Tabata workout 12 effective exercises

Tabata workout 12 effective exercises

Tabata workout is not a sport but a training technique created by Izumi Tabata, a Japanese teacher. This protocol is the most famous form of HIIT (Hight Intensity Interval Training) and consists of repeating 1 or more exercises 8 times for 20 seconds at maximum intensity followed by 10 seconds of recovery to obtain excellent results in 4 minutes. In fact, the repetition of the high intensity effort favors the increase of muscle mass and VO2 max but also optimizes energy expenditure at rest (afterburn effect) thus accelerating metabolism.

However, it is a very intense cardio workout and cannot be practiced by everyone. Therefore, the exercises practiced can and must be adapted according to your level of training. In addition, rest is essential for the body to recover between workouts.

In fact, the tabata method can be practiced 1 day out of 2 with a maximum of 3 workouts per week .

Tabata Workout : what it is

The method was developed by Professor Izumi Tabata of the National Institute of Fitness and Sports in Japan. It has been successfully tested on athletes from the Japanese Olympic speed skating team.

The Tabata workout consists of 20 seconds of intense exercises alternating with 10 seconds of recovery to be repeated 8 times for a workout that lasts 4 minutes.

Except for the timer (you can buy a stopwatch or use an app on your mobile phone), the only rule to respect is the high intensity to maintain while running.

having a good session makes you feel good

Specifically, the training consists of

  • 20 seconds of one or more bodyweight exercises at maximum intensity, variable according to your physical condition
  • 10 seconds of recovery
  • Repeat 8 times.

Warning : it seems like a simple workout but instead they are intense and difficult sessions especially for those who are not well trained.

You can decide for a single exercise or alternate 3/4 exercises to vary your workout. For example, sprints, bikes, burpees, push-ups etc. are fine.

Calculate your heart rate

To perform Tabata Workout it is essential to calculate your maximum heart rate to set up an effective workout. In fact, the exercises should be performed at maximum intensity which varies according to age.

Calculating your maximum HR is very simple:

HR max = 220 – age.

For example, if you are 40, you need to calculate 220-40 = 180 . So during the exercises, you should be around 160/70 bpm, which is 80/90% of your maximum heart rate.

Why is it an effective workout?

Izumi Tabata proved that her method is very effective and improves cardiovascular capacity over a 1 hour moderate workout.

After 6 weeks, by training 3 times a week, people improved their anaerobic endurance by 28% and V02 max (aerobic work) by 10%.

Tabata workout: benefits

Training with this method improves:

  • resistance
  • power
  • muscle mass
  • speeds up the metabolism
  • increases cardiovascular capacity.

Tabata Workout Contraindications

However, the high intensity of the HIIT type is only for people in good cardiac and musculoskeletal health . In fact, getting your heart rate to the highest levels can be risky for your health.

The advice is to consult your doctor before trying this training protocol.

Tabata workout: tips for training well

This method can be practiced anywhere, home, gym or park and without specific material , except a good pair of sports shoes.

But if you have material at home, you can also set up your training with, for example:

  • home exercise bike
  • elliptical bike
  • rowing machine
  • skipping rope.
  • Heating

It is essential to warm up first to prepare the body for intense work to avoid trauma. In fact, the goal is to start slowly and gradually increase the intensity. To warm up the muscles and joints it is important to spend at least 5 minutes warming up.

Examples of Tabata workout

This program consists of 4 exercises:

  • squat : 20 seconds – 10 seconds of recovery
  • push-ups or push-ups : 20 seconds – 10 seconds of recovery
  • mountain climber : 20 seconds – 10 seconds recovery
  • squat : 20 seconds – 10 seconds of recovery
  • push-ups or push-ups : 20 seconds – 10 seconds of recovery
  • burpees : 20 seconds – 10 seconds of recovery
  • squa t: 20 seconds – 10 seconds of recovery
  • push-ups or push-ups: 20 seconds – 10 seconds of recovery.

How to do burpees correctly

How to do burpees correctly

Start standing with the arms extended along the body. Come down by bending your legs, then place your hands on the ground at the height of your pecs.

Extend your legs until you are in the classic push-up position and do a push-up on your hands. Get back into position and take a high jump.

Mountain climber

Mountain climber
Step of doing the Mountain climber exercise by healthy woman. Illustration about exercise guide.

Get into the plank position with your arms straight and your toes on the ground.

Bend your right leg and bring your right knee to your chest while stretching your left leg back. Then, stretch your right leg back by bending your left leg and bringing your left knee to your chest. Each time you have to perform a small jump to reverse the position.

Push-ups or push-ups

Push-ups or push-ups

Starting in the plank position, arms spread slightly wider than shoulder width. Do a push-up by bending your arms, elbows parallel to your body. To perform the movement well and not get hurt, keep your back straight and belly inward throughout the exercise.



Start standing, legs shoulder-width apart, toes turned slightly out and body weight perfectly centered. Bend your knees as if to sit on a chair, bring your buttocks back feeling the weight of your body on your heels.

Keep your torso straight, your abdomen active, and your arms forward to facilitate balance as you descend.

Full body Tabata workout

This workout consists of 3 exercises :

Perform each high-intensity exercise 8 times for 20 seconds. Seconds recovery.

The advice is, for beginners to perform a single exercise, intermediate 2 and advanced level 3 exercises.

Tabata workout : abdominal

This tabata abs program is very effective for having a flat stomach. You can do it with or without rubber bands.

In all exercises, the advice is, during the effort, to exhale bringing the belly in.

The exercises are:

  • snap jump
  • seated crunch
  • bicycle crunch
  • plank jacks.

Perform each exercise 8 times for 20 seconds and rest for 10 seconds between each exercise.

For beginners, the advice is to start with just one exercise (number 3), intermediate 3 (1 + 2 + 3) and advanced level the 4 exercises.

External Links:

Tabata Workout

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