Trainer of the Month Club

Try This 15-Minute Tabata Workout That Feels Like It’s Over in the Blink of an Eye

Allie Flinn

Each month, a new trainer takes us through four of the most grueling workouts they have in their back pocket. Follow along weekly for new ways to sweat it out with us. See All

Tabata workouts are quick and dirty. They’ll kick your butt every time, but are over in a matter of minutes, which is why most of us have a “love/hate” relationship with them.

“The great thing about Tabata is that it goes by quick,” says trainer Charlee Atkins, CSCS, founder of Le Sweat TV. Typically, these workouts involve eight, 20-second rounds of work with 10 seconds of rest in between, for a total of four minutes. In this episode Trainer of the Month Club, she walks us through a sweaty bodyweight Tabata workout that consists of three, two-move Tabata circuits, for a total of 15 minutes.

The good news? The six movements included in this workout are ones that you’re likely used to seeing all the time, so it should be pretty easy to follow along with—but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. According to Atkins, it’s “guaranteed to help you break a sweat.” Ready to get a quick, efficient workout in without using any equipment? Follow along to the video above, and see a preview of the first three circuits below to

Try this bodyweight Tabata workout

Circuit 1

Seal jacks: Atkins says these are similar to jumping jacks, but instead of reaching your arms overhead you open and close them.  She says to picture it like opening up huge barn doors, while your feet also move in and out. If you aren’t comfortable with jumping, you can tap your feet one at a time.

Reverse lunges: Start in a standing position. Step one leg out behind you, making sure that you aren’t leaning your lower body back and that both your big toes are pointing forward. Lower your back knee to the ground. There should be a 90-degree bend in both legs. Press into your front heel as you rise up and return to the starting position. When you repeat on the other side, focus on the opposite leg.

Repeat the circuit for a total of four rounds.

Circuit 2

Drop squats: These are squats “where you’re hopping in and out, touching the ground in between you,” Atkins says. As you hop your legs out, reach your hands down toward the floor, then hop your legs together while bringing your arms up, all while keeping your chest up. If it’s not comfortable for you to tap the floor, that’s more than okay. Reach down as much as you can while still keeping good form.

Mountain climber hold: Start in a plank position. There should be a straight line from your head to your heels, and your shoulders should be directly over your wrists. Do three mountain climbers and then hold the leg into the body for a count of three. When you do three more, your opposite leg should be the one you pull into your chest to hold.

Repeat the circuit for a total of four rounds.

Circuit 3

Bicycles: Start laying flat on the ground. Use your elbow as a “kickstand” by pressing it into the ground as you twist and bring your other elbow toward your opposite knee. Make sure to keep your chest open. Return to the starting position, and then repeat on the other side. Continue to alternate.

Plank spiders: Atkins says she incorporates this movement into almost every workout. Start in a plank position, and make sure there’s a straight line from head to the heels. Lift one leg and bend your knee as you bring it toward your shoulder (similar to a fire hydrant). Don’t let the rest of your body rotate. Bring your leg back into the plank position. Repeat on the other side and continue to alternate legs.

Repeat the circuit for a total of four rounds.

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