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How to Do a Burpee (the Right Way)

Burpees have a reputation for a reason. They're one of the most effective—and crazy challenging—exercises out there. And fitness buffs everywhere just love to hate them.

So should you. The sweat-drenching move turns your body into the best piece of workout equipment ever, training virtually every muscle in your body—including your core, chest, and legs—and sending your heart rate through the roof for awesome calorie-torching, muscle-building benefits, says personal trainer Mike Donavanik, CSCS.

But to get the most from every rep, you need to know how to do a burpee with picture-perfect form. Here, Donavanik shares step-by-step tips on how to do a burpee.

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, weight in your heels, and your arms at your sides.
  2. Push your hips back, bend your knees, and lower your body into a squat.
  3. Place your hands on the floor directly in front of, and just inside, your feet. Shift your weight onto them.
  4. Jump your feet back to softly land on the balls of your feet in a plank position. Your body should form a straight line from your head to heels. Be careful not to let your back sag or you butt stick up in the air, as both can keep you from effectively working your core.
  5. Jump your feet back so that they land just outside of your hands.
  6. Reach your arms over head and explosively jump up into the air.
  7. Land and immediately lower back into a squat for your next rep.

Want to mix it up? You're in luck. Burpees are super versatile and can be tailored to any fitness level. To slow the move down and make it a bit easier, Donavanik recommends moving into a plank position by stepping, rather than jumping, your feet behind you. Or if you want to crank things up a notch, turn your plank into a pushup, your jump into a tuck jump, or both, he says. And you thought a regular burpee was hard.