This 12-minute Tabata workout is one of those do-anywhere, do-anytime kind of workouts. Move through lunges, air plunges and side jumps to activate the legs, core, and upper body all while getting your heart rate up.

What exactly is Tabata?

The Tabata workout method was created by Dr. Izumi Tabata, a Japanese professor, while he was researching the efficiency of Japan’s Olympic speed skating team. His studies found that high-intensity interval training (HIIT) improved aerobic capacity (the heart and lungs’ ability to get oxygen to muscles) and anaerobic capacity (ability to exercise at a high intensity for a longer period of time) as well.

12-minute full-body Tabata workout

Tabatas are performed for a total of 4 minutes – 20 seconds of intense activity followed by 10 seconds of rest for 8 rounds.

Tabata training is challenging, especially when you give it your all in each 20-second interval. In this workout you’ll do three different 4-minute Tabatas, resulting in 12 minutes of hard exercise.

Grab a stopwatch or use your phone and get moving. Leave 30-60 seconds in between Tabatas to rest and allow your heart rate to come down.

Tabata #1: Alternating back lunges, hands behind head

This exercise targets the lower body. Engage your core throughout to stabilize as you lunge backward and forward. To modify, rest your hands on your hips or hold hand weights by your side. Remember not to let your front knee extend beyond your toes, keep your neck long and shoulders relaxed.

Complete 8 rounds of 20 seconds on, 10 seconds of rest.

How to do back lunges (reverse lunges):

  1. Stand with feet shoulder-width distance apart and place your hands lightly behind head (like a crunch)

  2. Step backward with one leg, bending the knee to drop hips

  3. Descend until rear knee nearly touches floor and the front knee comes directly above the ankle

  4. Return to start position by driving through heel of front foot while pushing off rear foot

Tabata #2: Air plunge

Your core will feel the burn in this second Tabata. Count how many air plunges you do in the first 20 seconds, then try to maintain that pace for all 8 rounds. As you move, keep your neck and shoulders relaxed. Engage your core throughout the entire movement and keep your lower back on the ground at all times. If you need extra support, place your hands under your butt.

How to do air plunges:

  1. Lie on your back with hands extended by your sides and lower back pressed into the floor

  2. Bring knees to chest and kick straightened legs up to lift hips off the floor

  3. Tuck knees in toward stomach then extend legs straight to hover several inches above the floor

  4. Tuck knees back to start position

Tabata #3: Side jumps

The last Tabata is all cardio. To power through this one, recruit the strength of your legs and core. Keep your chest up and core engaged throughout the entire movement. Stay light on your feet and make it more challenging by turning it into a tuck jump moving side-to-side.

How to do side jumps:

  1. Stand with feet hip-width distance apart and bend at knees while driving your hips back

  2. Forcefully push off the floor, jumping to the right

  3. Land softly with a bend in the knees to absorb the impact, then jump to the left

  4. Alternate between sides until the 20 seconds is up

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The more effort you put in, the better results. Work your hardest during every 20-second interval and the 12 minutes will be over before you know it.

The Full-Body Tabata Workout You Can Do In Your Living Room

Think you need a rack of dumbbells, cardio equipment, and a gymnasium to get in a good workout? Think again. This at-home Tabata workout from genius trainer Kaisa Keranen (a.k.a. @kaisafit, the mastermind behind our 30-day Tabata challenge) requires no equipment except your body-but that doesn’t mean it won’t fry your muscles.

If you haven’t done Tabata before, here’s the gist: go as hard as you can for 20 seconds, then rest for 10 seconds. This isn’t the time to tread lightly; you should be feeling it almost instantly. That being said, give yourself a brief warm-up (some walking, bodyweight squats, dynamic stretching, or this quick routine) to get moving before you tackle these tough moves.

How it works: for 20 seconds, do as many reps as possible (AMRAP) of the first move. Rest for 10 seconds, then move on to the next move. Repeat the circuit 2 to 4 times.

