Tabata: The 4-Minute Workout

pushups

Tabata is a HIIT (high-intensity interval training) style workout. It uses high intensity exercise and short periods of rest to maximize the benefits of endurance and cardiovascular fitness. Each round of exercise is broken down into 4-minute chunks. Each exercise is performed for 20 seconds followed by a 10 second break. Ideally 4 to 5 rounds should be completed, but even 1 round can help you break a sweat when crunched for time.  

Below is a sample Tabata workout with progressions and regressions of each exercise. This is just a sample; you can swap out exercises as you see fit, or tailor the Tabata to the area of the body you want to focus on. Try out the workout and let us know what you think!

1. Squat  

Regression – do not go as deep into the squat. 

Progression – add a jump to make it a jump squat.

2. Jumping Jack 

Regression – eliminate the jump and get your arms moving with stepping side to side. 

Progression – increase the tempo of the jumping jack.

3. Push ups 

Regression – perform the push up from your knees or on an elevated surface. 

Progression – try a decline push up or work with different hand positions. 

4. Mountain Climbers

Regression – stay standing and perform high knees or marching on the spot. 

Progression – try reaching your knee to your opposite elbow on each rep. 

Workout:

Squats – 20 seconds

Rest – 10 seconds

Jumping jacks – 20 seconds

Rest – 10 seconds

Push ups – 20 seconds

Rest – 10 seconds

Mountain climbers – 20 seconds

Rest – 10 seconds

Squats – 20 seconds

Rest – 10 seconds

Jumping jacks – 20 seconds

Rest – 10 seconds

Push ups – 20 seconds

Rest – 10 seconds

Mountain climbers – 20 seconds

Rest 10 seconds

FAQs:

  1. What is a tabata workout? It is a variation of a HIIT (high intensity interval training) workout. It is a short but fast paced workout to maximize the benefits of a workout in a short period of time.
  2. Is Tabata better than cardio? A tabata style workout will be an effective form of cardio. It will benefit aerobic and anaerobic capacity. Long duration steady state cardio exercise will not be effective in improving anaerobic capacity.
  3. Is tabata a good workout? Tabata is a great workout for a short period of time that can provide a full body workout while challenging the cardiovascular system. If done effectively, it will provide great benefits.

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