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4 Minutes Are All You Need For A Tabata Workout

This quick and explosive workout will build strength and impact your aerobic system.

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Your alarm goes off at 5 a.m. You hit snooze one too many times, and there goes your morning run. Just because you skipped your six-miler doesn’t mean you can’t squeeze in a quick workout. Get your heart rate up and build strength with Tabata.

What Is Tabata?

Tabata is high-intensity interval training (H.I.I.T) that requires you to work for 20 seconds with 10 seconds of rest for eight rounds. After your eighth round you rest for one minute before starting a new exercise. It is a “miracle” workout according to some. It gets you sweaty, challenges your core, boosts your cardiovascular health, and strengthens muscles in as little as four minutes.

How It Started?

Japanese scientist Dr. Izumi Tabata and a team of researchers from the National Institute of Fitness and Sports in Tokyo discovered this form of exercise.

Tabata and his team studied two groups of athletes: One group worked out at a moderate, steady-state level while the other group exercised at a high-intensity level. Group One trained five days a week for six weeks, with their exercise lasting one hour. Group Two worked out four days a week for six weeks. Their exercise lasted 4 minutes and 20 seconds (with 10 seconds of rest in between each set).

The results: Group One strengthened their aerobic system (cardiovascular) but did not gain any improvement in their anaerobic system (muscle). Group Two increased their aerobic system moreso than group one—and increased their anaerobic system by 28 percent. Therefore higher-intensity workouts prove to have a higher impact on both anaerobic and aerobic systems.

The Workout

Tabata may seem like the hardest 4 minutes ever, but it’s only 4 minutes. Plus you break up the hard work in 20-second increments.

  • 20 seconds hard work
  • 10 seconds rest
  • 8 rounds
  • After the eighth set, rest for 1 minute before starting the next exercise.

Box Jumps

This exercise is great to increase leg strength and flatten your belly. Yup, box jumps are one of the best core workouts.

Grab a stable box or find a bench to jump on. Face the box; make sure you’re about a foot-length distance away. Slightly bend your knees and then explode up, landing in a slight squat position. Step down.

Kettlebell Swings

Grab a heavier kettlebell. Stand tall, with feet about hip-width apart. Hinge at your hips and let the kettlebell swing through your legs. Use that momentum to swing it up in the air while thrusting your hips out.

Air Squats

Stand tall, with feet hip-width apart. Lower down like your sitting in a chair. Make sure knees stay aligned with your ankles and your weight is in your heels. Once you’re lowered all the way down, push off your heels back to standing position.

BOSU Ball Sit-ups

Grab a BOSU Ball and lie down with your butt just below the center. Bring your arms past your head so your palms touch the floor. Engage your core, tuck your chin in and sit up. Bring your arms up over your head and have them touch the floor as you sit up. Lie back down and repeat.

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