Side Plank Dip & Reach

A. Start in a right side plank, balancing on the right palm and the side of the right foot, left arm extended towards the ceiling.

B. Drop right hip to tap ground, then raise hips back up to side plank, sweeping left arm overhead, bicep next to ear.

Do AMRAP for 20 seconds, rest for 10 seconds. Do every other round on the opposite side.

Lunge to Forward Hop

A. Step backward with right leg into a reverse lunge.

B. Push off both feet to switch legs in the air and hop slightly forward, landing softly on right leg, left leg kicking up towards glute.

C. Immediately jump right foot back and lower into a reverse lunge on the same side.

Do AMRAP for 20 seconds, rest for 10 seconds. Do every other round on the opposite side.

Plank with Knee Drive & Kick Out

A. Start in a high plank position.

B. Drive right knee in towards left elbow, rotating hips to the left.

C. Straighten right leg and swing it out to the right, as if trying to touch right shoulder.

Do AMRAP for 20 seconds, rest for 10 seconds. Do every other round on the opposite side.

Curtsey Lunge to Lateral & Front Kick

A. Step back and to the left with the right foot, lowering into a curtsey lunge, hands on hips.

B. Press into left foot and stand, swinging straight right leg out to the side, then forward, then to the side again.

C. Lower back into curtsey lunge to begin next rep. Keep movements slow and controlled.

Do AMRAP for 20 seconds, rest for 10 seconds. Do every other round on the opposite side.

  • By Lauren Mazzo @lauren_mazzo

After we put up our last 5 day challenge “Fitness Blender’s 5 Day Workout Challenge to Burn Fat & Build Lean Muscle” we got a lot of requests for not only more of them but also one that was geared for those with not a lot of time on their hands. We listened to your requests and have put together our newest challenge, “Fitness Blender’s 5 Day Workout Challenge for Busy People”. In this workout challenge we have modified the workouts to make them maximally effective while keeping to a 30 minute or less time limit. Like in our last challenge both of us will be in each video and we will be showing intermediate to advanced modifications so very few people will not be able to find a version of this challenge that works for them.

To do this workout it is highly recommended that you have a set of dumbbells to choose from however, if you don’t have access to any equipment don’t worry, you can easily modify the exercises to use some other weighted object. In fact, you can even just use no equipment at all and still get in a great workout.

Workout Structure:

  • Length: 30 Minutes
  • Strategy: HIIT and lower body strength training for the butt and thighs
  • Equipment: Optional dumbbells (we use & love PowerBlock adjustable dumbbells)
  • Calories Burned: 126-248

About this routine: This is a fat blasting HIIT and lower body strength blend that’s great for toning the thighs, lifting the butt, and improving the overall shape and tone of the lower body. After a quick cardio warm up, we move right into a HIIT cardio and strength training routine for the lower body. The HIIT portion uses intervals of 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off, four times through. As soon as we wrap up that intense cardio interval, we move directly into one round of a strength training exercise for the butt and thighs (of varying reps). To get the most out of each short strength exercise, it’s very important to lift as heavily as you can while still maintaining clean form.

Printable Workout

(Cardio Warm Up)

  1. HIIT: Kick Up + Lunge
  2. Strength: 8 Deadlifts – Kelli is lifting 48 lbs total, Daniel is lifting 30 lbs total
  1. HIIT: Jump Squats
  2. Strength: 8 Clean & Press (alternating, on each side) – Kelli is lifting 15 lbs total, Daniel is lifting 10 lbs total
  1. HIIT: Ski to Sumo Squat
  2. Strength: 25(ish) Kettlebell Swings (yeah we lost count!) – Kelli is lifting 21 lbs total, Daniel is lifting 10 lbs total
  1. HIIT: Plank Jacks
  2. Strength: 8 Bridges – Kelli is lifting 30 lbs total, Daniel is lifting 0 lbs total
  1. HIIT: 2 Knee Switchfoot
  2. Strength: 8 Double Dip Squats – Kelli is lifting 18 lbs total, Daniel is lifting 0 lbs total

Find the rest of the program here:

  • Currently on Day 1
  • 5 Day Workout Challenge for Busy People: Day 2/5
  • 5 Day Workout Challenge for Busy People: Day 3/5
  • 5 Day Workout Challenge for Busy People: Day 4/5
  • 5 Day Workout Challenge for Busy People: Day 5/5

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START this 5-day challenge on MONDAY! Get ready for a week of healthy inspiration!

