15 alternatives to Burpees: Must-Know Exercises

W​ould you like to lose weight fast? Are you interested in effective aerobic exercise? Then you should think think about burpee or its alternative exercises.

Recently this short but taught complex became very popular among the athletes. As a part of the CrossFit, many coaches recommend and include it into workouts. But there are equally effective exercises. Burpee uses the muscles of the legs, chest, triceps, and shoulders, burning excess fat.

Our fitness experts have prepared for you 15 alternatives to Burpees. There are must-know exercises for those who is tired of doing burpees every time. Go ahead and try the alternative workout to achieve more result in losing weight.

Why do people prefer burpee? Firstly, because of its ability to burn a lot of calories. Secondly, you do not need any special equipment and room. Just find the place about 2×2 meters and start this hard work. But, in case of any reasons you are not able to perform a burpee, it’s possible to find the alternatives. Before to choose the right exercises like a burpee, let us touch the sense of this popular workout.

Burpees exercise

Before choosing the right exercises like a burpee, let us touch the sense of this popular workout. As we mentioned above now burpee is a part of CrossFit workout. At the beginning his goal was different.

It’s author Royal Huddleston Burpee is a physiologist in New York City. He began to use it in 30-40th years of the last century. The target was to check the physical form level of people. Besides, it was the test for future soldiers.

Originally there was 4 rather simple exercise. Dr. Bupree advised only 4 reps.

  • Stand up. Then squat and put both hands on the floor in front of you.
  • In a jump keep the plank position.
  • In a jump again back to squat.
  • Stand up.

At the present time, only lazy did not hear about the burpee and what do burpees work. There are many types and variations of this complex.

As we mentioned burpee is a part of CrossFit. Crossfit is a system of functional high-intensity workouts. This fitness approach collected the elements of weightlifting, gymnastics, aerobics, weight-lifting and other sports.

Nowadays Crossfit is a popular competitive sport. The athletes from all over the world attend a variety of competitions. In addition, CrossFit is a registered brand. The founder is US fitness expert Greg Glassman. In 2000 he registered his new training idea.

15 Alternatives to Burpees for fat loss

So what exercises can replace the burpee? The correct answer is connected with motivation. Why you need the alternative. One of them is medical reasons.  It could be that you have  medical contra-indication. The other thing if you want to diversify your fitness routine. So it should be functional, cardio, fat, and calorie burning sets. Let us see how does it work on practice.

It’s no doubt that burpee is one of the most effective for weight loss. What is a burpee? In fact, this is complex of intensive, hi-rep movements. Namely, they include plank, push-ups, squats, and jumps. These exercises encourage the body to burn a lot of calories.

And in general, it helps to gain an excellent physical form. To be in a perfect fit. That is why burpee is an important routine in the functional training of athletes. As well as it’s a part of the CrossFit training session.

However, it happens that people are not so strong to perform the burpee in the right technique. It means that you are not able to repeat all the movements correctly. Accordingly, you will never get the supposed benefit from burpee results. It could be even worse.

Do not be disappointed. Here are the set of 15 exercises which are alternate the burpee. To some extent, they are even better in the matter of fat and calories burning.

Well-known fitness expert and author of the popular training programs BJ Gaddour offers this set to fight the weight and obtain the strength. The coach relied on the following criteria selecting these exercises.

15 must-know exercises:
  • Goblet squat
  • Barbell muscle snatch
  • Dumbbell muscle snatch
  • Dumbbell skier swing
  • Alternating kettlebell swing
  • Dumbbell farmer’s walk
  • Box squat jump
  • Step up jump
  • Battle ropes waves
  • Bear crawl
  • Walking lunges
  • Box thruster
  • Trx or total-body resistance row machine
  • Blast- off push-up
  • Skater jump

Modified burpee exercises in more details

What are the main advantages of alternatives to Burpees? Exercises definitely work out a main part of the body muscles. Especially the shoulders and hips are working hard. It is not necessary to learn difficult techniques. According to BJ, these exercises can diversify any training session. At the same time, they give the same effective result as burpee.

