- Begin in a squat position with your hands on the floor in front of you.
- Kick your feet back, while simultaneously lowering yourself into a pushup
- Immediately return your feet to the squat position, while simultaneously pushing up with your arms.
- Leap up as high as possible from the squat position.
Burpees are also known as 'Up-downs".
- Easier variants
- No-pushup burpee: the athlete does not perform a pushup while kicking back his feet.
- Non-jump burpee: the athlete does not jump in the air after step 3.
- More challenging variants
- Long-jump burpee: the athlete jumps forward, not upward.
- Jump-tack burpee: the athlete pulls his knees to his chest while jumping.
- Jump-over burpee: the athlete jumps over an obstacle between burpees.
- One-armed burpee: the athlete uses only one arm for the whole exercise including the pushup.
- Dumbbell burpee: the athlete holds a pair of dumbbells while performing the exercise.
- Parkour burpee: following one burpee on the ground, the athlete jumps upon a table and performs the second burpee on the table, then jumps back to the initial position
- Hindu push up burpee: instead of a regular push up, do a hindu push up
- Pull-up burpee: Combine a pull-up with the jump or do a pull-up instead of the jump.
- Other variants
- Wall burpees / incline burpees / air burpees: the athlete kicks his feet up against a wall / up on a table / up in the air, instead of back. Usually, these variants are performed without a pushup.
- The 8 count body builder is another variant of the burpee. Counts 1-8 are as follows: (1) put your hands down, (2) push out your feet, (3) and (4) do a jumping jack on the ground, (5) and (6) perform a pushup, (7) bring your feet back forward, (8) jump in the air.
The exercise may have been originated by a man named Lieutenant Thomas Burpee (1757-1839). He was an officer in the New Hampshire Militia during the American Revolutionary War and was described as “having the innate Burpee fondness for martial exercises” in A History of the Town of New London, Merrimack County, New Hampshire. Lt. Burpee may have used the combination of pushups and squat thrusts as a means of drilling, conditioning, and disciplining the troops under his command. In addition, the exercise may have also been used by the troops as a way to stay warm during the winters in wartime New England.
As per wikipedia it was "invented" by Dr. Burpee in 1940.