“Every pro was once an amateur. Every expert was once a beginner. So dream big, and start now.”

I love this quote. It always helps me remember the small, consistent daily strategies are the ones that really make the difference. If we knew the back story of every person we admire for their success, for their physique, for their achievements, I am 100% positive we would discover they were once in our shoes. There is NO difference between you and the most successful people you know – except action.

And if you want to know one thing you can do today to take ACTION and make a change in your life, I’ll give you one. In fact, I’ll give you one a day for the next 5 days. Add in 5 1-minute exercises each day, and you’re good to go!

This challenge is self-paced. Just Bookmark this web page, and each day click on the associated link below with the information about how to do that day’s challenge.

  • Each day you’ll do the body weight exercises listed for 1 minute each. The goal is to hit the same number of reps each day, or increase them – so keep track and post below in comments to tell me how many you did 🙂

Click on Each of the Links Below to Expand each Day’s Challenge.

FOOD:

Monday: no added sugar

Tuesday: make a green smoothie – and continue the no added sugar.

Wednesday: meet your water requirements plus make a green smoothie, plus no added sugar.

Thursday: pack your food for the day, meet water requirements, have a green smoothie and no added sugar

Friday: find a new healthy recipe or food to try! And, you guessed it – pack your food for the day, meet your water requirement, have a green smoothie, and no added sugar.

Just adding one new thing a day for 5 days is totally do-able.

Every single strategy in this challenge will help you burn fat naturally, branch out with your food (variety adds a wider spectrum of nutrients), and increase your energy a ton.

FITNESS:

Do each of these bodyweight moves for a minute each, on each day. Post in the comments below the daily post with how many you did, and if you did them for accountability!

This can be in addition to your regular workouts, or on its own. It’s just a commitment you make to yourself to do something each day that involves movement and consistency. Show yourself you can!

Plank

Bicycle

Jump Squat

Push-up

Lunge

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In 2015, I finally committed to strength training. No more whining about how it wasn’t my favorite thing to do, time to just get it done.

The results are definitely part of what’s kept me going, I like seeing those muscles!! But the other piece is that I don’t need to spend hours in a gym to get in a strength workout, there are a ton of body weight moves that work especially well for runners.

I love what weights can do for the body, but I’m challenging everyone to bust excuses this month by realizing that even just one small thing each day can add up!!! {Featuring Champion Smooth Tech Sports Bra — Love the look, the minimal seams and quick drying}

Lookout muscle building in progress!!! Not sure I’ll ever bust in to the gym in just my sports bra, but that’s another reason I love working out at home with body weight moves!

So if you’re already feeling tapped out on time, but know you NEED to get some strength training in your plan this 30 day is all about getting started. It also gets you started on creating the habit strength work as a standard part of your standard routine.
HERE is the 30 day challenge: Do just these 3 basic moves for 10 reps daily.

Your time is precious, which means the perfect workout may not always happen. Instead I’m challenging you to find little moments throughout the day to move in ways that recharge you mentally, physically and emotionally!

I love these 3 basic moves because they can work your entire body and focus on some of the areas where runners most need to build strength! Powerful arms, propel us uphill, a powerful core allows us to run tall and powerful glutes mean less injuries.

3 Moves, 30 Days, Better Running! Are you in? #runchat

PUSH UPS
Drop the idea that a push up from your knees doesn’t count! If getting on your knees means you can actually take your chest all the way to the floor you’ll get more muscle work out of that full movement than a little bob up and down at the top.

Can’t do that yet? Start by doing push ups with your hands on a bench, a chair or the wall. As you get stronger work your way down to the floor.