Goblet squat

Also, the athletes know this movement as a kettlebell squat. It is a kind of strength exercise, like half burpees. Quadriceps and the whole core are working. Even the beginner can do it using a lightweight device. This one is more safe and easier compare to barbell squats. Especially when you need high reps for weight loss.

Start by standing and taking a light kettlebell close to the chest. Sit down and then stand up. The hamstrings are on the calves. Try to keep the head and chest up. The back should be straight. Make a pause at the bottom point. Then the elbows help to push the knees out. Come back to the starting position. Do 10-20 reps.

The Dumbbell Muscle Snatch

The Dumbbell Burpee is a perfect exercise, as reverse burpee. The athletes use it to develop snatching skills. It’s also beneficial for shoulders work. Often they perform dumbbell muscle snatches to warm up. In general, it’s a great strength training for upper back and shoulders. Throwing sports like basketball, volleyball, and others like these effective movements.

Dumbbell skier swing

Take the dumbbells. The arms are along the body. Feet are shoulder-width. Slightly bend the knees. Then swing the dumbbells behind. At the same time, push the hips and hamstrings back. Keep the knees soft. The back is arched. You need to feel the hips stretching. Sharply move the hips forward. Simultaneously, swing move the arms forward before the chest.

Blast- off push-up

Blast-off push-up is the exercise for the chest and shoulder muscles and glutes. For many athletes, it is a favorite fat-burning exercise. This type of push –up burns a lot of calories. Moreover, it is easy for the knees.

Take a push-up position. Then move the lower body towards the feet by strong knee bending. After that, quickly push the body back into the push-up pose. Try to transfer the weight into the shoulders zone. Accordingly, complete a full push-up. It means to be the lowest towards the ground. It looks that the nose is coming down almost touching the ground.

Then return back up to the starting plank position. Make desired reps. You can always upgrade this exercise. Just use the resistance band. Put the band over the head and shoulders and hold it in your both hands.

Skater Lunges

This intensive exercise perfectly trains buttocks and develops coordination. You need to repeat the skaters exercise. But try to squat as low as possible. This exercise influences the hip joint, muscle strength. Also, it maintains balance.

Start by leaning forward. Then, slightly bend the legs, like before jumping. Keep the hands near the chest. Make a wide step to the right. Bend your right knee. Make a cross with your left leg. The body weight is on the heel of the right foot. Lean forward slightly.

Wave by the left hand forward before the right thigh. Move the right hand behind you. This will help to keep the body balance. Then from the previous position take the added step to the left. Continue with the other leg.

This exercise is fantastic burpee alternative. You can enrich this exercise with numerous options. You also can use the miniband to upgrade the jumps. At any case, you will not be boring to do the same motions all the time.

Here are the instruction and skater jump variations

  • Speed skater exercise for the beginners

At the first stage, pay attention to the right technique. First, perform the movements slowly Increase the speed only after you learn the movement.

  • Skaters workout jumps for weak hips

In case your hips are not flexible enough to try with side lunges. It helps to understand the technique of the main movements. After you improve the hips then include the jumping.

It’s better to see once than listen several times about something. Below video will ensure you in the effectiveness of the other exercises like a burpee.

Fitness activities that replace the burpee

As usual, the best fat burning exercises are functional ones. One of the ways is to do a set of power exercises. After that, you perform some cardio. Certainly, it’s better when more body muscles work during exercise. These exercises involve burpy, barbell snatch from the floor, pushing weights from full squats, etc. Make 20-30 reps with a certain interval. This gives a very high anaerobic load.

The key factor in fat burning is to keep the heart rate in a certain mode. As usual, a person under 40 years old has a resting pulse of 70. Then for fat burning its rate should be about 120-140 beats per minute.

The desirable maximum is 150. The duration of exercise should be at least 40 minutes. Because only after 30 minutes the body starts to use and burn fat resources. Training should last from 40 minutes to one and a half hours.

