Get Strong Fast With These 5 Whole-Body Exercises

Do you hate burpees too? I’ll never forget my first ones. I was seeing a personal trainer for the first time… and the last time… 

The burpees definitely had something to do with it being the last time. 

He asked me if I knew what burpees were, and I asked if they were something like a Sun Salutation but a lot faster and with more pep? He laughed.

An extreeeeeeemely loose interpretation of a Sun Salutation, a burpee involves squatting, jumping back to a high push-up, doing a push-up to the ground, jumping back to the squat, and then just for fun, jumping straight up in the air after that. 

F– that.

He then led me through a whole-body workout that I will never forget, for all the wrong reasons, and to this day I’m hard-pressed to do even one burpee. I hate burpees. Hate is a strong word, as I’m sure you are aware. 

Not only do I hate them, with a passion, I don’t even think they’re necessary. There are a lot of different ways to achieve the same effect. What it comes down to is firing up a lot of big muscles all at once. This requires a lot of energy, and builds heat fast, so you really get a lot accomplished in a short amount of time. 

We do like getting a lot accomplished in a short amount of time, true enough, so here are 5 ways to get it done and say “bye-bye” to burpees forevah too.

As one of my favorite t-shirts says, “buck furpees”. Seriously. Buck them.

5 Body Weight Exercises That Work Everything You’ve Got

Check out this video for a quick demo of these moves:

1. Squat to Overhead Press

  • Begin standing with the feet about hip-width apart, and your arms resting at your sides.
  • Sit back like there is an imaginary chair behind you, mindful of keeping your shoulders back and chest broad.
  • Squat until your thighs are parallel to the ground, or less if it is better for the knees.
  • Exhale and return to standing, raising the arms up overhead as you do.
  • Return to start and repeat several times.

Modify: This move can be made more challenging by adding hand weights to the mix. 

2. Reverse Lunge + Knee Kick

  • Begin standing with the feet about hip-width apart, and your arms resting at your sides.
  • Step one leg about 3 feet back, and raise the arms overhead.
  • Bend the back knee and lower it toward the ground, bending elbows and bringing fists to waistline.
  • Inhale and straighten the arms up again.
  • With an exhale kick the back knee forward, coming to balance on the front foot. At the same time, draw fists once again to waistline.
  • Return to start and repeat on the opposite side, repeating several rounds.

3. Whole-body Push-up

  • Begin standing with the feet about hip-width apart, and your arms resting at your sides.
  • Bring chin toward chest and round your spine forward to plant your palms on the ground.
  • Keeping your legs as straight as possible (bend knees no more than needed), walk your hands forward to a high push-up position.
  • Keep your body straight as a plank of wood, and elbows tucked in by your ribs. Bend your elbows to a 90-degree angle (or less), lowering your body toward the ground.
  • When you are as low as you can go, straighten your arms back to high push-up.
  • Keeping your legs as straight as possible, walk your hands back to your feet and return to standing. Repeat several times.

4. Ultimate Pelvic Stabilizer

  • Lay on your back with your feet hip-width on the floor, knees toward the ceiling.
  • With your arms at your sides, lift your hips up. Try to make it so you can’t see the tops of your knees. You’ll form a diagonal line from your knees to chest.
  • Keep the hips elevated by pressing the feet down and gently, energetically, pulling back to activate the backs of the legs. 
  • Raise your right leg and left arm, keeping your hips and torso as stable as possible, then return to start.
  • Repeat on the other side; keep going for several rounds.

5. Standing Bicycles

  • Begin standing with the feet about hip-width apart, and hands clasped behind your head with elbows out to either side.
  • Exhale and raise your right knee up as you take your left elbow to (maybe) touch it. Go slowly to build more heat, pausing for a moment in the crunch, then repeat the other side and for several rounds. 

Congratulations! With these 5 whole-body moves, you have effectively eradicated burpees, and the threat of burpees, forever. Enjoy your new burpee-free life!


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