Works: Chest, arms, abs, upper back

SQUATS
Doing a squat with good form is the key to all kinds of injury prevention!! Butt back, chest up and watch those knees to keep them from flaring out.

Feel free to switch it up by putting one foot up on a stair, actually squatting in to a chair and standing up or squatting on one leg.

Works: Legs, glutes, abs, lower back

TRICEP DIPS
No bat wings here, we’re keeping it tight. These can be done easily on any bench or chair, but also from the ground. Place both hands on the chair palms down, with fingers pointing towards your bum. Keeping your elbows tucked in to your sides, lower yourself down and up…make it a goal to increase your range of motion over time.

Ground option: In a reverse table top position, you can bend those elbows to drop the bootie…want an added bonus try raising your left leg and tapping the foot with your right hand as you dip.

Works: Arms, back and core

My other favorite tip to ENSURE your workouts happen?? Keep a gym bag always ready in the car or near the door so you can grab and go!

27 Body Weight Workouts for Runners
Strength Training for Runners

How many of these moves can you fit in?

Can you challenge yourself to do a few more push ups each day?

Other ways to connect with Amanda
Instagram: RunToTheFinish

Facebook: RunToTheFinish

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This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Champion. The opinions and text are all mine.

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While it’s important to treat yourself, especially this time of year, it doesn’t have to mean you put on 10 pounds or let your abs go into hibernation. That’s why we partnered with Fitbit and The Biggest Loser‘s Dolvett Quince to bring you a training program easy enough to do at home but hardcore enough to get you serious results.

To do that, this program incorporates many different elements of training. On some days, you’ll work your aerobic system through steady-state runs. On others, you’ll focus on jacking up your heart rate and strengthening your whole body using strategies like EMOM, where you perform a certain number of reps of a move within a minute, rest for the rest of the minute and then start again (the incentive: push yourself to move fast so you’ll have more time to rest), and Tabata, where you do an exercise for 20 seconds, rest for 10, then repeat. Both of these methods are great for helping you to torch fat and calories while also building muscle.

The best part: There’s no equipment needed outside of a pair of running shoes. All of the strength moves, like pushups, air squats, and situps, utilize your own bodyweight. So no matter where your travels take you this holiday season, you’ve got no excuse to skip one day of this program.

Watch Day 6 of the program here in The Rapid Fire Heart Rate Workout >>>

Ready for more? .

Day 1: Strength

A) 10-minute alternating EMOM*
-1st minute: 15 push-ups
-2nd minute: 15 air-squats
-time after exercise before the next minute is your rest
*repeat 4 more times*

B) 10-minute alternating EMOM
-1st minute: 7 Plank Push-Ups (each arm)
-2nd minute: 15 squat-jumps

C) Run 1 mile

*EMOM means: every minute on the minute do the specified reps, then rest for the remainder of the minute

The Best Bodyweight Workout of All Time>>>

Day 2: Cardio

A) 6:4 Run/Walk 30 minutes

-Run for 6 minutes

-Walk for 4 minutes

-Do this for 30 minutes

B) 4 rounds of tabata* sit-ups

*Tabata means work for 20 seconds then rest for 10 seconds (that’s 1 round)

The Best Jump-Rope Workout>>>

Day 3: Strength

A) 5-minute push-up EMOM

-15 reps each minute

B) 5-minute air-squat EMOM

-15 reps each minute

C) Run .5 miles

D) 5-minute plank push-up EMOM

-7 reps each arm

E) 5-minute squat-jump EMOM

-15 reps

F) Run .5 miles

3 Ways to Improve Your Pushup>>>

Day 4: Active-Recovery

-Walk 2.5 miles

The 6 Best Ways to Recover From Your Workout>>>

Day 5: Cardio

A) 6 rounds of:

