How to do a Tabata Workout Yourself

Not everyone loves the buzz of an exercise class and prefer to exercise alone. Others may find that they cannot get to the gym or studio at the time a Tabata class is being held due to other commitments. Or maybe you just want to top up at home before attending classes later in the week. Whatever your reasons, doing a Tabata workout for yourself is something a lot of people want to do, so here is how to get started.

First, Learn the Routine
Tabata is a form of high-intensity interval training but what sets it apart from other forms of HIIT exercise is the strict timing mechanism. A circuit in Tabata consists of a continuous flow of movement (no stopping for a rest or drink here people) operating under the 20/10 rule. So, a circuit goes as follows

Exercise 20 secs
Rest 10 secs
Exercise 20 secs
Rest 10 secs
Exercise 20 secs
Rest 10 secs
Exercise 20 secs
Rest 10 secs
Exercise 20 secs
Rest 10 secs
Exercise 20 secs
Rest 10 secs
Exercise 20 secs
Rest 10 secs
Exercise 20 secs
Rest 10 secs

The exercise moves used are not the most important factor, but we will look at some you could use below. What is crucial is that you maintain the circuit above and ensure that your exercise periods are at maximum, got nothing more to give, intensity level.

So, you will need timers that do not distract you, that you can see without having to stop.

Now, Add Some Exercises.

Once you are confident, you can remember the timings, pick some exercises – again you need to remember them and not stop to look what comes next. Some people pick 8 entirely different exercises; others pick 4 and repeat, the choice is yours. The beauty of Tabata is it only requires yourself. Accessories are optional, and we will get to those shortly. Here are a few suggestions for your exercise plans:

  1. Burpees
  2. Jumping Jacks
  3. High Knee Jogging
  4. Jump Squats
  5. Ice Skaters
  6. Push Ups
  7. Tuck Jumps

Of course, the list is up to you, and if needed write it on a whiteboard or piece of paper you can see at all times.

Add to the Mix

Now, as we mentioned, equipment is optional, but some people love to mix up their exercises by adding props such as

  1. Kettlebells
  2. Jump ropes
  3. Medicine balls
  4. Dumbbells

Just be careful that they do not become a distraction, and you are not scrambling to pick up or put down something.

You can also use a stationary bike or treadmill, the key aspects of your Tabata workout are the all important timings and the intensity. How you achieve, this is largely up to you.

The Warnings
As with all exercise routines, you should ensure that you warm up properly before you begin to limit the risk of injury. Dr Tabata developed the practice for those who already have a level of fitness, so care needs to be taken if you are new to exercise and have yet to attain a fitness level.

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