Tabata workouts are a great way to get an intense workout in and burn a lot of calories in a short amount of time. Tabata style workouts keep your heart rate elevated and body working, so you are able to get cardio work in along with muscle strengthening. Studies have found that this style of exercise will improve your cardio fitness as well as your body composition.

pushup finish

Tabata style workouts were originally created by Irisawa Koichi, the head coach of the Japanese Olympic Speed Skating Team. He came up with a high-intensity interval-training workout for his skaters that consisted of eight rounds of 20 seconds each of intense work on a cycling ergometer, followed by 10 seconds of rest, for a total of a four-minute workout. Coach Koichi asked another coach, Izumi Tabata, to analyze the short intense workout and see if it was effective. Coach Tabata found amazing results! His study found that in just 6 weeks of testing, the subjects anaerobic capacity had increased by 28 percent, plus a 14 percent increase in their VO2max. These are excellent results and the results tell us that Tabata style workouts really do work! If you would like to read more about this study and the history of Tabata, click here. Even though Tabata workouts were originally created for a cycle ergometer, people now use the 20 second/10 second format for many different types of exercise…plyometrics, resistant training…really almost anything!

My husband found awesome music on ITunes that is made specifically for Tabata workouts. It tells you when to start and rest. Each song is 4 minutes long. This is nice so that you can focus on your workout, not the clock!

For this workout, I say it is a 12 minute workout (3 4 minute rounds), but if you only want to do the 4 minutes, thats totally fine! Just stop when you feel like you need to. Here is the workout! Remember that it is supposed to be hard, but don’t sacrifice form for higher reps!

  • 20 seconds of air squats (squats with no weights, click here for explanation)
  • 10 seconds rest
  • 20 seconds pushups
  • 10 seconds rest
  • 20 seconds sit ups (click here for explantion on how to do a correct sit up)
  • 10 seconds rest

Repeat until your 4-12 minutes is up!

Have an awesome day!