Get fit Tabata-style, in 20 second intervals

March 7, 2013

Got four minutes?

Try Tabata protocol. It's burns fat and helps you loose weight. Named for the Japanese scientist Izumi Tabata who developed the high intensity interval training workouts, Tabatas are four minutes of work: Eight segments, 20 seconds each, with 10 seconds of rest in between.

This workout burns big-time calories, and yes in only four minutes. How? Because you work as hard as you possibly can for 20 seconds, rest for 10, and then do it over seven times. This workout is more effective than an hour's worth of moderate exercise on a bike or elliptical.

Tabata exercises are often used by athletes who want to improve their anaerobic capacity (a measure of how long you can perform at top effort. Think football players, who go in spurts and stops).

Make sure to include a warm-up and cool down. For the Tabata, you can develop your own routine, change it up often, or do the same thing. Try to work your whole body.

Here's some good exercises (these are also good to do at home, with no extra equipment) Jumping Jacks (or do wacky jacks – common in P90X.)
Mountain climbers
High kicks
Side kicks
High knees
Jumping squats
Jumping rope

Anything works, really. The idea is to work hard for 20 seconds straight. So mix up your exercises, and work up a sweat. Rest for 10 seconds, then go again.

There's a lot of hand smartphone mobile apps for tabata exercises, as well as YouTube videos and tablet applications. Try Tabata Timer, Tabata Stopwatch or Tabata Seconds for free. There's tons of options out there, try one for free, or try an option for $.99, $1.99 or $2.99.

Or, if you're on Spotify, simply type Tabata in the search box and find all sorts of songs timed to Tabata workouts, including some with whistles and directions like "4, 3, 2, 1," and "Keep Moving," and "Tabata half done." The album on Spotify called "Total Body Tabata Volume 1 - 8" has good directions to keep you on track.

So, go download an app or find another option on YouTube or Spotify and get to work with your Tabata exercises. There's lots of options, so start searching and find one you like!

Cheers to that beach body!