What if it took just 4 minutes of exercise to get the perfect body? You’d probably be thinking this is the start of a terrible joke or useless infomercial, aren’t you? But, in fact, it does take only 4 minutes to make a huge difference to your physique.
It is the Tabata workout we are talking about! Would you like to know more? Go ahead and read this post!
High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), also know as Tabata Training, requires just 4 minutes of total focus and determination as you give your workout everything you’ve got.
This form of exercise was developed by Dr. Izumi Tabata, and worked exceedingly well for the Japanese Olympics speed skating team. The effects of Tabata Training have been studied by gathering groups of athletic men and women to engage in 4 minutes of extreme exercise activity. The results at the end of their workouts showed higher levels of oxygen consumption by the body, resting metabolic rate, increased aerobic and anaerobic capacities, and they also had burnt more fat than the regular one hour workouts.
- Boosts the body’s metabolism throughout the entire day.
- Does not require huge investments in equipment and gym memberships.
- Gives fast results in less time.
- Facilitates full body workout in a short amount of time.
How Does It Work?
The usual cardio exercise, which is like a 20-minute walk around the block, burns fewer calories than the 4-minute Tabata workout. Tabata-inspired workouts burn up to 13.5 calories or more per minute, depending on the level of intensity.
What you will need to do is pick two or four exercises that will form a good routine, easily allowing you to transition from one to the next and back. The workout requires you to exercise for 20 seconds and then rest for 10 seconds. This needs to be done for a total of eight 20-second sets, while taking continuous 10-second rest pauses in between. Or, you could workout intensely for 2 minutes and then take a break for 60 seconds and continue with your rigorous exercising for another 2 minutes.
For example, you could throw together the following exercises:
- Jumping Jacks
Perform every exercise twice, so that you get 2 sets each out of the eight. You can go through the entire workout, and then repeat it again to complete 8 sets.
Sounds Simple Enough, Right?
The Tabata training routine is really simple, but it works best only at maximum intensity. So, if you aren’t feeling the burn once those 4 minutes are up, you probably aren’t doing it right!
Beginners can start out with two exercises instead of going in for four different types. Focus on doing each of them vigorously for 2 minutes. Once you feel like they’re easier for you to do, increase the number of exercises to four. But always remember to stretch and warm up before you start intense exercising. Tabata workouts also go well with regular workouts at the home and even at the gym.
Exercises To Add To Your Workout Regimen:
Swimming is a fun activity, and at the same time, it can prove to be an extreme workout. It will allow you to enjoy the same benefits of cardio exercises while working your upper and lower body muscles. It’s best to have your own lane in the pool or a less crowded pool, when you intend to pause over and over.
- A pool
- Knowledge of how to swim
- Knowledge of different strokes
- Your own lane
- You can combine whichever swim strokes you know and are comfortable with, so that you can go hard at your workout without missing a beat.
- Perform at least 4 strokes for 20 seconds then repeat it to complete the 4-minute cycle.
2. Handstand Push-Up:
If you like a good challenge and can balance yourself well, you could definitely try some handstand push-ups.
- Sturdy wall
- Workout partner
- To do this, lie flat on the floor and kick off the ground to rest the back of your legs against a wall, and support your upright position with your hands. Get a friend to help you get into position and help you stay steady.
- Once in position, lower your entire body by bending only your elbows while the rest of the body remains aligned.
- Work it till you are at least 2 inches lower. There’s no need to have your head reaching all the way to the floor.
- Do as many as you can, and as fast as you can in 20 seconds.
3. Jumping Jacks:
You don’t really need anything for this. They are quite simple, but have huge impact on the muscles.
- Stand in an upright position with your feet together and arms by your sides.
- Jump and take your legs apart at a comfortable distance while simultaneously raising your hands from your sides till they extend over your head and meet.
- Jump back to the original position.
- Do at least ten of these in a set of 20 seconds.
Push-ups are good to strengthen your upper body. They also work well for the torso muscles.
- Assume a plank position on the floor.
- Bring the hand up till the shoulders.
- Keeping your toes and hands firmly planted on the floor, push yourself upwards to lift the body as you exhale.
- Lower yourself and inhale simultaneously.
- Do 10 of these, but at a slower pace for best results.
5. Lunge Jumps:
Lunges target the lower body muscles, like the glutes, hamstrings and quadriceps. They are excellent for losing those calories and slimming down your thighs, hips and butt.
- Start by bringing your right leg forward and bending into a lunge position, and at the same time bending your arms at the elbows.
- Propel yourself straight off the ground, reaching your arms over your head and stretching your legs while in the air.
- Switch legs and resume the lunge position as you land back down.
