Tabata workouts rock, because they are high-intensity and burn major calories in a short amount of time. They work for two reasons: intensity and repetition. On each of the tabatas, you repeat the exercise eight times, which fatigues the muscles you’re using (very important). And on each tabata, you go all out in effort for the short interval (usually 20-30 seconds).
To keep you on track with this workout, try using a clock, counting the seconds off in your head, or download this awesome iPad/iPod app called Tabata Pro timer. It will do all of the counting for you, so you can focus on the workout.
Don’t forget to warm up before you start and cool down after you finish the workout. See the instructions on how to complete each move below. Questions? Send me an email.
Print a PDF copy of the workout.
Learn how to do the exercises
Jog in place, do jumping jacks, do arm circles… whatever you like to get your muscles primed for the workout.
Start in plank position. Walk your feet in toward your hands as close as you can go, then walk your hands out until you’re in plank position. You’ll need a little room for this exercise since you’ll be traveling while doing it. See a video demonstration.
Rear Lunge with Pulse
Stand tall and take a controlled lunge (or large step) backward with your right foot. Lower your hips so that your left thigh (front leg) becomes parallel to the floor and your left knee is positioned directly over your ankle. Keep your right knee bent at a 90-degree angle and pointing toward the floor. Your right heel should be lifted. Hold, and then slowly pulse until your work time is up. Alternate legs between sets for this exercise. You should end up with 4 sets on the right leg, and 4 sets on the left.
Use an imaginary line or a tape line on the floor for this exercise. With both feet, hop to one side of the line, and then the other as fast as you can, similar to the side to side motion skiers make when they’re skiing mogul hills (hence the name of this exercise!). See a video demonstration.
Start in plank position, and lower your body down to the floor, keeping your arms right to your sides. Push your body back up into plank, and immediately hop both feet forward to your hands. Stand up. Repeat immediately.
Warrior 3 Lunges
Stand tall and take a controlled lunge (or large step) backward with your right foot. Lower your hips so that your left thigh (front leg) becomes parallel to the floor and your left knee is positioned directly over your ankle. Keep your right knee bent at a 90-degree angle and pointing toward the floor. Your right heel should be lifted. Launch off your right foot, and bend your body forward, lifting your right leg off the ground until it is straight behind you. Arms should be held straight out in front of you so that your body and right leg are in a straight line. Alternate legs between sets for this exercise. You should end up with 4 sets on the right leg, and 4 sets on the left. See a video demonstration.
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Do a regular squat, sitting back as deep as you can. Dig your heels into the ground for balance. Then, jump up explosively, landing softly on your feet to protect your knees, and lowering your body back into a squat position to complete one rep. Add intensity by increasing the height of your jump or the speed of your jumps.
Get in standard plank position. Your arms aligned under your shoulders. Moving quickly, bring your right knee toward your right elbow, then your left knee toward your left elbow to complete 1 rep. Keep your hips down and don’t let your butt drift into the air. See a video demonstration.
Kettle Bell (or dumb bell) Swings
This move is best shown on video. If you don’t have kettle bells, use a dumb bell on the heavier side (at least 10 lbs).
Get into a standard push-up position—arms are slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, and sink your knees down to the ground. Tighten abs and glutes, dig toes and hands into the ground. Lower chest toward ground as deep as you can and come back up. Keep your back as straight as possible. Keep the pace slow and steady so you’re using your muscles and not momentum.
Take a couple of minutes and stretch your muscles to cool down after this workout.