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The 20-Minute Tabata Workout You Need to Try

Tired of slogging through long, slow jogs on the treadmill? Tabata may be just the answer. The popular high-intensity training protocol utilizes a 2:1 work-to-rest ratio — using 100 percent maximum effort during the work phase — to maximize fat loss. “It’s efficient — studies show that you can burn the same amount of calories as a long-distance run in a fraction of the time,” says Greg Johnson, CSCS, a Sacramento, CA based strength and conditioning coach. “This allows you to burn more fat while maintaining and gaining muscle mass.”

Want to see what Tabata is all about? Try the routine below. Perform 20 seconds on each move, then 10 seconds off, repeated for four consecutive minutes. Once you complete the first exercise, immediately move onto the next. When you finish the full cycle, rest for five minutes, and repeat as desired.

Pro tip: It’s not easy to sustain 100 percent max effort, so work at the highest effort output level you’re able to in order to sustain the interval pace of four minutes per cycle.

20-Minute Tabata Workout

Photo: Pond5

The Tabata Workout

1. Medicine Ball Slam
Targets:
Full body, cardio
Grab a soft medicine ball and raise it overhead as high as you can (a). Keeping your torso straight and core tight, throw the ball as hard as you can at the ground (b). Pick it up and repeat until 20 seconds have elapsed. Rest 10 seconds. Repeat this cycle until four minutes total, including work and rest time.

2. Half Jacks
Targets:
Full body, cardio
Stand with your feet together and your hands at your sides (a). Jump and split your feet apart as if performing a jumping jack, while simultaneously lifting your arms up to shoulder level (b). Return to the start position, and repeat as fast as possible for 20 seconds. Rest for 10 seconds. Repeat this cycle until four minutes total have elapsed, including rest and work time.

3. Burpee
Targets:
Full body, cardio
Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Jump as high as you can, reaching your arms overhead (a). Land, then squat down, and shoot your legs out behind you to end up in a push-up position (b). Return to a standing position. Repeat as fast as possible for 20 seconds, and then rest for 10 seconds. Repeat this cycle until four minutes total have elapsed, including work and rest time.

4. Battling Rope Alternating Underhand Wave
Targets:
Arms, cardio
While holding the two ends of a battling rope looped around an anchored object, assume an athletic position by pushing the hips back with a slight bend in the knees, shoulder blades back and down and lower back straight (a). Moving minimally from the shoulders (all the motion should be in your elbows), rapidly alternate waves with your hands as fast as you can for 20 seconds (b). Rest for 10 seconds. Repeat this cycle for a total of four minutes, including both work and rest time.

5. Mountain Climbers
Targets:
Full body, cardio
Get into a push-up position (a). Rapidly tuck one knee up under your chest while keeping your other leg extended (b). Repeat with the opposite leg. Switch back and forth, keeping your hips down and your back straight for 20 seconds, then rest for 10. Repeat cycle for four minutes total, once again including both work and rest time.

Looking for more quick and effective HIIT workouts? Head to DailyBurn.com and try the Inferno or InfernoHR programs. 

Originally posted on September 9, 2013. 

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