These are general canons. However, we must remember about personal features. The age, the gender, weight, and physical form and level are crucial before you accept your best routine. Also, we would like to remind that the workout’s composition and duration depend on the body type. Ectomorph, mesomorph, and endomorph should have different approaches.

Everybody can get the maximum body load with many other fitness activities. What activities can replace the burpee? Certainly, there are a variety of reasons we are not able to perform a burpee.  Stay with us and you’ll know the situations when burpee is prohibited. We’ve prepared some useful information. Below there is the list of activities that you can keep in your mind and use to be in a great fit.

Jumping rope

We know this fun from our childhood. But this simple device allows you to burn a lot of calories. It overcomes the jogging. The faster you twist the rope, the better. The speed must be at least 70 spins per minute. In this case, your heart rate reaches the fat burning level. Short recovery, not more than a minute and new set again.

Skipping rope activates the calves, hips, press, and back. As you know these are rather problematic body parts. Most loading during jumps spreads on on the calves, hips, abs, and back.  Check the Survival and Cross Jump Rope for effective workouts. Thus, ten minutes roping replaces one and a half kilometers of jogging, running or 3 kilometers biking.

Cardio  workout with a rope

Hope you find it interesting and useful. This is an easy but rather effective 15-minute cardio workout. You need only a jump rope. It’s possible to repeat this set twice. So, you will get a 30-minute cardio and fat burning program.

This training supposes the loss of about 100 calories in 10 minutes. Of course, it depends on your weight, age, and gender. In fact, training affects all major muscle groups, including the arms, back, and abs.

One set involves five different movements. Do each of them you for 1 minute. The whole cycle is performed three times. In total it’s 15 minutes of pure training time.

  • The workout starts with simple rope jumping.
  • Then the movements became more complicated. It’s no problem if you lost. Start again without a pause.
  • After jumping, you can work out the press and hands.
  • Next, the “ladder” follows
  • And finally, the exercise on balance. It also allows you to restore the breath before a new set.


One more kind of cardio activity is swimming. As aerobic exercising, it also burns calories and fat. So use it as an alternative burpee. Fast tempo swimming burns a huge amount of calories. It is similar to jogging.

The difference is that in this case upper body muscles, especially shoulders zone get the maximum load and work. So the ideal option is the combination of swimming with biking or jogging. You can always compensate for lower body activation by many other special exercises.

Tabata Squats

Squats are one of the most energy-intensive strength exercises. Tabata squats is the way of training, developed by Japanese doctor Izumi Tabata. will make it as effective as possible for fat burning.

The sense of the method is the maximum load for 20 seconds. Then 10 seconds rest follows. And, then another 20 seconds hard work again. Usually, it includes 8 sets. So it takes only 4 minutes. However, it’s possible to burn about 60 calories.

Barbell snatch

The snatches came to CrossFit from weightlifting. It is rather difficult technically. At the same time, it loads all muscle group. So it is one of the most effective strength exercises for fat burning.

Stand in front of the bar with the legs shoulder-width apart. Sit down and take the bar with a wide grip. Turn the shoulders back and bend the lower back. With a powerful effort of the legs and back, lift the barbell to the mid-thigh. Then snatch the barbell up and sit under it.

The legs extension and body back deflection help you. As a result, you squat with a barbell. The arms are straight. Make a powerful effort to rise in a vertical position. Hold for a second at the top point. Then lower the barbell on the chest, and then on the floor.

Low impact alternative to burpees

They are highly effective in calorie burning and weight loss. So you can easily incorporate them into your routine. Certainly, do it step by step or exercise by exercise. It means include one, then two or three exercises into your fitness menu. Besides, it’s possible to mix them and change the choice every week.

We invite you to spend some minutes to watch this video. Definitely, some alternative burpee movements will attract your attention.

