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Combine These Workout Moves with Tabata for the Ultimate Routine

Combine These Workout Moves with Tabata for the Ultimate Routine

Girl doing squats on field.

No whining, no complaining, just moving. You won’t have time to utter a statement of doubt when you’re doing a Tabata-style workout. Known for its major fat-blasting benefits, Tabata is a high-intensity interval training approach to fitness that calls for 20 seconds of intense body work followed by 10 seconds of rest repeated over a period of time. The idea here is that you’re going as hard as you possibly can for 20 short (okay, they may not feel short in the moment, but they are) seconds and then you get a short period to let your body recover from the movements before you jump right back into it. This high-speed on-and-off workout style ultimately allows your body to enjoy what’s called the “after-burn effect.” That just means that you’re still burning calories for hours after your workout has ended. Talk about significant aerobic and anaerobic gains.

If you’re ready to start sweating within minutes – or, you know, 20-second increments – do a warm-up and try these seven moves in the Tabata style to quickly transform your workout results.  

Jump Rope

Grab a jump rope and get your heart pumping immediately. Fun and ideal for someone who craves variety in their workout steps, jumping rope is a great alternative calorie-burning workout for those who are not fond of running.  If you want to get the most out of this workout, you can’t just be skipping rope like you did when you were a kid. You need to go as hard as you can for 20 seconds – we’re talking high knees, double unders, etc. – before earning your 10-second rest.


Whether you love them or loathe them, squats have become the holy grail of fitness. It’s a must-have fitness move that shouldn’t be abandoned if you’re looking for strong quadriceps, firm glutes, and eye-catching hamstrings. Just make sure you maintain proper form; your feet should be hip distance apart, abdominals should be tight, and knees in line with your heels as you perform the Tabata intervals.


You might feel like you’re in boot camp once you drop to do push-ups, but those who survive this fitness challenge are rewarded with a firmer and stronger body. Every muscle in your body will be worked, since push-ups force you to use your core muscles and test the potential of your upper body in order to successfully complete the exercise. Start by doing a basic push-up for 20 seconds and then resting. When you’re ready to upgrade, start moving on to doing different kinds of push-ups for every 20-second increment, like one-armed, or push-ups with a leg raise. 


That pesky fat doesn’t stand a chance against burpees. It’s an excellent calorie-busting, strength-building, functional fitness exercise. Burn mega calories while you work your arms, chest, quads, glutes, hamstrings, and abs. Speed is everything when you’re trying to do burpees for Tabata, so make sure that you’re giving the compound movement everything you’ve got before you hit each 20-second mark.

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Woman lying down on exercise mat and doing situps

Mountain Climbers

Wake up your core and use your upper body to stabilize the rest of your body when you do mountain climbers. This dynamic exercise works your abdominal, buttocks, thighs, and secondary muscles. Start in a plank position and bring one knee in towards your core. Swiftly alternate the knees as if you’re getting ready for your first race. Like burpees, you’ll want to think about speed as you perform your mountain climbers, so be sure you’re going all out.

High Knees

How high can you go? Take your knees up as high as you can (try to reach your waist) while you run in place.  Use your core muscles every time your knee comes up. Keep going no matter how tired you may start to feel; every move is working your hamstrings, shins, quads, and abdominal muscles, preparing you for a firm body that you’ll appreciate.


There’s no doubt about it; lunges will give you the legs you want. An ideal exercise for developing lower body strength, lunges work the core, hips, glutes, and quads. You’ll also have a chance to work those parts of your body that are often abandoned during other exercise routines. If you’re ready to take the (p)lunge to better legs, you have to keep pushing yourself during this exercise. That’s the only way to experience the full power of Tabata.

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