Two heads are better than one, but only when they’re working together. When it comes to strengthening your muscles, these two exercises work together to slide seamlessly into your schedule.
Burpees and squats are a perfect pair. Like so many complementary moves, one leads right into the other. Squats are effective for building a stronger lower body, while also improving your core. Burpees strengthen your arms and abdominals. The result is a do-anywhere routine that includes a solid cardio kick. It’s also a prime example of how build muscle without weights.
The easy 3-step squat method:
- Place feet shoulder-width apart.
- Raise your arms in front of you to shoulder height.
- Bend your knees until your thighs are parallel with the floor. Keep your abs tight and your back straight. Hold here for a few seconds.
Once you’ve mastered squats, here’s a great way to amp them up: Instead of returning to a standing position, turn that squat into a simple two-piece routine by moving right into a burpee.
The easy 3-step burpee method:
- Put your hands on the floor slightly wider than shoulder-width and pop your legs back into the starting point for a push-up.
- Hold this plank position for a few seconds, then pull your legs forward between your hands. Slowly rise back into a squat with your arms in front of you at shoulder height.
- Straighten up into a standing position, and repeat.
- Week 1) 2 sets – 5 squats, 5 burpees
- Week 2) 3 sets – 5 squats, 5 burpees
- Week 3) 3 sets – 7 squats, 7 burpees
- Week 4) 3 sets – 10 squats, 10 burpees
- Week 5) 3 sets – 12 squats, 12 burpees
Try this routine two or three days a week, a few days apart, and you’ll see your strength increase in all the muscles being activated through these two powerful exercises.
Amp it up: Boost the cardio and muscle-building benefits of this routine by adding a push-up at the beginning of each burpee, and jumping into the air when you stand up at the end of each one.
Think you can’t build muscle easily? Think again! You can!
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Adam Bisby is a Toronto-based freelance journalist and father of two. His award-winning stories have appeared in The Globe and Mail, Toronto Star and National Post newspapers, in magazines like Explore, Reader’s Digest, International Traveller and Canadian Family, and on websites including MSN, MSN Canada, and DontChangeMuch.ca. Visit Adam’s website for more details on his award winning work.