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How to use tabata to meet your workout goals

How to... get the most out of tabata

Shredding fat, increasing strength and toning muscle are combined into one fitness plan called tabata. It is quick, easy and can be personalized for anyone to meet their fitness goals.

Woman doing lunges with weights

What is tabata?

Tabata is high-intensity interval training that combines cardiovascular circuits and strength exercises with weights that can be achieved in four minutes. Each four-minute block starts with 20 seconds of intense training, followed by 10 seconds of rest. This 30-second block will be repeated for eight complete sessions. The 10 seconds of rest is vital to this type of workout, so you can perform to the best of your ability for each 20-second workout.

How to lose weight

At the gym, the treadmills are always filled with women and men sprinting, thinking they are losing the calories and dropping the weight according to the treadmill’s digital tracker. Running will make you lose weight at a slow pace because it takes a while for your heart rate to rise and for your body to get into that fat-burning mode. Tabata starts and ends with high-intensity cardio circuits, and your heart rate automatically increases; after your workout you will still be burning calories even when you’re just walking around or running a couple of errands. Include burpees, alternating jumping lunges, jumping jacks, and jump squats to keep your heart rate up while building muscle.

How to strengthen those hard-to-tone areas

When trying to tone muscles in the legs or arms, do the 20-second interval exercises, but on the 10-second rests, hold the exercise just done and pulse. Squats are a great exercise to strengthen the legs, so you could do 20 seconds of squats and then bend deep into the squat and pulse slowly doing baby squats. This will help tighten the inner thighs, glutes and hamstrings. You will really feel a burn!

How to build muscle

Building muscle can be a hard thing to accomplish, but tabata works fast. Grab two sets of weights (medium and heavy) and use them in the strengthening exercises and in the cardio. For example, in a cardio circuit where you are doing rotating jump squats, "suicides" (shuffling to either side), and fast-paced football quick-feet, hold the heavy weights at your hips or the medium weights in front of you or above your head. This will keep your arms engaged and will trigger your biceps, triceps and shoulders. Try to use the heavy weights more frequently when doing the strength workouts to build more muscle.

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