The pushup is an important component of the burpee.
Burpees are a really tough exercise, but they have become a common part of several home-training programs. They combine a pushup and squat-jump into one whole-body movement. Love them or hate them, or both, burpees will give you a run for your money. They are one of the most effective whole-body exercises you can do, and including them in your workouts regularly will help you get stronger, fitter and faster.
Burpees will help you to improve the overall strength of your body. The move targets the upper body -- arms, chest and upper back -- throughout the pushup element, and hits the lower body -- quadriceps, hamstrings, calves, hips and glutes -- during the up/down movement and jump. Warm up before starting your burpee routine as all of these muscles are going to take a beating, and you don't want an injury to sideline you.
Burpees are so difficult because they rely on you executing them at a reasonably fast pace. If you do it slowly, you're not going to see anywhere near the amount of benefit you would if you were to do them quickly. You can add speed to every part of the burpee -- from jumping down to the ground, to how quickly you do the pushup, to how quickly you move back to the crouch position and jump up again. If you really want to push yourself, time your burpee session, then try to do it a bit more quickly the next time around.
Burpees are remarkably effective for increasing your cardio endurance and your muscular endurance. Recommended particularly for distance runners, burpees recruit a very high number of fast-twitch muscles fibers. Training those fibers allows the athlete to keep on going, whereas plain running training doesn't recruit anywhere near the same number of fibers -- and so inhibits performance. Burpees are a combination of resistance and cardio work, meaning that they trigger both aerobic and anaerobic responses from the body, which is why they're so effective for increasing your workout capacity.
Due to their stop-start nature, burpees fall into the HIIT (high-intensity interval training) category. Researchers from the "International Journal of Obesity" found that HIIT is one of the most effective ways to burn fat. Doing burpees will burn a significant amount of energy, and will continue to do so after you finish the workout, thanks to excess post-exercise oxygen consumption, or the EPOC effect.