If you do not like a burpee

If you hate burpee, you might like this alternative exercise. It’s a push squat. This is an exercise like a burpee. But we avid pushups and jumping at the end. Definitely, it makes the task a little bit easier. So you can move faster and increase your pulse. As a bonus, the exercise perfectly tightens improve the press.

How to do squats with a push

  • Stand straight, feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Sit down and put the hands on the floor.
  • While straining the press, jump back to the plank position.
  • Keep your arms straight and jump back to the previous position.
  • Stand up and return to starting position.

That’s all. Try to do 20 reps as a warm-up before a cardio session or strength training.

Short cardio workout  burpee alternative

One more 10-minute cardio workout for your consideration. It’s great, you do not need any equipment or a big space. The advantage of this short set is that in just 10-12 minutes you can warm up. Besides the main muscle groups and the cardiovascular system get functional load.

The program includes five different exercises. Note, each of them works out the left or right side. Accordingly, do the first set for the right side. Then repeat all movements for the left one. Therefore, complete training consists of 10 exercises, 5 for each side. Perform each exercise for 60 seconds without any stop. You can make a short break between changing the movements. It allows reducing the pulse a little.

While doing the exercises, it is necessary to follow the right technique. It’s important to keep the back straightened. Do all the movements smoothly, without sudden falls, jumps and body ejections.

Functional strengthening exercises like a burpee

Let’s remind that the burpee is functional training. So the other functional exercises can be the burpee alternative.
Functional training gives you the type of power that transforms into endurance. This is the best way to burn calories. So everybody who wants to stay in shape can perform the following exercises like a burpee.

We need strength in your daily life. And it is easy to get it doing a smart program. We have prepared for you the other five exercises. They are able to replace a not only burpee complex. But the whole workout in the gym.

T-shaped push-ups
  • The exercise develops chest muscles, triceps, delta muscles.
  • The number of sets: 3.
  • The number of repetitions: 8 for each hand.
  • Rest between repetitions: 45 seconds.

So, take the starting position. It is the same as for usual push up alternatives. In the upper point of the pushing up raise your left hand up. Hold for a few seconds. Then gently return to the support lying down. Accordingly, repeat the exercise raising your right hand. To enhance the effect you can use the dumbbells.

Note: do not put the elbows to the sides. Strain the body muscles. Move your hand and arm smoothly and avoid the sharp jerky motions.

Static squats
  • The exercise develops the muscles of the thigh, buttocks, and bark.
  • The number of sets: 3.
  • The number of reps: 15.
  • Rest between repetitions: 40 seconds.

In general static, exercises are very useful. Even if they are isolating exercises. In other words, they focus on certain body muscles group. However, they involve the resources of the whole body.

The technique of static squats or squatting is the same as regular squats. The only difference is that the athlete adds the 5-10 seconds delay at the lowest point.

Express exercise
  • The number of sets: 3
  • The number of reps: 5
  • Rest between repetitions: 30 seconds.

The exercise develops abs, arms, whole body works. They can recommend the following: lie on your back, bend your knees, put a load on your stomach.

Then jerk up the body, sit down. Accordingly, lift the load with your hands up and jump out. Then return to the starting position lying on the floor.

Rock climber
  • The exercise develops core muscles and hips.
  • The number of sets: 3
  • The number of reps: 12 for each leg.
  • Rest between repetitions: 30 seconds.

The starting position is like for the push-up.  Then the right leg slowly lifts off the floor. Then also slowly pull the knee up to the chest. Keeping the knee near the chest, touch the floor with the toe. Then go back to lying. Again repeat the same with your left foot. Perform each movement slowly. Try to feel the involved muscles.

  • Develop: almost all the muscles of the body
  • The number of approaches: 3.
  • The number of reps: 10 for each hand.
  • Rest between repetitions: 90 seconds.

For this exercise, you will need a sledgehammer and a car tire. Fix the last one securely to the ground. Stand in the “fighting” position. Put the left leg is forward but slightly sideways. Wide handle grip with a left hand in front. Try to use not only the muscles of the arms. Also, involve the whole body. Over time, the body will remember to connect them automatically.

