Whether you love them, hate them, or don’t ever want to try them,
you might be surprised to know that burpees were actually invented by a person
– and his name was, yes, Burpee.
Royal Burpee, to be precise. He was an exercise physiologist and early bodybuilder. His 122nd birthday on June 4 is a good reason to look at these Five Fun Facts about the now ubiquitous if not quite beloved exercise.
- Burpee created his move in the late 1930s while studying for his Ph.D. at Columbia University.
- He intended it as a fitness test, not an exercise.
- He did not include the pushup and the jump. Those were added later. The original consisted of squatting down and placing both hands on the floor; jumping feet back into a plank; jumping feet forward; returning to standing position.
- His granddaughter said he “would be rolling over in his grave if he saw the way it’s being done in a lot of places” today.
- Of course, nobody has to do burpees, which can be hard on the knees and back and easily performed improperly. But when done correctly, they can be effective, particularly at raising the heart rate. Planks and jump squats are good alternatives.
Regardless of whether you want to do as many as possible, or never do your first, burpees are a good conversation starter with anyone getting or staying fit.
We’re happy to show you proper form, other exercises, and more
ways to gain all the benefits of this “love it or hate it” move.
Sources: Business Insider, The Huffington Post