Love them or loathe them, burpees are one of the most effective exercises for losing weight, including shedding stubborn belly fat. The reason for that is simple: burpees fall under high-intensity interval training (or HIIT), and “interval training helps your body to burn off more calories in a shorter period of time,” Bryant Johnson, an ACE-certified personal trainer and expert for The Vitamin Shoppe, told POPSUGAR.
Like other HIIT exercises, burpees recruit several muscle groups for a full-body workout, raising your heart rate in the process. “This can lead to overall fat loss if you are eating at a deficit with your calories,” Bryant said. Plus, “burpees involve no equipment, so you can do them anywhere. If you are traveling or can’t make it to the gym, burpees are a quick way to challenge your strength, flexibility, weight training, and cardiovascular health, all in one equipment-free workout.” This is especially important, since consistency is key when you’re trying to lose weight.
If you’ve never really done burpees before, Bryant suggests starting small to build up your endurance. (Here are instructions for performing the move.) “I would recommend starting with sets of 12 burpees in the morning to help increase endorphins and set your day up for success,” he explained. “Then you can build to sets of 15 or 20 burpees in a row. Your body is always trying to find balance, so when you challenge yourself and put the body outside of its comfort zone, it will start to change.”
Of course, it’s unlikely you’re relying on burpees alone to lose weight – but adding them to your current routine, while cleaning up your diet, can help inch you closer to the calorie deficit that’s necessary for fat loss. “If you are already active and running as a workout, for example, you can add in burpees to amp up your typical workout. The full-body workout will help you to burn more calories,” Bryant said. “Be consistent and don’t beat yourself up if you miss a day. You can jump back into it and challenge yourself to the best of your ability by just showing up and putting in the work.”