BURPEES! UGH! Everybody hates them; everybody loves them! Don’t know what a burpee is? It’s a multi-step exercise that essentially combines a squat and push-up, and adding a jump at the end, working muscles in the upper and lower body simultaneously.

What's more, because the exercise involves multiple movements and is repeated, it provides a cardiovascular workout that can't be beat. Plus it burns a lot of calories in a short amount of time which is great if you’re trying to lose weight. Read on and then try one for yourself...

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How to Do It

1. Stand with feet shoulder width apart, arms by sides.
2. Bend knees as you squat; avoid rounding your back.
3. Push out your legs behind you and drop hands to the floor, assuming push-up position.
4. Do push-up and as you complete the repetition, pull your legs in toward your chest.
5. Using your hands to assist if needed, return from squat position by jumping up off the floor.

Some people like to do each burpee deliberately, moving from one position to the next; others prefer to combine steps into essentially one free-flowing movement: stand, drop, push, jump. Experiment and see what works best for you. (You'll probably choose the latter strategy as you become more comfortable with the movement.) The keys are to keep your core tight and focus on the movement; you don't want to put your back at risk or lose your balance.

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