Being active is becoming a crucial part of any healthy lifestyle.
Whether it’s walking, jogging, cycling, swimming, cross-fit or targeted muscle exercises, all of these are important to maintain a lean and strong body.
Walking or swimming may seem more appealing to some individuals while others may prefer jogging or cross fit.
Why is that?
Because some prefer high-impact exercises to burn more calories and others prefer low-impact exercises to avoid putting too much stress and pressure on their joints and overall body.
Which is best though?
There is no right or wrong.
It all depends on your fitness level, your endurance and whether you believe that high intensity workouts = more calories burnt = Better overall results.
I’m a firm believer that when done correctly, any exercise will greatly improve strength and endurance.
Depending on your fitness level, some exercises can be more advanced and it can take quite some time for your body to accomplish a certain exercise effectively.
So give it time and be consistent.
In this article, I will be discussing two specific exercises that have captured my attention: The “burpee” and the “catwalk”.
If you’re new to exercise, you may find these terms a bit funky. They are in fact interesting terms to be used in the fitness world.
So, where do the burpee and catwalk exercises come from?
According to Wikipedia, a burpee is a high-impact full body exercise used in strength training and as an aerobic exercise.
This is an intermediate exercise and targets multiple muscle groups at once while turning the body into fat burning machine.
It was apparently named after an American physiologist called Royal H. Burpee, who was the developer of the burpee test.
In the 1940s, Royal H. Burpee created the “burpee” exercise as part of his Ph.D. thesis as a quick and simple way to assess fitness.
The catwalk on the other hand, is a term used in the modelling world to describe the way models walk on the Runway to show off clothing and accessories.
In the fitness world however, this exercise is starting to gain popularity as fitness experts are recommending its implementation as part of a low-impact exercise routine which can be done without any equipment.
This exercise is also intermediate and allows targeting specific muscles all while improving balance and working the body as a whole.
It does however require some flexibility especially in the back of the legs but this can easily be gained with time and practice.
How to perform a burpee and a catwalk exercise?
There are so many variations of a burpee and performing them depends on the individual’s level of fitness and cardio strength.
For the sake of this article, I’ll only be speaking to the basic burpee which is pretty straight forward and intended for people like myself ;).
- All you need to do to perform a standard burpee is to:
First: Stand straight (feet at shoulder-width) while keeping the back always straight and squatting down while placing hands on the floor.
Second: While placing your weight on your hands, jump back into a pushup position. Note: make sure to keep the core as tight as possible all the time while on the pushup position.
Third: Drop the belly to the floor or if you’re capable of performing an actual pushup, then go for it!
Forth: Jump feet to hands at once (not stepping hands to feet) and stand back up straight.
Fifth: Jump up as high as you can with your hands pointing to the ceiling and back to a standing position.
- A catwalk is performed as follows:
First: Stand straight (feet at shoulder-width).
Second: While keeping legs as straight as possible with soft knees, bend towards the floor.
Third: Now walk hands forward all the way to a push up position.
Fourth: Stay there for a few seconds if you’re able to and reverse action by walking back with your hands and returning back to standing straight.
Benefits of a burpee and a catwalk exercise
Both of these exercises are well rated since they can be done quickly at the gym or at home without any required equipment.
They both target specific groups of muscles such abdominals, back muscles, arm muscles, leg muscles and glutes.
There are definitely some similarities between the two exercises such as starting from a standing straight position with a straight back which is highly recommended to avoid injuries to lower back and being in a pushup position for a few seconds.
In a burpee, the benefits stem from the jumping part as it seems to be effective in burning fat since this provides a cardio workout while targeting stubborn fat deposits areas like the hips (i.e. Cellulite).
Although some fitness experts are sounding the alarm in regards to the risks of this exercise on the body, many individuals are still performing burpees as part of their exercise routine since it is a full-body move and can strength multiple muscle groups at once.
There is unnecessary violent pressure put on the lower back especially when feet are landing between the hands while still grounded.
The recommended approach when performing a burpee is landing the feet outside of the hands. Not many individuals follow this rule though and they end up injured as a result.
Also, when abruptly dropping to a plank position, the wrists and the front part of the shoulders (the weakest area in the body) are undergoing a lot of stress especially during repetitions.
The risk of injury is higher if you have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome for example.
The catwalk exercise is a low impact exercise which improves flexibility and allows certain muscles in the legs and arms to stretch.
This is a great exercise if you have wrist pain, back pain and leg pain.
The stretches are gentle and the gradual move to plank positioning is ideal especially if you suffer from the Syndrome of Carpal Tunnel (i.e. painful wrists).
Morale of the story
Any form of exercise is good for a strong and healthy body.
If you are looking for a variation and low impact exercise but want the same benefits of a burpee, you can give the catwalk exercise a try and see for yourself.
Always keep in mind that performing exercises the right way will ensure you are engaging the right group of muscles and avoiding serious injuries.
Note: It is recommended to seek guidance from a fitness expert or experienced coach for optimal results.
I hope you enjoyed this post. If you have questions, you can leave them in the comments below and I’ll be glad to respond.
Have a great day!