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8 Exercises That Make Up a Quick Tabata Workout!

It is customary to say that when you want to reach a goal, such as losing weight, you shouldn’t take any shortcuts and that only hard work leads to the desired result. There is a great deal of truth in this saying, but what if instead of a shortcut, you simply change the way you aim toward the goal and replace it with a more efficient one?


This is the logic behind Tabata Training, a form of HIIT - high-intensity interval training, and 20 minutes of training are more effective than one hour of running on a treadmill or many other exercises. This method was developed by Japanese researcher, Dr. Izumi Tabata, and proved to be particularly effective for burning a very large amount of calories - which made it popular all over the world. Fitness trainer Nikki Metzger is one of those people who fell in love with this method, and she put together the circuit below! 


How do you do the workout?

All exercises should be performed as part of a 20-minute workout; perform each exercise for 20 seconds, rest for 10 seconds, and continue. When you reach the last exercise (number 8 on the list), rest for 1 minute and repeat all the exercises until you perform 8 repetitions in total. It is very important to invest 100% effort in every exercise and every repetition to burn as many calories as possible and activate the muscles as much as possible. You can start at 4-reps in total and increase from there when you feel ready. If you are not sure how to perform the exercises, you may want to take some time to learn them correctly without getting confused or stopping to remember the sequence of movements they require.

1. High Knees

The first exercise in the circuit is easy to perform and allows you to get the body going gradually, and then provides a slight respite from other exercises that require more effort. The exercise activates and strengthens mainly the inner thighs and hips, two areas that many people want to sculpt.

  • Stand comfortably with your back straight, hands on your hips and start running (1).
  • As you run, try to raise your legs as much as possible to bring your knees up to the waist, but no higher than the middle of your chest (2).

2. Froggers

This exercise some of you may remember from school gym classes, and there is a good reason why it is included in this exercise circuit. It is very easy to perform, activates a large number of muscle groups in the body, stretches the center of the abdomen and strengthens the muscles of the buttocks. You may not think it is particularly effective, but after you do it a few times quickly and as part of a high-intensity workout you will find that this is not really the case.

  • Start in a squat position and jump your feet toward your hands. Make sure your butt stays below your knees. (1).
  • Jump back into plank position and repeat for 20 seconds. (2)

3. Speed Skaters 

This exercise is borrowed from the winter sport that it imitates, but for its implementation, there is no need for ice or skates. This is a great aerobic exercise that activates the body in a wide range of motion, which improves its flexibility while running several different muscle groups that burn many calories.

  • Start the exercise with a straight back and legs slightly spread at hips-distance. Jump to your right bringing your left leg as far back behind your body as possible. (1)
  • From this position, jump to the left, this time bringing your right foot as far behind your body as possible (2).
  • While exercising, try moving your arms like an ice skater to make the movement easier and activate your biceps.

4. Plank Jack + Knee Tuck

This exercise is a combination of an excellent warm-up exercise called Jumping Jacks and the static Plank exercise that is good at toning the abdomen and strengthening the core muscles. This exercise can be upgraded by bending and placing the knees under the chest, thereby activating additional muscle groups and taking advantage of most of the options it offers to burn calories efficiently.

  • Start in plank position making sure your shoulders, elbows and wrists are all in line (1).
  •  Jump your feet out (jumping jacks with your legs) and bring them back together (2). 
  • You can make the exercise more difficult by being your knees forward close to your chest between each “jumping jack.”

5. Tuck Jumps

Don’t let the illustration scare you, it isn’t necessary to lift your knees to your chest while performing this exercise, although of course if you can that's great too! In any case, the exercise will help you strengthen your lower body and sculpt your lower abdomen and hips. As with the other exercises on this list, ruck jumps as part of a Tabata workout greatly increase the number of calories the workout burns.

  • Stand comfortably with your back straight and your arms straight and stretched forward (1).
  • In the second step just jump high in the air and fold your legs to bring your knees closer to your chest (2).
  • Land gently and repeat the exercise as quickly as possible.

6. Mountain Climbers

This exercise will help you strengthen your arms, chest, and legs, and performing it as part of this workout provides a certain momentary respite from the high-intensity exercises that characterize it. However, its importance should not be underestimated and efforts should be made to execute it quickly and efficiently to keep your training pace.

  • Start the exercise in plank position, keeping an imaginary line straight between your elbows, shoulders, and wrists (1). 
  • Now press your knees toward your chest one at a time as quickly as you can (2).  

7. Squat jump turn

The squat is an exercise that activates and strengthens a large number of muscles in the body, especially the thigh muscles, the quadriceps, the biceps, the buttocks, and the stabilizing muscles in the center of the body. In this version of the exercise, it has two significant upgrades that increase its efficiency and help you burn calories: the high jump at the end of the squat and a 90-degree rotation make the exercise much more interesting and dynamic.

  • Begin the exercise in a basic squat position: straight back, hands behind the head and legs facing forward slightly apart, about shoulder width (1). 
  • Bend your knees and then push yourself up and jump as high as you can while performing a 90-degree rotation in the air (2).
  • At the end of the jump, gently land on the ground and then bend the knees carefully and quickly to return to the initial position to repeat the exercise again.

8. Burpees

Despite its funny name, this exercise is very challenging and effective for burning calories, especially when performed as part of a high-intensity Tabata workout. The exercise strengthens the arms, chest muscles, hips, buttocks and abdomen, and of course, helps to sculpt the body and lose weight.

  • Start in a standing position. Squat down and jump back into a plank (1).
  • Do one push-up then jump towards your hands (2).
  • Jump in the air raising your hands over your hand and land back in the starting standing position (3).
image source:  www.womenshealthmag.com
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