"Burpees incorporate the entire body and are an efficient way to raise the heart rate quickly; being able to perform a safe burpee not only challenges cardiovascular endurance, but it also strengthens the legs, core, chest, and back," says personal trainer Lacee Lazoff.
But if you can't do a burpee, you're not alone—they're hard, and might not be for everyone, anyway. Although burpees can be beneficial, Lazoff says that they can unintentionally stress the knees, lower back, and hips if the movement is misaligned and performed incorrectly.
The good news: You can still reap the benefits of this total-body movement without actually doing it, thanks to the walk-out squat, which is another total-body movement that targets the glutes, quads, hamstrings, core, and chest.
"It benefits all the areas targeted in a traditional burpee, with more of an emphasis on squats," says Lazoff.
A few things to keep in mind when doing this move: Keep your weight in your heels, your back flat, and your abdominals engaged. And breathe out whenever you push away from the ground.
Complete this sequence one time through. As you build strength, work up to completing the series 5 times.
Stand with your feet directly beneath your shoulders. Bend your knees and hinge at the hips to bring your hands to the floor.
Walk your hands forward to a plank position, with your hands underneath your shoulders and a flat back.
Complete a push-up on your knees. Lower your chest toward the ground, hugging your elbows slightly back and to the sides when you lower down. (If you would like to intensify the push-up, extend your legs straight to start from a full plank pose.)
Come back to plank position, and walk each foot up to meet your hands, reaching a squat position with your chest upright and knees behind toes. Stand up fully, then lower back down to a squat position.
Step 5: Repeat this sequence in reverse order: plank, push-up, walk hands back to toes, and stand up—while keeping your back flat.
Photographs courtesy of Lacee Lazoff.