Tabata Workout: What Is Tabata And What Are The Benefits

If you need a good burner workout to get your bpm’s up, then you should consider a Tabata workout. Tabata is a type of high-intensity interval training (HIIT), with 20 seconds of all out work, followed by 10 seconds of rest. 20 seconds at all-out heart pumping max effort, will jump your heart rate into a place you’ve never seen before. We’re going to talk more about Tabata training, the benefits, and how this quick burst workout can help you conquer your fitness goals.

What Is Tabata Training 

Tabata is a style of high-intensity interval training (HIIT), where you perform 20 seconds of all out work, followed by 10 seconds of rest. This interval is repeated 8 times for a total of 4 minutes. 

Tabata was developed by Dr. Izumi Tabata and his team from the National Institute of Fitness and Sports at Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan, on high-intensity exercise during the early 1990s. 

Tabata was originally created for cyclists [R]. However, Tabata has evolved since the 1990s, with other exercises such as, jump squats, burpees, wall ball shots, lunges, or kettlebell swings.

The research objective was to determine if short bursts of high-intensity exercise followed by short rests periods, condition the body better than a continuous moderate-intensity exercise.

The study concluded that continuous moderate intensity workouts, improved aerobic or cardiovascular performance, but did not improve anaerobic outcomes. Tabata however, produced positive impact on aerobic and anaerobic outcomes.

Benefits Of Tabata Training

1. Boosts Endurance

Performing high-intensity workout at max effort, will help improve your aerobic and cardiovascular performance significantly. With consistent work and little rest periods, you’ll train your body to adapt to quick bursts of all-out work, which can also improve explosiveness and power.

2. Burns Body Fat

Tabata workouts are great as a finisher, to get your heart rate pumping and into the fat burning zone. With max effort and more intensity you’ll burn a ton of extra calories, to help improve body composition and burn more body fat.

3. No Equipment Needed

One of the greatest benefits of Tabata workouts, is that you don’t need any equipment. Jump squats, burpees, step-ups, or even jumping jacks are all great exercises, to help you build more power, speed, and burn more calories, with just your bodyweight.

Best Tabata Exercises

1. Box Jump

One of the greatest benefits of box jumps is increasing your body’s ability to cycle oxygen, and/or increasing VO2 max, which helps improve endurance. In lieu of increasing endurance, you’ll also increase your power and explosiveness or anaerobic capacity, which will help you gain a competitive advantage in other explosive movements and training modalities.

How To Box Jump

  • Start by facing a plyometric box with your feet shoulder width apart.
  • Bend your knees and push your hips back in a hinge motion, almost as if you were going into a squat.
  • This would be the eccentric phase, going into the amortization phase.
  • Use your loaded power and force to propel yourself into a jump using the balls of your feet as your base, swinging your arms forward to launch yourself onto the top of the box.
  • Stand up straight, then step back down.

2. Burpees

Burpees are an effective aerobic bodyweight exercise, that combines a push up followed by a jump in the air. Adding this plyometric exercise into your training and programming can improve your endurance capacity and aerobic thresholds. Burpees are commonly programmed into circuit training, Tabata training, or intervals and can help you burn more calories. 

How To Burpee

  • From a squat position, with your knees bent, back straight, core braced and feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Lower your hands to the floor and jump back into a push up position.
  • Keeping your body straight, come down into a push up.
  • Frog kick and jump your feet up to your hands back to starting position.
  • Stand and jump into the air with arms overhead.
  • Congratulations, you did your first burpee.

3. Jump Squat 

A jump squat is essentially an air squat accelerated into a jump. The rapid eccentric contraction before the explosive jump or concentric action, (stretch-shorten cycle) creates higher energy demand, improving functional strength and cardiorespiratory performance. 

How To Jump Squat

  • From a standing position, bend your knees, hinge your hips back, with your feet shoulder width apart.
  • Go into a squat position, legs parallel to the ground, and chest up.
  • Load your legs like a spring, and from the bottom of the squat, explode yourself up, pushing through the floor.
  • Land back on your feet and repeat.

4. Split Squat Jumps

This plyometric movement is great to help build strength and power in your hamstrings, glutes, calves, and quads. The spit jump, places you lunge position and from there, you start in the amortization phase, pushing yourself directly into the concentric phase, with an explosive movement projecting yourself up into a jump. 

How To Split Squat Jump 

  • Start in the bottom of a lunge, with the right leg positioned in front of your left. 
  • Your chest should be straight, shoulders back, knees behind toes, and core engaged.
  • At the bottom of the movement, the front thigh is parallel to the ground, the back knee points toward the floor, and your weight is evenly distributed between both legs
  • Jump and propel yourself, by pushing through your heel and toes.
  • Land back, and load up like a spring for the next rep.

Tabata Workout: Takeaway

If you're looking for a strong finisher workout, or even a great dynamic warm-up a tabata workout can be exactly what you're looking for. Getting your heart rate pumping in a hurry, Tabata training is great to burn some quick calories, and develop more power and strength. 


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