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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Published by Emily Murray

I believe in our strength and adaptability as humans, and in the serious work involved in becoming who we dream of being. Self-care is a huge component of self-love, and The Changing Room is all about finding new ways of growing and healing. Seeing beauty in ourselves and in each other, and translating that to living our best lives. Become a sponsor of The Changing Room!

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