How many calories does the burpee exercise burn ?

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Last updated on February 12, 2023

How many Calories do Burpees burn?

Burpees are one of the most popular and commonly used ways of burning some extra calories, especially popular with individuals who partake in high intensity training. It is hard to precisely say how many calories will be burned by one burpee, as factors such as your weight, age, sex and the intensity at which you are performing the burpees will massively influence the final result. That being said, Harvard Health has published this article where it says that 30 minutes of moderate training can burn 130 – 190 calories, depending on how much you weigh.

How to do a Burpee

The burpee (although hated) is one of the simplest and most efficient ways of going at a high intensity cardio workout. All you really need is an open space, and self hatred. Jokes aside, people hate the burpee because it’s hard. People dislike doing hard things, but if it were easy the payoffs probably won’t have been as good.

  1. Find yourself a nice open piece of floor, and stand nice and firm, feet shoulder width apart.
  2. In one motion, bend over and place your hands shoulder width apart on the floor. Then kick your legs out, so that you assume the position you would take before you do a push up. Then do a pushup.
  3. In one motion, jump your legs underneath your torso again, stand up straight and then jump. That is on rep.

It is important to remember that burpees aren’t for everyone, and if you have issues with joints or muscle strains, you should be extremely careful.


Which Muscles does the Burpee work?

The burpee is a whole body exercise. This means that it will work quite a few muscles in the body, and will be great for health, conditioning, and fat loss. Here are the muscles worked whilst doing a burpee:


  • Calves
  • Quadriceps
  • Adductors
  • Hamstrings
  • Glutes
  • Abdominals
  • Obliques
  • Erectors
  • Pectorals
  • Deltoids
  • Triceps


As you can see, the burpee works a tremendous amount of muscles and thus proper form needs to be standardized and followed.


Common Mistakes to Avoid

As I just mentioned, the burpee needs to be done correctly because it is a full body exercise and requires a good amount of concentration, especially because you’ll get tired whilst doing them. Here are some mistakes to avoid:


  • Not jumping at the end. If you’re unable to jump due to health reasons that’s completely fine, but if you have the capabilities, don’t jippo.
  • Not doing it in one motion. Unless you are super tired towards the end of the set or workout, try doing the burpee in one down and one up motion.
  • Not doing the push up. Unless you aren’t capable of doing a push up, you need to do it.
  • Doing burpees to failure. This is just a sore spot for me, as it’s an exercise that requires so many muscles. Doing it to failure doesn’t make much sense.
  • Losing form. I realize form is incredibly hard to maintain, but to avoid injury, it is best to do so.


About the author  Steve

Steve Theunissen is from New Zealand and is a qualified Personal Trainer and Nutritionist with over 30 years experience. Read more about Steve in the 'about us' page.

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