They may not be your favorite workout; in fact, they may be the very last thing you want to do. Let’s face it, though. Burpees are a fantastic way to tone your body, strengthen muscles, and increase endurance. So what is it about this particular exercise that leaves us sprinting in the opposite direction?

Let’s break it down.

Burpees begin by standing upright. You then drop down into plank position, either allowing your body to rest against the ground or lowering down into a push-up. You then push your body upward and jump your feet up to your hands, raise your arms above your head and complete the motion with a controlled jump.

Burpees are by no means an easy form of exercise. They engage a variety of muscles, and the rapid motion increases your heart rate, rapidly.  This particular exercise requires both endurance and strength, not to mention some extra motivation. So, we primarily hate them because they are hard.

I started incorporating burpees into my workouts each morning to see if they really would make a significant difference in both my physical appearance and endurance. I was primarily a runner for the past six years, but after breaking my femur this past December, I have had to explore different forms of exercise to a much greater extent. I love the way running works so much of my body, so I decided I would give burpees a try, in order to compare them

I started doing burpee pyramids each morning. I will start with 50 burpees, followed by a few core exercises, ranging from a plank, to crunches, to clams, etc. After completing some core work, I then proceed to 40 burpees. I then complete another set of my core routine and then 30 burpees. I work my way down to 10 burpees, with core work between each set. I end with holding a plank for 2 minutes.

I will admit, I’m almost always exhausted following this workout, but the outcome has been amazing. I have toned my shoulders, arms, and core more than I had anticipated. I have also found that my endurance, when I do choose to run, has increased, and I am able to run longer distances. This new workout has also helped ease the tension and impact that running was placing on my knees and femur. I notice less pain in my leg and decreased stiffness in my knees.

Overall, the burpee workout has produced excellent outcomes and has surprisingly become one of my favorite routines. I started off hating burpees and thinking that I would never be able to do more than ten at a time. I love pushing my body and challenging myself to work harder than I believe I’m capable of. This routine has truly tested my limits and caused me to grow with both my physical capabilities, but also my psychological. I have become much better at telling myself that I can make it through tough workouts and that I can push myself further.

Though difficult, I challenge everyone to try the burpee pyramid. You are strong, and you can do it!