-Run .5 miles

-15 sit-ups

Total Work= 3 miles & 90 sit-ups

Instant Running Motivation>>>

Day 6: Strength

A) 15 minute alternating EMOM

-1st minute: 15 push-ups

-2nd minute: 15 burpees

-3rd minute: 30-second plank

B) 12 minute alternating EMOM

-1st minute: 7 plank push-ups (each arm)

-2nd minute: 15 squat-jumps

C) Run 1.5 miles

WATCH: This workout on in The Rapid Fire Heart Rate Workout Video >>>

Day 7: Cardio

A) 3 rounds of:

-Run 1 mile

-30 sit-ups

Total Work=3 miles & 90 sit-ups

Get a 5K PR in Just 4 Weeks>>>

Day 8: Active-Recovery

-Run 1 mile

The Weird Way to Burn 20 Percent More Calories Just By Walking>>>

Day 9: Strength

A) 10-minute alternating EMOM

-1st minute: 20 push-ups

-2nd minute: 20 air-squats

B) 10 minute alternating EMOM

-1st minute: 8 plank push-ups (each arm)

-2nd minute: 20 squat-jumps

C) Run 1.5 miles

Get Stronger: 7 Reasons to Never Neglect Squats>>>

Day 10: Cardio

A) 7:3 Run/Walk 30 minutes

-Run for 7 minutes

-Walk for 3 minutes

-Do this for 30 minutes

B) 6 rounds of tabata sit-ups

5 Track Workouts for Speed, Power, And Endurance>>>

Day 11: Strength

A) 5-minute push-up EMOM

-20 reps each minute

B) 5-minute air-squat EMOM

-20 reps each minute

C) Run .75 miles

D) 5-minute plank push-up EMOM

-8 reps each arm, every minute

E) 5-minute squat-jump EMOM

-20 reps each minute

F) Run .75 miles

8 Amazing Fat-Burning Intervals>>>

Day 12: Active Recovery

-Walk 3 miles

7 Early-Morning Stretches to Build A Better Body>>>

Day 13: Cardio

A) 8 rounds of:

-Run .5 mile

-15 sit-ups

Total Work=4-mile run & 120 sit-ups

The Supercharged Fat-Loss Circuit>>>

Day 14: Strength

A) 15-minute alternating EMOM

-1st minute: 20 push-ups

-2nd minute: 20 air-squats

-3rd minute: 20 plank hip-taps

B) 12-minute alternating emom

-1st minute: 8 plank push-ups (each arm)

-2nd minute: 20 squat-jumps

C) Run 2 miles

The 9 Best Plyometrics Exercises for Muscle>>>

For access to exclusive gear videos, celebrity interviews, and more, subscribe on YouTube!

Sculpt Your Legs and Abs In 4 Minutes Flat

The magic of these moves, courtesy of Instagram fit-lebrity Kaisa Keranen (a.k.a. @KaisaFit), is that they’ll torch your core and legs, and recruit the rest of your body too. In just four minutes, you’ll get a workout that leaves you feeling like you just came off an hour-long gym sesh. The key? Go all out with effort, so you can feel-and see-the results.

How it works: for each move, do AMRAP (as many reps as possible) in 20 seconds, then rest for 10 seconds. (In case you’re not familiar, this is called a tabata workout.) Repeat the circuit two to four times for a quick, intense routine that will carve your legs and core. Want to challenge yourself even more? Add another circuit from Kaisa.

Lateral Lunge to Single-Leg Balance

A. Step right leg out into a lateral lunge. Place left hand on ground and lift right arm to the sky.

B. Drive off right foot to come to a single-leg balance on left leg.

Perform every other circuit on the opposite side.

Down Dog with Shin Taps to Push-Up

A. Lower into a push-up.

B. Push up to downward dog and tap left shin with right hand.

C. Lower back down, then push up to down dog and tap right shin with left hand.

Continue alternating.

Traveling In and Out Squat Jumps to Single-Leg Landing

A. From squat, jump to one-legged balance.

B. Jump back out to squat.

Continue jumping in and out, alternating legs.