- Repeat the process again as quickly as possible in 20 seconds.
6. Mountain Climbers:
This exercise uses the upper arm strength and tones the muscles along the arms and shoulders. At the same time, your back and abdominal muscles get a good workout. The hips, knees and quadriceps in the legs are also flexed to keep you steady with the movement of the exercise, thus providing a complete workout to the entire body.
- Bend forward till your hands reach the floor.
- Stand on your toes and extend one foot back and bring the other to your chest. (Your position should represent the starting position a sprinter would assume).
- Jump and switch your leg positions, making sure you land on your toes.
- Keep alternating till your 20 seconds are up.
7. Box Jumps:
Box jumps are fun to do and require you to jump really high. They help strengthen your leg muscles and promote good balance. When used in an intense workout, they can melt your fat away. They are an exciting way to say goodbye to those calories.
- Weight bench/ Plyo box, not higher that your knees.
- Stand before the box and jump with both feet. You should be landing on the top of the box with both your feet.
- Jump off the box in the same manner.
- Repeat for 20 seconds.
- If the jumping isn’t for you, you could try step-ups, where, instead of jumping, you step on to the box one foot at a time, and get off the same way. Alternate your stepping legs to complete the 20 seconds.
8. Speed Skater:
Become a skater without the skates and in the comfort of your own home. This exercise in your Tabata routine will guarantee you toned legs and great balance.
- Open space
- Start by standing straight with your feet together and hands by your sides.
- Step to the left with one foot, thereby spreading your legs apart.
- Lower yourself into a squatting position and bring your right bent leg behind your body so that it is lightly tapping the floor. Swing your arms to the left side of your body.
- Now quickly push off with your left foot jumping over the right leg and swing your arms to the sides so that they are extended till the shoulder level.
- You should land back down on your right foot, with your left foot positioned at the back.
- Repeat the same so that you land on your left foot now.
- It will take a little time to perfect this move.
- Once you’ve got it , repeat as fast as you can for 20 seconds. Then take a break.
Adding a few sets of Burpees to your workout will target all the major muscle groups in your entire body.
- Open space
- You need to start off by standing upright. Remember to leave a little space between your legs.
- Crouch down low till you can place your palms on the floor.
- Now kick your legs back, to shift into the plank position.
- Move to the push-up position and quickly return to the crouching pose.
- From the squatting posture, jump as high as possible and squat again.
- Finally, resume standing upright by launching yourself upwards. (i.e. jumping up).
10. Jumping Rope:
A skipping or jumping rope develops perfect coordination, and is a great cardio. It can work as a part of your Tabata training, or it could make up the entire workout. There are a number of ways you can skip to improve balance and synchronization.
- A jump rope long enough to work with your height
- Get into position with jump rope.
- First try jumping with both feet as fast as possible for 20 seconds.
- Then, shift to jumping in such a way that you bring your knees to your chest, one after the other.
- Move on to the Boxer shuffle. Here, you will be jumping with one foot forward and one at the back and switching the feet with every revolution of the rope.
- Finally, you could go for butt kickers, where you kick one heel backwards to reach your butt, then the other.
Quick short sprints every 20 seconds spaced out with a rest pause of 10 seconds will build stamina and stronger muscles.
Steps To Increase Speed:
- Make sure you’re in shape; if not, regular jogs will help you to slowly ease into running.
- Maintain a straight posture; do not hunch the shoulders, but keep them relaxed.
- Look straight ahead and bring the chest forward.
- Let your arms swing up and down at 45-degree angles to cut through the air and propel you forward.
12. Dumbbell Snatch:
This exercise has squatting, stretching and even a little of lifting. It gives you a whole body workout and torches those calories in minutes.
- An 8 – 10 pound dumbbell to carry out the exercise
- Spread your feet, making sure they are further apart than your shoulder width.
- Grab the dumbbell with your left hand so that it is facing downwards, and stretch out your right arm towards your right side as high as your shoulder.
- Squat a little, so that your bent knees are right over your toes.
- Now push yourself upright, drawing energy from your hips. Raise the dumbbell in front of you till the shoulder level. (All the while having your right arm stretched out)
- Next raise your dumbbell over your head in a swift move as if to punch the ceiling.
- Repeat for 20 seconds, and then rest for 10 seconds.
Remember, you will need a timer no matter what exercises you choose. This will help you keep track of the time. Simply counting the seconds will cause you to lose focus and reduce the workout intensity. Many cellular applications promote Tabata-inspired workouts; so the task of timing your exercise is much simpler.
You already have the tools you need to exercise; now all you need to do is spare four minutes of your time.Do tell us how this post has helped you. Let us know by commenting in the box below.