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Tabata is fast becoming a popular HIIT workout since it is fast, it is intense, and it really burns up the calories. What separates Tabata workout from other exercises is the fact that it is done for four minutes only. Four minutes? Sounds crazy, right? As this workout is high intensity, you only need four minutes to really work up a sweat and get your muscles burning. For sure, when you do Tabata, you will feel like you’ve worked out for hours after.

What First Timers Should Know About Tabata Training

Just because this workout is just for four minutes only, it doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy. Your endurance, stamina, and strength will really be tested in this workout so unless you are not ready for such high intensity workout, you might want to choose something easier then gradually work your way to Tabata training.

Tabata training is broken down into eight sets of 20 seconds of high intensity workout and 10 seconds of rest. You can use any kind of workout for this but you should go for those that will target your large muscle groups. The idea behind Tabata is to do as many repetitions as you can for 20 seconds before resting for 10 seconds and then back again. You can do a single workout for the entire 4 minutes or you can squeeze in different types of workouts to break the monotony and to really push your body to the limits.

What You Need

There is no special equipment needed for Tabata training other than a timer and the exercises that you’re going to perform for the entire eight sets. For first timers, go for a single workout or two types of workout then do them alternately. Don’t forget to rest for 10 seconds in between so you can catch your breath. It’s important that you start with your own bodyweight at the start until you get the hang of the Tabata workout. Once you’re confident that you can add weights or other exercise tool, you can slowly integrate weight exercises in your Tabata regimen.

Sample Workouts

If you’re wondering what exercises to do in your Tabata training, here are a few examples to consider:


Lie face down on the floor with your arms reaching forward and outward. Squeeze your lower back and glutes to “take off” where you lift your hands as well as your legs up in the air. Release this pose with control then repeat as many as you can within 20 seconds.

Alternating Leg Lifts

Lie face up with your hands under your tailbone or at your sides. Your legs should form an L shape with one raised above. Switch legs with the other one on top and the other one down. Repeat as many times as you can in 20 seconds.

Reverse Lunges

As you lunge backwards, bring your knee as close to the ground as you can with your forward knee over the ankle. Go back to first position then repeat with the other leg. Repeat this workout for 20 seconds then rest for 10 seconds.

These are just a few exercises that you can try in your Tabata workout. You can always choose other types of exercises if you want as long as you do 20 seconds of high intensity work out and 10 seconds of rest in between.



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Tabata for Starters