Single-Leg Side Plank Hip Dips

A. Start in side plank, top leg hovering above bottom leg.

B. Lower hips until hovering slightly above ground. Repeat.

Perform every other circuit on the opposite side.

  • By Lauren Mazzo @lauren_mazzo

If you’re reading Men’s Health then your aim is to get fitter, right? But however much you want it, sometimes the desire to improve your fitness and actually go to the gym can get lost in the crevices between your career, your family and your social life. Which is why, if you’re not already familiar with it, you need to get to know tabata.

Tabata is traditionally a four-minute training technique where 20 seconds of balls-to-the-wall effort is followed by 10 seconds of rest for a total of eight rounds. What you do in those 20 seconds is pretty much up to you, but because of tabata’s brevity, it’s common to see bodyweight and compound movements, so exercises like burpees, being practised.

Not convinced that you can significantly boost your fitness with just four-minutes of work? Well, research published in the Journal of Sports Science & Medicine revealed tabata training significantly increased the VO2 max and power output of untrained college subjects. Better than that, because tabata incorporates lots of bodyweight movements, it can pretty much be done anywhere and anytime.

But before you get down to 20 seconds of squats, take a look through our complete guide to tabata, which, whether you’re a beginner or an experienced practitioner of the training protocol, will give you all the exercises, workouts and guidance you could ever need to keep your fitness on track.

With tabata, being time short is no longer an excuse.

What Is Tabata?

Tabata training is so called because of a study by Professor Izumi Tabata who, at the National Institute of Fitness and Sports in Tokyo, conducted research on two groups of athletes. Tabata had the first group training for an hour at moderate intensity for five days a week for a total of six weeks, while the second group trained for just four minutes five days a week.

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After six weeks, the second group showed significant improvements in their aerobic fitness alongside a 28 per cent increase in their anaerobic capacity. The study proved that it’s possible to improve both anaerobic and aerobic energy supply systems in a much shorter time frame than you’d expect.

How Does Tabata Work?

Your tabata workout may only last four minutes, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. In fact, far from it, you’ll be pushing yourself as hard as possible at around 90 per cent of your maximum heart-rate. The basic tabata template is:

  • Work out as hard as possible for 20 seconds
  • Rest for 10 seconds
  • Complete eight total rounds finishing as the clock hits four minutes

The spike in heart-rate is absolutely crucial when it comes to an effective tabata workout, but if you think it sounds a little similar to HIIT (high-intensity interval training), then you’re (partly) correct. However, “the heart rate on tabata needs to spike to 90 to 92 per cent of your max heart rate,” explains strength and conditioning coach James Crossley, who you may know as Hunter from Gladiators. “Regular circuit classes are in the 75 to 80 per cent region, plus the circuit times in a regular HIIT class are longer.”

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Which explains why tabata is so relentlessly effective on body fat. You’re working for less time, but you’re doing that at maximum output. “Your body will keep burning calories even after the workout has finished with the after burn effect,” explains Crossley.

“It does so through a process known as excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC), which can increase your calorie-burn for up to 16-24 hours after the workout.” The exercises you choose to include in your tabata training are up to you. For it to be a tabata, workout, you just have to ensure you’re leaving nothing in the tank.

simonkr

Tabata for Beginners: Things to Remember

Tabata is a great way of improving your overall fitness, but to get the most out of it you need to make sure you’re varying your exercise selection in order to test different muscle groups and to avoid injury.

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However, sticking to the same four-move tabata workout isn’t the only way rookies can ruin their gym sesh. If you’re new to tabata there are a few other mistakes that you should look to avoid:

  • Not getting the heart rate high enough. “Most people,” says Crossley, “are doing HIIT instead of true tabata.” Now you know the difference, make sure you’re not one of them.
  • Using isolation exercises and not compound moves. “Think squats, deadlifts and press-ups,” says Crossley. Compound exercises involve using multiple muscle groups and lend themselves perfectly to tabata training.
  • “Even though exercises are done quickly, you need to keep the form tight,” says Crossley, which means there’s no need to perform tabata like your going for a 1 rep max.

