Prison burpees are one of the best calisthenic or bodyweight exercise that work your entire body.
You can do them on their own for an easy and productive workout or you can include them in high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts.
They help improve your fitness, crush calories, and develop magnificent levels of muscular and mental endurance. Nonetheless, they are also quite challenging and most exercisers love to hate them as they can leave you in total exhaustion.
You can tell from the name; that they are the ultimate jail cell exercise. In addition to being a total body workout, you do not need a lot of space to perform them. Prisoners use them to help them stay fit and pass the time.
However, it should not be misunderstood that they are only limited to inmates. They can be modified to suit beginners, intermediate and advanced exercisers.
Technically, the prison burpees are complex as they are literary several exercises done back-to-back to create a sequence. Those exercises are: Squat, squat thrust, push-up, and squat jump.
HOW TO DO PRISON BURPEES
Here is a step-by-step procedure of how to do the exercise:
- Start by standing with your feet together and your hands by your side.
- Squat down with your hands flat on the floor in front of your feet shoulder-width apart. Do not round your lower back.
- Kick your feet out and back into a push-up position
- Perform one push up; bend your arms and lower your chest to touch the floor lightly then push back up to full arm extension.
- Jump your feet back up to your hands, your knees between your elbows.
- Lean up into the air as high as you can, keeping your back straight. Land back with your knees slightly bent.
- Repeat 20-25 reps per set for 3 sets with 45 seconds between each set.
PRISON BURPEES MUSCLES WORKED
The movement is a fullbody workout. All your major muscles are guaranteed a good workout with the most notable exceptions being your biceps and latissimus dorsi muscles.
These muscles are located on the front of your thighs and are responsible for knee extension.
They are located on the back of your thighs and are responsible for knee flexion and hip extension.
This large butt muscle is responsible for hip extension.
This is a collective term for the muscles of your lower back which are also engaged.
The core is also engaged to provide stability.
This muscle is located on the back of your upper arm and is responsible for extending your elbow.
The pecs are located on the front of your chest and they flex your shoulder horizontally.
The deltoid muscles are your shoulder muscles and are divided into three; anterior, medial, and posterior. They all work together during the exercise, but the anterior deltoid is the most active.
This muscle is divided into two; the iliacus and the psoas major. It is located at the top of the front of your hips and it is your main hip flexor.
This is the collective term for your two calf muscles. It consists of the gastrocnemius, which is the larger, uppermost muscle, and the smaller, lowermost soleus.
PRISON BURPEES BENEFITS
As seen, the movement is a straightforward exercise as it works almost every major body muscle at one go. Thus, it is quite functional.
Doing a high-rep set of the movement will help you crush lots of calories during the performance and also increase your metabolism afterward. Hence, it is a go to exercise if you want to get lean or just avoid gaining weight.
INCREASE LEG POWER
Power is your ability to generate force quickly. As discussed above, the prison burpees involve a squat jump which helps to improve your leg muscle power.
BUILD YOUR CARDIOVASCULAR FITNESS
The exercise is also a cardiovascular workout as doing them increases your heart and breathing rate. Thus, it is a good fitness builder and a great alternative to jump rope, jumping jacks, and jogging.
PRISON BURPEES ALTERNATIVES
The beginner burpees are great if you are new to burpees. Here, you just squat down, jump your feet out and back, then back in and stand up. Add the push-up once you get stronger and then work up to doing the prison burpees.
DOUBLE PUSH-UP BURPEES
Just as the name suggests, here do two push-ups instead of one to increase the upper body work per rep.
180-DEGREE TURN BURPEES
The 180 degree turn burpees add an extra coordination challenge. At the end of each burpee, you’ll need to do a 180-degree jump, so that you land facing the opposite direction.
LATERAL JUMP BURPEES
For the lateral jump burpees, do your burpees while standing sideways onto a knee-high hurdle. When it’s time to do the jump, leap sideways over the hurdle and into your next rep.
PRISON BURPEES TIPS AND MISTAKES TO AVOID
The exercise involves a lot of coordination, and the more you tire, the worse your form gets. Performing the exercise with poor form can lead to injuries and minimal results.
Ensure you keep your feet flat on the floor as you lower into the first squat.
As you squat, don’t just bend over from your waist. Squat all the way down such that your hips are below your knees when you put your hands on the floor for the push-up.
As you lower into a squat, do it quickly but under control for the sake of your knees.
Do not dive onto your hands for the push-up as this may hurt your wrists.
Ensure your core is tight throughout; avoid your hips dropping out of proper alignment.
As you do the push-up, ensure your neck is in a neutral position. Do not lower your head toward the floor.
As you leap into the air, do so on flat feet to reduce straining your knees.
Ensure you always land on slightly bent knees so as to absorb the impact which could hurt your feet, ankles, knees, hips, or back.
Although the prison burpees are very low-tech, their total conditioning effect is unmatched. Besides they not only strengthen your body but also your mind. Proper form is key to get the most from the exercise and prevent injury. Alternating between the different burpees will keep your workouts fresh and exciting.