Fitness Tips

This 4-Minute Tabata Series Might Just Be the Most Efficient Workout You’ll Ever Try

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Tabata is one of those amazing-yet-awful workout modalities. It's over in four minutes—which makes it great for squeezing into a hectic schedule—but those four minutes are often so intense that they can feel like an eternity.

"What Tabata means is 20 seconds of work, 10 seconds of rest, eight rounds," explains Tara Nicolas, a Nike trainer and the leader of our 2022 ReNew Year Movement Program. It's a type of HIIT (high-intensity interval training), so you work hard during those 20 seconds. Spoiler: the 10 seconds of rest goes by in an instant. "So if you feel like, 'Wait, I don't have a moment to rest,' you basically don't. And that's fine," says Nicolas.

If you're looking for something quick and effective, Tabata workouts are the way to go, and Nicolas is leading you through a full-body, four-minute version so you can find out why for yourself.

Press play on the video below, and get ready for a four-minute warmup followed by four intense minutes on the mat (so, eight minutes total) that will leave you sweaty and feeling fulfilled.

Full body Tabata workout with Tara Nicolas

20 seconds of work, 10 seconds of rest. Go through the movements twice for a total of 8 rounds.

1. Knee-to-wrist

Get into a tabletop position. Make sure your shoulders are over your wrist and your hips are over your knees. Tuck your toes and lift yourself up so that your shins are hovering over the ground in bear plank position. Bring your right knee to your right wrist, then switch and bring your left knee to your left wrist. If you can't reach your wrists, bring your knee as close as you can without sacrificing form. If that is too difficult, simply hold the bear plank.

2. Knee drive—right

Start in a standing position. Step your right foot back and tap your toes on the floor behind you, then pull your right knee to the front of your body and drive it toward your chest. Repeat as quickly as possible.

3. Knee drive—left

Repeat the same move, this time with your left leg.

4. Lateral shuffle

Start standing at one side of your mat. Hinge your hips slightly back and bring your hands together in front of your chest. Shuffle to the other side of your mat, then touch the ground in front of you with one hand. Go back to the other side.

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