Who is not able to do a burpee | Contradictions

We’ve touched the burpee alternatives. You could see that there are a variety of exercises like a burpee. Definitely, they aren’t worse. All of them assist people to burn calories, boost the cardiovascular system. Besides they bring strength and energy.

However, there are situations when high intensive exercises including burpee are prohibited. Burpee is a rather technically complicated exercise. It includes push-ups, squats, and jump. Accordingly, it requires a good and strong muscular system. The athletes should master the push-ups and squats right technique.

Otherwise, it’s easy to get a harmful load on the lower back and knees. Most often, people injure their hands’ wrists and elbows. Doing burpee push-ups you stretch your wrist. The front part of the shoulders get stress as well. No doubt it is a weak part of the body. Both facts are dangerous. Especially if you repeat the movements several times and very quickly.

Burpy contributes to endurance and provide a high level of calorie burning. None of the new CrossFit programs is complete without the burpy. Also, it is widely used in weight loss workouts. However, it is not completely safe exercise. Doing burpee the body gets a huge load.

Most burpee contraindications are connected with cardio and joints problems. This complex is prohibited in case of any heart pathologies. The intense activity can make worse the situation with the arrhythmia, blood vessels, and pressure troubles. The same prohibition touches people who have problems with the joints, spine and the skeletal system.

Recent surgery or trauma, as well as pregnancy,  are the reasons to replace burpee. They do not recommend burpee in case you caught cold or viral diseases.

Burpee is forbidden for the following diseases
  • hypertension
  • severe myopia
  • lumbar osteochondrosis
  • overweight

How to manage burpee due to physical or fitness inexperience. First of all, you can modify and make the complex easier.  So how we can adjust this strong complex according to health limits. You can split it into two exercises.

Firstly do push-ups from the floor. Then squats with your own weight only. Remove the jumping out. The other option includes 5−10 pushups. After that do immediately 10 squats.

Burpee alternative for bad knees

This special fitness program should improve motor functions like coordination, balance, agility and reaction pace. They can assist to solve rehabilitation aspects. Effective exercises for the knee joints and osteoarthritis treatment.

Medical gymnastics for the joints helps to force the muscles and ligaments in a problematic area. But at the same time not to overload the joints themselves. But, to get a positive tendency to perform the exercises every day. Try to complete the workout by short massage of the legs and arms. Lie down to relax the legs and arms between exercises.

1st exercise
  • Lie on the stomach on the floor. The legs are straight. Extend the arms along the body. Very slowly lift your right leg.
  • Keep the knee joint straightened. The height is 15 cm over the floor. Stay in this position for 30–40 seconds. Slowly low down the leg. Then completely relax the body.
  • Repeat the exercise with your left foot.
2nd exercise
  • Starting position is the same. Gently lift the right leg up 15cm over the floor. Try to keep the knee straight. After 1-2 seconds low the leg down the floor.
  • Perform 10–20 reps. Make one-two seconds pause to relax the leg muscles. Do the same exercise with your left foot.
3rd exercise
  • Go on lying on the stomach. Then stretch your arms along the body. The left leg is straight. Bend the right knee at 90° angle.
  • Smoothly and very slowly lift the right thigh up to 10cm over the ground. Keep it for 30-40 seconds. Save the right angle of the knee joint.
  • After that, slowly pot the leg down. Then completely relax the muscles. After a short break, repeat the same movements for the left leg. Do one rep for each leg.

Burpee alternative for people with obesity

One of the burpee precautions is overweight. Surely people with obesity need to follow definite rules and advises how to train for weight loss.

Fitness experts advise special exercises for very heavy people. Because there is a risk of joints damage under body weight. Additionally, if they are not able to move the body due to their fat layer.

There are diverse exercises of activating metabolism. At the same time, they are safe for the joints. Some of them you can perform at home without an instructor. This training can also improve the mood and encourage people to succeed in weight loss.

