Build strength, stamina, stability, and power with our Spartan-approved quick-hit Workout of the Day, NEW each week. Our SGX coaches share their favorite go-to exercises and workout gear to blast your bod and improve performance — without fail. Click here to view our complete workout database.
“The burpee is one of the most despised exercises ever created, yet, one of the most effective at building strength, power, and global muscle gains fast,” says SGX coach Todd M. Cambio, C.S.C.S. “It’s like the Olympic lift of the bodyweight world.”
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After all, if you break a burpee down into its parts, a burpee is a total-body exercise that recruits and grows lower-body power, core stability, and chest and triceps strength. Not to mention, by working your body’s biggest muscle at a high intensity and jacking up your heart rate, the burpee comes with a major caloric cost.
Sandbag Burpees: Make 'Em Harder
But what if regular ’ole burpees are too easy? OK, that’s highly unlikely, but if you’re really tight on time, adding a pancake sandbag is an efficient way to force your legs, shoulders, triceps, and core to work even harder. Plus, it ups recruitment in the lats and upper back, an area that burpees tend to otherwise go relatively easy on.
For a ridiculously good muscle-building, fat-burning workout in 10 minutes flat, Cambio recommends performing as many reps of sandbag burpees as you can with absolutely perfect form every minute on the minute for 10 total rounds. (Note: Recording yourself with your phone can help to keep you honest on your form. Review it at the end of your workout to help you pinpoint any areas to work on or if you need to dial back your rep count to ensure better form.) Whatever your level, don’t do any more than 30 seconds of burpees per round; you’ll need ample rest to continue putting in quality work.
“These are not race burpees, these are maximum-muscle-recruitment burpees,” Cambio says. “They’re hardstyle Spartan burpees.”
Featured Gear: Spartan Pancake Sandbag
This WOD features the Spartan Pancake Sandbag. A versatile strength and conditioning tool, it’s constructed of heavy-duty elastic neoprene and sealed with a custom double-reinforced Velcro closure to withstand the toughest workouts. Press it, row it, slam it, give it what you’ve got! Plus, its size makes it a space-efficient addition to any home gym.
Sandbag Burpees Instructions:
- Stand tall and hold a pancake sandbag on front of your hips with both hands.
- Hinge your hips back behind you and place the sandbag on the floor. Continue to grip both edges with your hands. Hop your feet back behind you to get in a plank position.
- Row your chest to the sandbag, then press through your chest and triceps to raise out of the push-up, focusing on maintaining a rigid core the entire time.
- Jump your feet back toward your hands so that you are again in a hip hinge with your hands on the floor, still clasping the sandbag.
- Pull through your back to simultaneously raise your torso and row the bag to your chest.
- Drive through your legs to stand back up and press the sandbag straight overhead, thruster-style. Maintain a strong core with your ribs pointed toward the floor. (Optional: If you’re feeling spicy, slam the sandbag to the floor.)
- Immediately descend into the next rep.