5 Best Tabata Exercises

There’s no denying that tabata is a seriously smart training protocol, but you have to consider how you go about doing it. What equipment can you access? Can you only work out at home? What can you lift? Most importantly, you should ask yourself how you can do it all with good form and without injuring yourself or others.

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Of course, some exercises are more suited to tabata training than others. You needn’t constantly chase PBs and shouldn’t worry about tearing iron from the floor or squatting until your vision goes fuzzy. Instead, bodyweight, kettlebell and dumbbell exercises lend themselves nicely to the high-intensity format of tabata, making it an ideal method for home workouts and for those strapped on time.

But what exercises are perfect for tabata? We’ve collected five of our favourites below.

Kettlebell Swings

Muscles worked: Glutes, back, shoulders, legs

  • Place a kettlebell a couple of feet in front of you.
  • Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart and bend your knees to lean forward and grab the handle with both hands.
  • With your back flat, engage your lats to pull the weight between your legs (be careful with how deep you swing) then drive your hips forward and explosively pull the kettlebell up to shoulder height with your arms straight in front of you.
  • Return to the start position and repeat without pauses.

Press-ups

Muscles worked: Chest, triceps, shoulders

  • Set up with your weight supported on your toes and hands beneath your shoulders, body straight.
  • Take care to keep your core locked so a straight line forms between your head, glutes and heels.
  • Lower your body until your chest is an inch from the ground then explosively drive up by fully extending your arms.

Burpees

Muscles worked: Legs, glutes, arms

  • From a standing position squat down until your thighs are parallel to the floor and place your palms on the floor.
  • From there, kick your feet back as far as you can while keeping your arms extended.
  • As soon as your feet land jump them back in towards your hands, then jump up into the air. Land and immediately squat down to go into the next rep.

Thrusters

Muscles worked: Quads, glutes, shoulders, arms

  • Hold two kettlebells or dumbbells by their handles but so the weight is resting on the back of your shoulder.
  • Slightly bend your knees and squat down, keeping your legs in line with your shoulders.
  • Drive through your legs and straighten them, extending your arms as you do so to raise the kettlebells or dumbbells above your head.
  • Squat down and repeat.

Bodyweight Squats

Muscles worked: Quads, glutes, hamstrings, calves

  • Stand with your feet shoulder width apart.
  • Start the movement by bending your knees and sitting back with your hips.
  • Go down as far as you can and quickly reverse the motion back to the starting position.
  • Keep your head up and back straight throughout the move.

Corey Jenkins

3 Best Tabata Workouts

Now you know the exercises, it’s time to get familiar with some tabata workouts. Below, we talk you through three sessions that will suit any style or training need — covering everything from running to strongman to just your bodyweight and more.

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If you feel unfamiliar with the moves, make sure to give them a go using a light load before beginning the workout.

The Ultimate Fat-Frying Home Tabata Workout

Instead of doing tabata training with just one exercise the entire time, you’ll do two – an upper-body exercise and a lower-body move – and alternate between them. That way you can keep the intensity high throughout the session, manage fatigue, and push for longer than just four minutes. The exercises are as low-skill and low-impact as possible, too. Keep the dumbbells light.

Work through each exercise below in order for 20 seconds, resting 10 seconds between each move. Once you complete all eight exercises, rest 1 minute. That’s one round. Do six total.

  • Jumping jack
  • Skier swing
  • Thruster
  • Rotational punch
  • Diagonal chop (switch sides halfway)
  • Discus (switch sides halfway)
  • Ground and pound
  • Speed Z press

Tabata Meets Strongman

This Tabata workout, created by Crossley, as part of our larger Fit at 40 series, focuses on 20-second periods of work, with a following 10 seconds rest, for four exercises. That’s one round. Go for three to four rounds for a huge fat-burn and a muscle-building booster. If you don’t have Atlas stones at your local gym, no problem – you can easily swap out moves. Try swapping the atlas stones for a D Ball and the yoke carry could be replaced by farmer’s walks. Just stick to a fast ROM and spike your heart-rate to 90-95 per cent to really turn your metabolism firing.

