Exercise: Half Burpee, or No-Push-Up Burpee

Last Updated on August 2, 2016 by Michael Brockbank

Burpees are some of the most intense, full-body workouts you can do. But don’t assume they are too difficult to complete. Even though the burpee forces you to work a lot of different muscle groups, they are actually quite easy. For the beginner, the half burpee may be one of the best ways to get started. The biggest difference is that you don’t include a push-up.

Why Should You Do the Half Burpee?

The Half Burpee is a general exercise that works out out a large portion of the body. It can be an intense cardio workout, which is why you should start off slow. If you’re too out of shape, it may be easy to cause injury. If you’re prone to lightheadedness when standing up too fast, you might want to consult a physician or a fitness trainer before doing this exercise.

The half burpee, or the no-push-up burpee, takes the term, “full body workout” to a whole new level. There are few exercises that can compete when it comes to working out many points of the body simultaneously. So far, the only other exercise I can find that even comes close is swimming. Well, aside from the full burpee that is.

A lot of people don’t put the standing part into a half burpee. Essentially, they keep this exercise on the ground. This still has potential to be beneficial as a total workout, however it reduces the amount of effort that is put into the legs. If doing this exercise is easier for you without the standing portion, then by all means focus purely on the kickback portion.

Muscles Worked
Although the quads are the muscle group that will feel most of the workout, a wide scope of other areas will be worked as well. It can be a great way to prepare various parts of the body for more difficult and more intense workouts later on. These areas include:

  • Chest
  • Shoulders
  • Forearms
  • Abs
  • Middle and lower back
  • Triceps
  • Glutes
  • Hip flexors
  • Hamstrings
  • Calves

Because this exercise includes so many muscle groups when performing the repetitions, the half burpee has potential to be an excellent workout of beginners. However, don’t assume that you can easily tear through 20 reps of these. Until you strengthen a few key points within the body, it’s best to start slow and find your limitations. Afterward, begin working on setting personal records at least once per week. Even doing one or two more reps to set that record is still an accomplishment.

Focus of the Activity
The focus of the half burpee is repetitions. Because the of the movements you take to complete a single rep, your quads will be the primary target. In essence, it’s almost like doing a bodyweight squat or leg press but with using most of the body. It’s this overall workout that prompts many athletes and even military personnel to crack out as many burpees as possible.

How to Do the Half Burpee

Although the half burpee looks intimidating, it’s not as difficult as you may think. However, it does require that you somewhat support your body weight. If you’re unable to complete a whole rep because of physical restrictions, it may be best to move on to an exercise that you can complete before trying to do one of these.

  1. Stand with your feet approximately the width of your hips. This is the starting position.
  2. Bend your knees while lowering your body down to the floor. You want to place your hands flat on the surface just above the toes.
  3. Kick back your feet until they are straight. This will shift your weight to your arms rather quickly. Essentially, you should be in a push-up position.
  4. Bring back your legs to the body and stand up straight. This will be one repetition.
  5. NOTE: You don’t have to do the standing steps of this workout. However, the work on your quads will be decreased.

You you want to increase the workout, try attaching ankle weights. This will put addition work on the glutes, hip flexors, hamstrings and calves in order to adjust to the increase. As a result, you’ll burn more calories while forcing your lower body to intensify the workout.

Here is a video I found on YouTube to demonstrate how to do this exercise. I make no claims to it as the content is not mine. However, it’s one of the few I can find that doesn’t include the little jump at the end. Enjoy.
The half burpee has potential to be a pivotal exercise in your health. Although not everyone can do these because of various physical problems, it may be worthwhile to see if you can do a few safely. Remember to start off slow in order to find your limitations and work from there.
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About Author

Michael Brockbank

Since 2015, Michael has put in the effort to lose more than 80 pounds by gamifying fitness and eating proper portion sizes. He conducts extensive research into various health and fitness products to provide the best answers possible according to his own experience and knowledge.

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