead arms with each rep.

Didn’t get a chance to sign up for the challenge? Join in the fun here.

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Let’s kick it up a notch. Move and twist your body with these challenging burpee variations. As always, be sure to show us on social media!

Watch each video carefully, follow our instructions below, and post yourself crushing these burpees with the hashtag #OxygenBadassBurpees for your chance to win.

Beginners can do one to two sets of five to 10 reps each. More advanced participants can shoot for three sets of 15, 20 or more reps. You also can blend them into your existing exercise program, circuit, metcon or Workout of the Day.

Burpee Over Barbell

You can do either the bar-facing or lateral version of this move — or both if you dare! 

Barbell Lateral Burpee (; 0:24)

Barbell Lateral Burpee

1. Stand next to a loaded barbell with your feet hip-width apart, arms at your sides.

2. Crouch and place your hands on the floor, then hop your feet behind you so you’re in plank — head, hips and heels aligned, spine and head neutral. You should be parallel to the barbell.

3. Bend your elbows to do a push-up, lowering until your chest touches or nearly touches down.

4. Hop your feet underneath you, then leap laterally over the bar to the other side and drop right down into your next rep.

Tip: You do not have to stand all the way up before you jump; stay low and quick to power through your reps like a ninja.

Barbell Bar-Facing Burpee (; 0:24)

Barbell Bar-Facing Burpee

1. Stand facing a loaded barbell with your feet hip-width apart, arms at your sides.

2. Crouch and place your hands on the floor, then hop your feet behind you so you’re in plank — head, hips and heels aligned, spine and head neutral. You should be perpendicular to the barbell.

3. Bend your elbows to do a push-up, lowering until your chest touches or nearly touches down.

4. Hop your feet back underneath you, trying to get them as close to your hands as possible, then jump forward over the bar to the other side. Turn around and repeat in the other direction.

Tip: Feeling badass? Turn 180 degrees midair so you land facing the bar and drop right down into your next burpee.

Kick-Through Burpee (; 0:28)

Kick-Through Burpee

1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart, arms at your sides.

2. Crouch and place your hands on the floor, then hop your feet behind you so you’re in plank — head, hips and heels aligned, spine and head neutral.

3. Bend your elbows to do a push-up, lowering until your chest touches or nearly touches down, then press back up to plank.

4. From plank, lift your left arm and twist your body to the left side as you kick your right foot through, pivoting on your left foot. Replace your right foot and lift your right hand, turn to the right and kick your left leg through.

5. Return to plank, do another push-up, then jump your feet underneath you and leap into the air to complete one rep. Repeat, alternating sides. 

Didn’t get a chance to sign up for the challenge? Join in the fun here.

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Call on your inner strength and balance for today’s set of burpees. Show us what you’ve got on social media!

Watch each video carefully, follow our instructions below, and post yourself crushing these burpees with the hashtag #OxygenBadassBurpees for your chance to win.

Beginners can do one to two sets of five to 10 reps each. More advanced participants can shoot for three sets of 15, 20 or more reps. You also can blend them into your existing exercise program, circuit, metcon or Workout of the Day.

Rollback Burpee (; 0:27)

Rollback Burpee

1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart, arms at your sides.

2. Squat down, then sit on the floor and put your hands behind you on either side of your hips.

3. Roll backward onto your upper back and shoulders, then lift your legs and hips off the flood while pressing down into your arms for stability.

4. Lower your hips and legs, then use that momentum to help you roll back into a crouch so you can place your hands on the floor in front of you.

5. Jump your feet behind you into plank, then do a push-up.

6. Jump your feet underneath you and explode into the air, reaching your arms overhead. Land softly and repeat.

Tip: This move should be done as smoothly and seamlessly as possible.

One-Footed Burpee (; 0:27)

One-Footed Burpee

1. Stand on one foot with the other foot lifted, knee bent.

2. Crouch and place your hands on the floor, then hop your working foot back into plank, keeping your other leg raised.

3. Do a push-up, then hop your foot back underneath you.

4. Leap into the air on one leg and lift your non-working knee to the front.

Do all reps on one side, then switch.

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