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Better Than Burpees

sandbag exercises

When it comes to a lot of things in our lives we like to spend time on “better”. Can even something like burpees find better?

Better tv shows

Better computers

Better shoes

Better cars

We TYPICALLY look for better, that is except for exercises. Some how we have been fed and believe the line, “everything works”. To some degree this thought process works, but it depends on really two things. The first is defining “works for what?”, the second is understanding something may work, but does something work better?

By believing everything works we sorta get thrown into this idea that just do “stuff” and you will get great results. The reality is the same people that tell you this have a handful of movements or equipment they believe works better.

An example I wanted to give was the burpee. Does the burpee work? Well, the burpee will absolutely get your heart rate up. It does have the potential to improve your endurance and burn body fat. However, I think some times other things can work better.

sandbag thruster

That would be the thruster. Why? For one, we test overall body mobility and stability because of taking the weight overhead. Research has found that taking weight overhead actually does more for the core than even deadlifts and squats (1). Makes a lot of sense as a lot of the core is to not allow inappropriate movement and lifting the weight overhead gives a HUGE lever arm on the core!

This is important because during the burpee the number one place people fail is understanding how to stabilize their core!

Secondly, we have more options to challenge movement and be progressive for beginners to advance trainees. We can alter range of motion, speed, and positions far easier in the thruster than the burpee.

Lastly, we can add progressive resistance to the thruster so we can get a strength and conditioning effect in many more ways than the burpee. If you don’t believe me take DVRT Master, Troy Anderson’s Purgatory WOD, and watch some of these DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training thruster variations!

If you love these DVRT workouts make sure not to miss our summer sale where you can save 25% on ANY of our DVRT workout programs HERE


Willardson JM, Fontana FE, Bressel E. (2009). Effect of surface stability on core muscle activity for dynamic resistance exercises. International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance, 4, 97-109