Tabata Workout for Runners

Work your way through two rotations of this runner-friendly workout, featuring ice-skaters, mountain climbers, burpees and squat jumps. Each of the four moves are ideal for an active recovery day or as a home bodyweight workout.

For each move, go for 20 seconds at maximum effort, followed by 10 seconds rest, repeated for eight times total.

Lateral Bounds: 20 secs on, 10 secs off x 8

  • Start in a half squat position.
  • Jump off your outward facing leg as far as possible before landing.
  • Immediately return to the other side.

Mountain Climbers: 20 secs on, 10 secs off x 8

  • Set up on the floor as though in a sprinter’s blocks, with one foot positioned beneath your waist and one back, with your leg straight.
  • Explosively swap foot positions.
  • Repeat for the prescribed reps.

Squat Jumps: 20 secs on, 10 secs off x 8

  • Squat down, keeping your back straight, until your thighs are parallel with the floor and your bum is about level with your knees.
  • Explode upwards into a jump, and go straight into the next squat.
  • Your toes should touch the floor first when you land, at the same time and parallel to each other.

Burpees: 20 secs on, 10 secs off x 8

  • From a standing position squat down until your thighs are parallel to the floor and place your palms on the floor.
  • From there kick your feet back as far as you can while keeping your arms extended.
  • As soon as your feet land jump them back in towards your hands, then jump up into the air. Land and immediately squat down to go into the next rep.

Best Apps and Timers for Tabata Training

So you’re up-to-scratch on all things tabata, from its roots to the best exercises, the worst mistakes and the best go-to workouts to burn fat and build muscle on overtime. All that’s left is to put it to the test. Below, we list a few of our go-to apps to ensure you’re working smarter and harder with your gym time.

Tabata HIIT Interval Training

With an average score of 4.7 out of 5, this iOS tabata app includes training plans tailored to your objective — from lower and upper body to fat burning and core work — and includes a calorie counter, detailed statistics and syncs with your Google Drive and Apple Health, if that’s your thing.

Tabata+

Priced at £0.99, you may be put off by paying for an app when you can get others for free. Tabata+ can be accessed through iPhones and iPads and remembers your training style through ‘my history’. You can customise your reps, sets and total round time using an easy user experience and smart timers.

Tabata Timer: Interval Timer and Workout Timer

With over a million downloads and an average rating of 4.9 stars, this is the best option if you’re looking for a tabata app to download for Android. Get to it!

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Edward Cooper Ed Cooper is the Deputy Digital Editor at Men’s Health UK, writing and editing about anything you want to know about — from tech to fitness, mental health to style, food and so much more.

If you’ve been honing in your fitness and nutrition, we’ve got just the plan to help you put the finishing touches on your physique to make your abs pop.

Of course, no superstar physique is made within one week. Guys like Arnold Schwarzenegger worked hard for years before they achieved their legendary musculature.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t make significant progress in one week. Pair this workout plan with a dedicated nutrition plan that emphasizes lean proten and clean carbs,

How to do it: Perform the exercise pairs (marked A and B) as alternating sets, resting the prescribed amount of time between each set. So you’ll do one set of A, rest, then one set of B, rest again, and repeat for all the prescribed sets. Perform the remaining exercises as straight sets, completing all the prescribed sets for one exercise before moving on to the next.

Weight: Unless otherwise noted, use the heaviest weight that allows you to complete all the prescribed reps for a given set.

Workout programming

Day 1: Workout 1 focuses on your legs and abs.

Day 2: Workout 2 trains your upper body: chest, back, shoulders, and arms

Day 3: Perform cardio at the highest intensity you can maintain for 30 minutes straight.

Day 4: Workout 3 will build your entire body, but focuses on upper body

Day 5 & 6: Active recovery day (brisk walk or easy swim)

Day 7: Rest

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Full body tabata workout with weights

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