Would you believe if we said that you could shed pounds with a 4-minute workout? Sounds odd right? But believe us when we say that there is a high-intensity interval training that does a miracle to your body. And we are sure you would get hooked to the workout. It is the fabulous Tabata workout that has become the talk of the town and is a surefire way to reach your fitness goals!
If you are wondering – what is Tabata?
Well, it is one of the most well-known forms of high-intensity interval training (HIIT). This workout program usually consists of several rounds of high-intensity exercises wherein the individual has to remember a simple thing: 20 seconds of workout followed by a 10-second interval and then repeat.
But there is a catch- the exercise lasts only for 4 minutes!
Yes, the Tabata Training Program needs to be done for four minutes and in those four minutes, you need to push your body to its highest limit. When you a 10-second interval, it actually forces the body to keep moving and this is why Tabata has a lot of benefits. Your body wouldn’t actually gain any benefits if you do this leisurely. When done correctly, the Tabata workout is known to help burn those extra calories even when the workout is finished.
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The History of Tabata
Thanks to Japanese professor Dr. Izumi Tabata, who discovered the intensive Tabata workout. This workout was designed to train the Olympians in the late 90s and now it has become a favorite workout for anyone who wants a variety in their workout regime.
Tabata with his fellow researchers performed this experiment on two group of athletes. The first group of athletes indulged in a moderate intensity workout, whereas the other group was asked to do the high-intensity level workout. It was for a one-hour workout that was performed for six weeks. At the end of the six weeks, it was noted that the moderate intensity workout group had an impact only in their cardiovascular (aerobic) and no improvement in their muscles (anaerobic) whereas the other group had an equal impact on both aerobic and anaerobic gains.
Due to the positive impact of the workout, it gained popularity all over the world. The best thing about the workout is that it had after burning effect, which means that your body would burn calories even after the workout.
Due to its short duration and quick movements, Tabata workout isn’t recommended for a novice.
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How Does Tabata Workout Look
Listed below is an example of a Tabata Workout or what a Tabata workout generally looks like.
The Famous 4 minute Tabata Workout Program
For this 4 minute Tabata workout program, you can begin with any one of the exercises and do it for 20 seconds with absolute high-intensity. Take rest for 10 seconds and then continue doing it again for 20 seconds. Complete eight sets of each exercise.
Once, you have completed eight sets of one exercise take rest for 1 minute and then move on to the next one. The sample Tabata workouts and exercises are great for those who are running short on time and still want to improve their endurance and speed. They definitely produce effective results.
Want to improve speed? Then check out Running Workouts to Increase Speed and Endurance (Not for Beginners!)
How to Begin the Tabata Training
When you are just starting with your Tabata workout, there are a few tips that you can follow. These would help you with moving ahead.
- When just starting out with the training, you could do any exercises. Try and do some that you are most comfortable with. Most of the people choose running on the treadmill and then move on to push-ups and squats.
- Choose a song that you really like when you are doing the workout. This would help you to focus on what you are doing and not on the pain that you might experience. Also, music is known to work great for people. You could also choose a Mantra that you can repeat each time with your footfalls.
- Purchase a high-quality timer. You might be good with your math but when you are exercising you need to focus entirely on that instead of counting 20 seconds and 10 seconds.
Tabata Moves: Classic and New
Listed below are a few Tabata Moves: classic and new which you can adopt in your routine.
Classic Tabata Moves
- Kettlebell Swing
- Dumbbell Squats
You could also include any other squats of your choice instead of the dumbbell squats.
New Tabata Moves
1. Jump Squat
For this, you would need to stand with your feet hip-width apart and keep your toes parallel to each other. As you bend down for a squat, send your hips back and focus on your core.
From your squats’ bottom use up all of the strength to jump off by lifting both your legs off the ground. Land on your toes gently and then immediately start doing the next squat. Keep on repeating it.
2. Broad Jump to Fast Feet
Keep your legs hip-width apart and bend your knees. As you do that send your hips back while keeping your chest lifted. Again focus on your core and jump forward with both your feet.
Then by using your foot, bend your knees a bit and keep your hips a bit hinged out and start taking small steps back towards your starting position. Repeat.
3. Lunge Chop
Keep your right foot forward and extend your left leg backward by keeping your knees bent. Fasten your hands together in front and keep most of your weight on your right foot and begin by weighing down your body as you start to bend your right knee.
