5 Beginner Level Burpee Exercises

The burpee is a simple and effective exercise that is often used for fat loss, muscle building, and general strength and conditioning. The burpee also has a reputation for being quite unforgiving. By design, it’s not easy, and for a lot of people, the burpee is a bit too challenging to start off with. That’s when the CST strategy called movement sophistication really shines. You can not only make exercises more challenging, you can also make them easier by changing, swapping, or removing certain components, which is exactly what I’ve done in this instructional video.

Here are 5 incrementally more challenging versions of the burpee exercise that will help you build a foundation of conditioning in prep for the traditional burpee and the many advanced variations thereof. Even if you’ve done burpees before, you’ll find benefits from working on the components in this video.

5 Beginner Level Burpee Exercises

Note: If you’re struggling with achieving a deep rock-bottom squat, then check out this video for tips to improve your squat range of motion.

Technique Instructions

Level 1 – Squat down to the depth that you’re comfortable. Place your hands on the ground in front of you, and then place your feet back behind you one at a time. Once you have stabilized in the top portion of a pushup position, place your feet back forward, until your knees are beside your elbows. Push back until you are flat footed in the bottom squat position. Press your feet into the ground until you are standing again.

Level 2 – Squat down to the depth that you’re comfortable. Place your hands on the ground in front of you, and then place your feet back and knees down onto the ground – one at a time. Perform one knee pushup, going down as far as you are able. Place your feet back into the forward position, get into your rock-bottom squat position, and stand back up.

Level 3 – Squat down, and once you’ve gotten into the rock-bottom squat position, bounce/kip the feet back into the top of pushup position. Once you have stabilized, bounce/kip your feet back forward, achieve flat foot squat stance, stand back up.

Level 4 – Squat down, kip your feet back, perform a pushup, kip your feet forward, achieve flat foot squat stance, stand back up.

Level 5 (classic burpee exercise) – Squat down, kip your feet back, perform a pushup, kip your feet forward, achieve flat foot squat stance, perform a squat jump.


Well, there you go – 5 beginner level burpee exercises to help you build up to the classic burpee and beyond. If you enjoyed this tutorial and want more like it, check out this Tactical Gymnastics Workout. I think it’ll be right up your alley.

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Health-First Fitness Coach

P.S. If you’d like a complete burpee workout, using some less conventional burpee exercises, then please check out my article: Beyond Burpees – 3 Ground-Engagement Bodyweight Workouts.

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13 Responses

  1. Julie

    Hi John,

    I just wanted to tell you that I’ve been coming to your website for awhile now. It’s one of the few fitness websites that I consistently read. (There’s soooo much junk/hype out there!) I always walk away feeling like I’ve learned something. So thank you for taking the time to put up these great video tutorials! It is really appreciated!

  2. Michelle S.

    Thank you!! I just found your site by searching for Beginner Burpees. I’m trying to become more fit and lose a lot of weight and I’m unable to do a full burpee right now so I’ve been looking for ways that I can start the process as I want to include them into my routines. This video is perfect for me and I am looking forward to losing myself in the rest of your site. So glad I came across it. Thank you again!

  3. Bob

    John, really enjoy your site- great stuff. Question regarding Tacfit Commando- Is it necessary to do a full joint mobility routine with the program or are the Intuflow recovery exercises included in the workout sufficient?

  4. Kalthom

    Thanks John for the site. Very imformative & simple for beginners. Now I know what burpees means.

    Have a great day!

  5. Patricia

    Hi John,
    thank you for the simple explanation – I was doing this when I was much much younger (did’nt have a name for it). it’s scary to watch let alone do when one is not as fit as they used to be, with your demonstration it is much much more manageable and shall be attempting it.
    great thank you

  6. Joel

    Absolutely wonderful John
    You are the best tutor I’ve found anywhere
    And I’ve watched dozens of vids

  7. Paula

    It great to see an esay way to learn how to do the burpees.
    I have 4 knee surgery, do you think it would be very dificult to do?

  8. Miriam

    Thank you for the tutorial. I have a complex when it comes to burpees that I want to overcome. Thank you for your tutorial; I’m going to take it slow and work my way to level 5!

  9. Roger Carr

    A burpee is an amazeballs, full body physical exertion that plays a cardinal role in building aerobic and anaerobic fitness as well as in improving the muscular strength and endurance. It is an indispensable cross-training for the runners. Listen- the burpee comprises of so many complex moves. That is the reason why the beginner burpee schedule is different from that of intermediate burpee schedule. Here, John has pointed out some prominent beginner level burpee workouts. I think the guy who has not performed any kind of burpee yet, he should start his burpee pattern by executing the above exercises in order to avoid improper coordination and stay away from the undesirable injuries.

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