Low and behold the single exercises that will make you cry. It is also the single exercise that will exercise every single muscle in your body. It will challenge you in ways that you did not know. It will make you feel like a king when you talk about it but will make you look like a pauper while you doing it. Yes, we are talking about the BURPEE!

This is the ultimate, no nonsense exercise. You do not need a gym, you do not need a designated machine, and you do not need loads of space. All you need is willpower, a piece of solid ground, or not, depends on how difficult you want to make it and the knowhow on how to do a solid burpee and you are set.

So what is a burpee? Let us start at the technical stuff. A burpee is a bodyweight exercise that uses gravity as a means to kill you! The lovely thing about a burpee is that it is a combined strength and aerobic exercise. You will huff and puff and get a nice muscle pump, all over. A burpee can be broken down into four basic steps.

·         Start by basically standing upright, hand by your sides.

·         You then drop down by bending your knees (basically squatting down) and touching the floor with your hands.

·         Kick both your legs out simultaneously. Now you are in the basic push up position with your body in a straight line.

·         Bring your legs back simultaneously and stand up to position number 1.

·         This is one repetition.

I know this is bringing back memories now! Why do we hate burpees so much? Because they are hard. Everything burns, from your legs to your shoulders and all your childhood nightmares are flowing back from the dark corners of your mind where you were trying to hide them! They are hard for a reason though. They really work and they are good for you.

Now that you have mastered the basic burpee, try and venture into the more adventurous variations.

·         Spice a burpee up by performing a push up when you are down in the push up position and before you bring your legs back in.

·         If you are very strong you can do a burpee pull up. Do the normal burpee and when you jump up, grab hold of a bar above you and do a single pull up before doing your next burpee.

·         If you are very brave and have a core of steel, do the burpee with a medicine ball. Yes, instability is the name of the game here. First of all, you are carrying the extra weight every time you stand up and secondly, you are balancing on the medicine ball when you kick your legs back.

By just using these simple variations to an already demanding exercise you will reap the rewards, aerobically and in the strength department. You will spice up a boring workout or add a different dimension to your existing kick ass workout. Good luck and have fun!