When doing so sweep your hands across your body outside of the right leg. Jump up and switch legs when in the air and lift your arms upwards. Land on your other foot and then do a lunge immediately. Alternate and repeat.
4. Lateral Lunge to Knee Drive
Keep your legs hip-width apart and focusing on your core, push your hips back and then take a large step with your left leg towards your left. Bend your left leg and do a lunge while keeping your right leg straight.
Then shift your weight on the right foot and start pushing off the left by bringing the left knee closer to the chest. This would be done as you jump off your right foot. Maintain a natural swing of the arms and repeat the same thing on the same side. Then switch sides.
5. Squat Thrust to Frog Jump
Keep your feet a bit wider than the shoulder width and focusing your glutes, push your hips back like you are attempting to sit in a low sumo squat.
As you jump by extending your legs in rather a high plank, place both your hands on the ground. As soon as that is done, jump forward in the position of a low-squat with your hips low to the ground and feet outside the hands. Jump straight up and extend your arms overhead. Repeat.
6. Spiderman Pushup
You would need to begin in the position of high-plank. Perform a mountain climber and as you do that extend your left leg and bend your arms and your chest to do a push-up without placing your knee to the ground. Lift your legs higher than the hip height and return to plank position. Alternate between legs and repeat.
Other popular exercises are Skater to Curtsy Lunge, Plank with a Row, Russian Twist, and Kettlebell Swing.
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These fat-blasting Tabata workouts are great and by adopting these moves into your workout routine, you would definitely be able to see the results.
Of course, an intense Tabata workout would leave you feeling exhausted, sweaty and gasping for breath, but you would start finding it easy as you get used to it.
Gadget freaks! You could also install the ActiveX Tabata Workouts App which offers you the chance to learn Tabata-based interval workouts as well as get experiences of group training. With these apps, you could also download training plans.
How Often Should You Really Do HIIT Workouts?
Accepted that HIIT does help you achieve your body goals but no matter what the situation is, they are not meant to be done on a daily basis.
Most of the people who are just starting out with the Aerobic, Anaerobic and Cardiovascular Training often have the same question: how often should you really do HIIT workouts? Right since these HIIT workouts were developed, they were supposed to be performed for four minutes with maximum effort.
The main idea behind this workout is to elevate the rate of heart for a short period which would be followed by a period of rest for a certain time.
When just starting out, you can train on a 1:1 ratio. For instance, do push-ups for 30 seconds and then rest for 30 seconds. Or else you could also train on a 1:2 ratio where you do squats for 301 seconds and then rest for 1 minute. The key here is to push your body to its maximum limit during the exercises. According to the studies, the benefits of the Tabata workout are many.
A good HIIT Program would make you feel that you cannot do even a second more of the exercise after your 30-second workout session is complete. Some people feel that they are out of breath while others feel that they are going to collapse. The Tabata workout might seem scary but this is how this workout works and many people adopt this because of all the benefits that it offers. You might feel uncomfortable for the first few weeks but would slowly get used to it. Start out by doing it once or twice a week and then as your body gets used to it do it about three or four times a week.
If you feel that you still can do more, it means that you probably didn’t train hard enough.
Benefits of Implementing Tabata Workout
Still wondering how can you reap benefits from a 4 minutes workout? Then there are tons of benefits which is why it is one of the most efficient ways to get back into shape.
One of the major benefits is fat burning. When you take intervals between the training, this can actually reduce the inflammation by repairing your metabolism. This forces the body to improve its ability to use and burn the energy. This means that you burn fat at a rather fast rate and then are able to utilize the energy in a better way during the workouts.
Want to reduce your belly fat? Then Tabata is at your rescue! Another advantage of including this workout in this routine is that when this is done correctly, it can help you to improve your overall strength, flexibility and get rid of that belly fat. However, you need to also follow a healthy diet plan for it to work. This would also improve your heart’s health so it is a total win-win.
As you get trained better, you can do this Tabata workout more than once. With each session of training, you would notice that you have burnt a lot of calories and would also help in improving your athletic performance. Other than those, it also is an excellent way to improve your body’s glucose metabolism. You could get yourself some cool gadgets to measure the calories that you have burnt and this way you would be able to keep a record. However, remember that patience is the key to everything and it implies here too.
Have you tried the intense Tabata workout? If yes, then do share with us your experiences in the comments below.