What is Tabata?
Tabata is the ultimate high intensity interval training
(HITT) workout. Not only can it boost your fitness and fat loss, but it helps you achieve maximum results in minimum time.
The underlying principle behind Tabata is that you perform an exercise at a high intensity for 20 seconds, followed by 10 seconds of rest. This ratio of double the workload to rest is not for the faint hearted, and should be adjusted according to your fitness level.
This Tabata workout is suitable for anyone, anywhere, anytime. Being all bodyweight exercises, the only equipment you’ll need is a timer, which you can find on any smart phone.
In short it's strength based exercises alternated with cardiovascular movements to boost strength and blast kilojoules.
The Tabata bodyweight blast
After a short warm up, perform each exercise for 20 seconds, followed by a 10 second rest in between. This should take 4 minutes and equals one round.
Complete up to 8 rounds, making sure to take things easy if you are a beginner, or if you are recovering from an injury.
Cool down and stretch to finish.
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1. Push ups
Targets the chest, front shoulder, triceps and abdominals.
- Lie face down with your hands at shoulder level and just beyond shoulder-width apart
- Keep your legs straight, your toes tucked under your feet and your abdominal muscles contracted
- Keeping your back straight, push your body up off the floor until your arms are straight
- Lower body until your chest is close to the floor again
Tip – Perform knee push ups if you’re a beginner
2. Squat jumps
Targets the thighs, buttocks and calves while elevating your heart rate.
- Have your feet shoulder width apart, toes forwards, heels flat
- Stick your bottom back and bend down like you were going to sit on a chair
- Jump explosively in the air, keeping your back straight
- When you land, absorb your weight, and repeat with minimal rest
Tip – Do squats without jumping if you have knee problems
3. Mountain climbers
Targets upper and lower body strength while the heart gets pumping.
- Place your hands on floor, just wider than shoulder width apart
- Have your right leg back straight, and your left foot under your left hip
- Keeping your hands on the ground, jump high enough to swap the position of your feet, landing on your forefeet simultaneously for one repetition
Tip – Keep your core engaged throughout
4. Cycle kicks
Targets your abdominals, obliques and core.
- Lie on your back with your knees bent, and feet off the floor
- Place your hands behind your head, but don't pull your head forward
- Bring your left elbow to your right knee, moving both towards each other
- Then alternate sides, bringing your right elbow to your left knee. Your opposite knee extends back out while the other moves in
Tip – Lift your shoulders high for maximum effectiveness
5. Triceps dips
Targets the triceps, rear shoulder and abdominals.
- Place your hands on the edge of a bench, chair or coffee table, fingers facing down
- Rest on your heels with your legs out in front
- Lower your body with elbows pointing back, and lift back up to the initial position
Tip – If there is no bench available, place your hands behind on the ground behind you with knees bent and perform short dips.
Targets the glutes, thighs, core, chest and shoulders.
- Start in a crouched position with hands on the ground in front of you
- ump both feet together and backwards into a plank / push up position
- Jump your feet forwards so they are back near your hands again
- Explosively jump up into the air, and return to the initial squatting position as you land
Tip - Raise your hands above your head as you stand instead of jumping in the air if you are a beginner.
7. Alternating Supermans
Targets the major muscles groups in your back and trunk.
- Kneel on all fours, knees under hips and hands placed beneath shoulders
- Slowly lift one arm forwards and the opposite leg backwards
- Once your arm and leg reaches the height of your body, hold for 2-4 seconds
- Return your arms and legs to the kneeling position, then mirror the movement with the opposite arm and leg
Tip – Just do the leg component if you find it difficult to balance
8. Star jumps
Targets leg power and boosts your heart rate.
- Stand with feet shoulder width apart, toes forwards, heels flat with arms by your sides
- Jump vertically as high as you can, extending your arms and legs out to the sides to form a star shape in the air
- Bring your arms and legs inward in the air as you return to the ground, landing softly and bending your knees as you land
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