How to master burpees: The 30-day burpee challenge!

Get a complete body workout with just one move, by mastering burpees in our 30-day challenge

Whoever said that burpees were just for fitness fanatics and personal trainers?

Burpees may look look tricky, but once you've mastering the basics they're not only surprisingly straightforward but also one of the most effective exercises you can do.

The reason many fitness professionals use them as part of their own training plans is simple: they're effective. Burpees are a total-body workout, so you know that once your burpees are done for the day, you've not only got your heart rate going, but you've worked your arms, chest, quads, glutes, hamstrings and abs - all-over toning, here we come!

In our 30-day challenge (opens in new tab) you'll not only master the standard burpees, you'll also learn a few extra modifications and use them as part of an exercise plan devised by a personal trainer. You'll be able to see real results for your whole body in just one month.

Even if you've never tried a burpee before, don't worry! Nutracheck (opens in new tab) Fitness Expert Kelly Marshall shows you how you can build up to full burpees by using various modifications. By the end of 30 days you'll be able to do full burpees, as well as looking and feeling better than ever!

What does the plan involve?

Kelly says: The burpee is a fantastic total body movement which uses your bodyweight as resistance. It's comprehensive and challenging by design to any individual, regardless of their fitness. The 'full burpee' has explosive components for the legs, a large demand on the core to protect the back, as well as an upper body element due to the chest to floor press up. The key with a burpee is to make sure it is being performed well - with good form and with the recruitment of the right muscles.

The challenge

To start your 30-day burpee challenge all you need to do is download the plan below, print it out and stick it somewhere that will remind you every day to do your burpees. Alternatively you could just save it to your phone, so it's always handy when you have a few minutes to spare!

You can download your FREE 30-day burpee challenge here (opens in new tab)

The moves

Kelly demonstrates how to perfect each of the moves you'll need to know, to take on the 30-day burpee challenge:

Full burpee First of all, it's important that you master the full burpee, so that you can perform the modifications along the way before you get to full burpees at the end of the plan!

  • Place your hands on the floor in front of you, then jump both feet back so you land in a press up position

  • From here, perform a press up to the floor and return to the starting press up position

  • Then jump both legs back in together before jumping up in the air lifting your hands above your head

  • This sequence counts as 1 rep!

  • Here, Kelly shows you how to perform a full burpee:

Modification 1: Down ups

  • Start with feet wider than hips (this makes it easier to bend to the floor)

  • Place your hands on the floor in front of you

  • Take one leg out behind you, then take the other leg back too, so you end up in the starting position of a press up

  • Hold for two seconds then reverse the movement by taking one leg back up towards the hands, followed by the other leg

  • Ensure heels are flat before clenching your tummy and bottom to stand upright to the starting position

  • Modification 2: Down up with knee drive
  • Perform a down up as described above until you are in the start of a press up position

  • Instead of holding this position for two seconds, bring one knee in to touch the elbow of the same side before returning that leg back and performing the same with the other leg

  • Once you have performed a knee to elbow with each leg you then bring one leg in followed by the other and then stand as you would with a down up

  • This sequence counts as 1 rep

  • Modification 3: Down up with press up
  • Perform a down up as described in modification 1, but instead of holding the press up position for two seconds, you now perform a press up - taking your chest as close to the floor as you can!

  • Lower your body while keeping your core tight (avoid arching your lower back) and then press out of it to return to the top of the press up position

  • After one press up is completed, bring one leg in followed by the other and then stand as you would with a down up

  • This sequence counts as one rep

  • Modification 4. Down up with standing jump
  • This modification is the same as modification 1 but just with an added jump with hands above your head once you return to the standing position

  • This is getting you used to the explosive jump that finishes a full burpee movement

  • Modification 5: Two-footed hop in/out
  • Start in the modification 1 position, with your hands on the floor

  • Once the hands are on the floor, while the core is kept tight, jump back with both legs at the same time so they land together and a strong horizontal body position is created

  • Make sure your tummy is tight and your back doesn't drop as you land

  • Once you are stable in that position return your feet close to your hands by jumping them back in together. Return to the standing position to complete 1 rep

  • We'd love to know if you're going to take on the 30-day burpee challenge, and for you to keep us posted with your progress! Either leave us a comment below or visit our Facebook page (opens in new tab) to share your exercise experiences. Good luck!
    Kelly Marshall, Nutracheck Fitness Expert says 'It's true that you can't out-train a bad diet. To get the maximum benefit from your burpee exercise plan, you need to make sure your nutrition is as focused as your exercise. The Nutracheck App (opens in new tab) is a must-have tool if you want to monitor your diet and track your calorie intake'.
    If you are trying to lose a few pounds as well as tone up, the Nutracheck calorie counter App (opens in new tab) and website (opens in new tab) can help. Enter all the activity you do in the exercise diary and see how many calories you've burn. Record everything you eat in the Nutracheck food diary - the App is super-fast to use - and get the balance right to lose weight.