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Home Workout: Tabata Intervals – 4 Minutes to Fat Burning!

By Tara Ballard

Home Cardio Workout: No equipment needed!

Tabata training is a form of high-intensity interval training consisting of 20 seconds all-out effort, followed by 10 secs rest, for a total of 8 rounds or 4 minutes.

Here is a little background on Tabata training: in the mid-90’s, Dr. Izumi Tabata at the National Institute of Fitness and Sports in Tokyo started experimenting with various exercise protocols to study their energy production systems in athletes. One protocol, now known as Tabata, produced major athletic performance improvements – increases in VO2Max, anaerobic threshold, fat loss and overall aerobic conditioning were all observed in repeated studies. Further studies found over and over again that the 4 minute Tabata protocol boosts anaerobic and aerobic capacity more than 60 minutes of endurance activity.   Whoa!!!

But, here’s the deal – to get the most out of Tabata intervals, you must push at your absolute, feel-like-you’re-going-to-puke hardest. You should be completely breathless and your muscles should be burning. You should feel completely wiped out after 4 minutes. If not, then you’re not pushing hard enough…sorry :). As such, Tabata is considered an advanced form of training.

As far as timing your Tabatas, I use two pretty cool tools. One is a GymBoss interval timer, and the other is an iPhone App called Tabata Pro. I interchange these two, using the GymBoss in the gym and Tabata Pro at home.

It’s best to keep Tabata movements simple – you don’t have a lot of time to move between equipment and movements. Below are four workouts you can do at home, no equipment needed; all you need is a little floor space!! Remember – you must push at your absolute max to reap the benefits of Tabata training.  You might want to keep a bucket nearby – just kidding :).

BE SURE TO WARM-UP AND COOL-DOWN APPROPRIATELY

ALL TABATAS ARE DONE FOR 8 ROUNDS OF 20 SECS WORK / 10 SECS REST:

TABATA 1 – SQUAT JUMPS: SQUAT DOWN LOW AND EXPLODE AS HIGH AS POSSIBLE INTO THE AIR. LAND SOFTLY. DON’T MESS AROUND HERE – THE SECOND YOUR FEET LAND ON THE FLOOR, YOU’RE RIGHT BACK UP IN THE AIR

TABATA 2 – BURPEES: SQUAT DOWN, PLACE YOUR HANDS ON THE FLOOR, JUMP YOUR FEET BACK, DO A PUSH-UP, JUMP FEET IN, AND EXPLODE UP INTO THE AIR – PERFORM EACH REP AS FAST AS POSSIBLE

TABATA 3 – PUSH-UPS: GET READY TO BURN OUT THE CHEST, SHOULDERS AND TRICEPS. FAST REPS. OUCH.

TABATA 4 – MOUNTAIN CLIMBER SPRINTS: AGAIN, DON’T MESS AROUND – THESE BABIES SHOULD BE QUICK! FROM PLANK POSITION, ALTERNATE BRINGING YOUR KNEES INTO YOUR CHEST AS IF YOU WERE SPRINTING ON ALL FOURS.

Have fun!!! :)

Related: Workout: 20 min Dance Cardio for at Home from JillFit

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