Tabata’s are great interval workouts that fit super busy schedules, travelers with no gym access or anyone who wants to get a quick and intense workout at home or park. Tabata was created from the research of Izumi Tabata who found that quick burst of intense exercise was just as effective, if not more so, than steady state workouts. With a Tabata you choose bodyweight moves for each round which are 4 minutes in length. Most Tabata’s use 4 exercises, but I have done them with 6 or even 7 different exercises. You conduct the move for 20 seconds and rest for 10 seconds until that 4 minutes is complete, 8 rounds total.
The key is a great Tabata app. There are several on the market, but the free apps are fantastic. My favorite is Tabata Stopwatch and I have both the Android and iPhone version. The Quick 4 Minute Workout is another Tabata app but only available for iPhone. If you wish to pay for an app the highest rated app that has iPhone and Android options is the Tabata Pro ($5). There are plenty of apps that have customizable interval timers but I prefer the presets of the Tabata apps. They call out the starts and rests as well as have countdowns for those starts and rests. That way you don’t have to be watching the clock which is hard to do when completing the move in question.
Start with a warm up: jogging in place, jumping jacks, etc. Then pick bodyweight moves and complete that move for the entire 4 minute Tabata round. Here is my list of favorite bodyweight moves: Burpee, push-up, lunges in all varieties, slow mountain climbers, inchworms, squats, jump squats, bench step ups, plank, wall sits, curtsy lunge, split lunge jumps, Bulgarian squats, single leg deadlift, superman, dips, double crunches, abmat sit ups, flutter kicks, side plank, bicycle crunches, jumping jacks and skipping rope.
So for the price of free (app) and your body (already have…aka free), you have a workout plan!