How to Start a Tabata Routine

how-to-start-tabata-routineThe formula for a Tabata workout is simple: 20 seconds of intense effort, followed by 10 seconds of rest, but don’t be deceived by its short and simple design! In a previous article, we explained the original intent of Tabata was for Olympic athletes and short and simple in this case also means high-intensity, maximum output that will leave you begging for mercy! Packing as many repetitions as possible into 6 to 8 sets of 20-second work periods will fill your muscles with lactic acid, making a simple exercise like lunges exceptionally tough, like, Rambo tough.

Lower Body Tabata Workouts

  • Bodyweight squat
  • Jump squat
  • Box jumps
  • Dumbell or kettlebell goblet squats
Upper Body Tabata Workouts

  • Push-ups
  • Triceps dip
  • Pull-ups
  • Plank row
Total Body Tabata Workouts

  • Burpee
  • Dumbbell or kettlebell thruster
  • Mountain climbers
  • Kettlebell swing
Cardiovascular Tabata Workouts

  • Jump rope
  • Indoor rower
  • Stationary cycling
  • Sprints

To begin your own Tabata workout routine select one or two exercises per circuit, using the examples provided if you’re uncertain. Even if you’re a seasoned fitness fanatic, you may still want to choose a couple of the exercises to alternate between so one set of muscles isn’t too maxed out, it’s going to be a challenge regardless.  The only required equipment is a timer and your bodyweight, oh yeah, and about 100lbs of willpower!  If you’re new to high-intensity training (HIIT), one bout of Tabata intervals should be plenty. But because these efforts are so hard, make sure to complete a dynamic warm-up before you begin and don’t forget to let us know how you get on, because we’re too scared to go first, this is tough!


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