Tabata Workout Routine for Beginners

Is limited time your excuse for not going to the gym to work out? With Tabata, you only need less than 10 minutes of your time. If you’re new to Tabata workouts, then you must still be believing that you need at least 20 minutes in the gym to burn off fat and strengthen your muscles. But, as this post explains, you can achieve your fitness goals following this highly effective routine. Keep reading to discover more.

What is Tabata?

Tabata is a HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) that pushes your body to the limits in a short span of four minutes. It was invented by a Japanese scientist, Dr. Izumi Tabata, who together with his colleagues conducted a study to compare the effectiveness of continuous training at moderate intensity for one hour daily for five days a week over a period of six weeks vs a high-intensity workout lasting around four minutes a day, four days a week for six weeks.

The group that performed moderate intensity training increased their aerobic (cardiovascular) system with minimal progress in their anaerobic system. On the other hand, the second team that undertook the high-intensity training not only showed an impressive increase in their aerobic system but also in their anaerobic system. In simple terms, this means that Tabata workouts strengthen your muscles while also improving your cardiovascular system.

And, don’t let the four-minute session fool you. This may be the toughest four minutes you’ll ever experience. So, if you want a quick fix to burn fat and stay fit, the Tabata way is your best bet.

Routines for Beginners

The advantage of Tabata is that it will boost your metabolism hours after completing your session, thus keeping the fat burning. As a beginner, you want to choose exercises that suit your level. Don’t go all in because this will be too exhausting and you’ll likely sustain muscle injuries. The key is to start at a comfortable level and increase intensity as your body adjusts. Here are some effective Tabata workouts for beginners: ”

1. Squats

Squats don’t require any equipment and can easily be done at home at any time. To do a squat right:

  1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart.
  2. Stretch out your arms in front of you and lower your body down as if to sit on a chair.
  3. Your knees should reach a 90-degree angle, your spine should be straight, and your chest lifted.
  4. Stand up and repeat the squats as fast as you possibly can for 20 seconds. Rest for 10 seconds before repeating the squats for eight rounds.

After getting used to the air squats, you can challenge yourself by doing jump squats, where instead of standing back up, you jump, lower yourself down, and repeat.

2. Push-Ups

Push-ups are known for their fat burning and core strengthening effects. This is great for beginners and it’s not that difficult to do.

  1. Start in a plank position and tighten your core. Your arms should be shoulder width apart and your legs straight.
  2. Lower yourself down as close as possible to the floor and then go back to the starting position.
  3. Again, repeat this as fast as you can for 20 seconds and then rest for 10 seconds. Do eight rounds, resting for 10 seconds after every 20 seconds of continuous push-ups.

3. Burpees

Another set of effective exercises, burpees improve your agility and endurance. These are tough ones, so brace yourself.

  1. Stand tall with your feet hip-width apart. Go down to a squatting position but bring your knees closer to your chest.
  2. Place both hands to the floor, with palms down and kick back your feet so that you get into a push-up position.
  3. In one swift move, push yourself hard off the floor to get back into the squat position and immediately jump into the air as high as you can manage. Keep your arms extended upwards.
  4. Land softly on your feet, and back to the starting position.
  5. Repeat as many times as you can within the 20 seconds.

4. Jump Rope

You can easily get a jump rope from a store near you. A jump rope is effective for strengthening your legs and also for cardio workouts targeting your arms, chest, and shoulders.

Here’s what you need to do:

  1. First, be sure to find a space large enough with good overhead clearance.
  2. Secondly, get a comfortable pair of shoes that will cushion your feet when landing. It’s also important to do this on a mat or a wooden floor if possible.
  3. Now, get your rope and place the ends in either hand. Stand on the rope and make sure it’s the right length – about to be in line with your armpits.
  4. Keeping your elbows close to your sides, start turning the rope.
  5. The movements should be coming from your wrists and forearms. Jump about one to two feet off the floor and land on the balls of your feet.
  6. Repeat as many times within the 20-second window and rest for 10 seconds.

5. Mountain Climbers

This exercise is great for strengthening your legs as well as improving your endurance. It increases your heart rate, making it one of the most effective and popular Tabata workout.

  1. Get into an elevated push-up position.
  2. Bring your right knee towards your chest while kicking your left leg back so that it’s extended behind you with the foot resting on the floor.
  3. Alternate your legs in quick motions as if climbing a mountain on all fours.
  4. Do many reps for 20 seconds and then take a break of 10 seconds.

6. Tabata Sprints

This can be done outdoors or on a treadmill. It involves going for a 20-second sprint and then jogging, resting or walking for 10 seconds. The trick is to keep your chest held high, your back straight and eyes looking straight ahead. Keep your elbows at a 45-degree angle and try to sprint as fast as you can for 20 seconds.

All images by Pixabay


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