Burpee alternative sports for people with overweight

People suffering the high level of obesity can be active in different sports. For instance, swimming is one of the best recommended. Thirty minutes of water training fat people can practice even every day. It’s useful and safe. In fact, you do not overload the bones and joints in water.

As a rule, all water exercises that increase the pulse is the best activity for people with obesity. The matter is that water resistance provides the message additionally. It means fast drainage even with active fat burning. Accordingly, the volume decreases rapidly.

The other excellent fitness is usual and Nordic (Scandinavian) walking. In this case, we advise controlling the heart rate and steps quantity. The market offers the number of useful fitness devices like heart rate trackers and monitors. More information about them you can find below.

Pay attention to the knee joints. Maybe it’s worth to fix them. Body belts or elastic cloth can give the additional fat burning effect. Hatha yoga, Pilates, body flex, oxidize, and body balance is also safe for heavy people. Especially a competent trainer can advise reasonable workouts and loading. Blood pressure control is necessary.

This is a common hygienic gymnastics for people with obesity. In addition, there are some resent fitness achievements. It is necessary to work out 2-3 times a week. They should alternate training with recovery days. For these free days, special cardio is the best one.

Cardio exercises for  heavy people

Training 1
  • Warm up includes walking on the spot. Try to breathe deeply. Rotate and cross the hands in a comfortable pace within 10 minutes.
  • Next one is the main walk for 2-3 km. Move quietly but fast enough to start sweating.
  • Finish with slow walking for 10 minutes.
Training 2
  • Warm up by walking around the room. Breathing is quiet and deep.
  • The main part of workout 30-40 minutes practicing at any cardiovascular machine. Set an average resistance.
  • The obesity is not an obstacle to exercising bike, treadmill, stepper, climber and elliptical trainer. Close the training with walking again.

Here are some more exercises for people with big overweight

  • 1. Walk at the place to warm-up.

Then the rotation of arms. Low the head forward, backward and to the shoulders. It’s good for the neck. Ten minutes walking lifting the knees highly.

  • 2. Hand movements

Take the 1-2 kg dumbbells. Even the bottles with water can help. Do hands rotation forward. Do crossing movements in front of the chest. Lifting hands over the sides up to the head. Imitate the punches forward.

  • 3. Light squats

Fix the resistance band. Take the ends with your hands. Step forward to stretch it. Perform slow squats. The band will help to maintain the balance. Additionally, the arms work.Perform 5-10 reps of the other exercises. Try 2-3 sets.

Surely these are very reasonable and safe exercises for people with overweight. They can perform them according to their abilities. In combination with a balanced diet, they will help to lose weight fast and improve health.

Reviews of alternatives to Burpees

Honestly, I never heard about burpee. Although it is popular. The matter is that doctors forbid me intensive cardio and strength loading. The reasons are cesarean and strong varicose veins.

But I thought there was no harm from one time? So I tried. And I did burpee 10 times. It’s really quite difficult. All the muscles work. But for me, it is more difficult due to the speed and dynamic.


Usually, I practice yoga. Thus it more focuses on statics. However, yoga also has a complex of Surya Namaskar or Sun Salutation. This complex also runs dynamically. The more reps you do it is better.

Usually, yoga masters are able to perform 100 or more repetitions. This complex also includes push-ups and body movements from vertical to horizontal. These exercises are like a burpee, aren’t they?


After studying the basic asanas, you can move to the other exercises. Follow the video to succeed in this effective burpee alternative.


Once again we would like to pay attention to the fact that the burpee is an effective exercise. However, do not limit your fitness exercising by them only. Make it a part of your training complex training. Perform a warming-up, stretching and strength exercises. Do not forget running, swimming, jumping rope, biking, etc. Balance your nutrition and diet. This integrated approach will provide the best result.

And one thing more. Let us emphasize that individual approach is crucial in choosing any fitness activity. Before you concentrate on any exercises or workouts please consult the experts first. The main target is to be healthier but chooses a reasonable and smart way.

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