"Tabata workouts are high intensity interval workouts that take as little as four minutes to complete," says Mauro S. Maietta, trainer and district fitness manager for Crunch Fitness. "They can be done in a gym, outside a gym, and with or without equipment. They are broken up in to 20 seconds of work and 10 seconds of rest for eight rounds." You can then stack round after round of the 4-minute workout together to make your gym routine as long as you so desire.
Don't let their relatively short duration fool you. Tabata is i-n-t-e-n-s-e. And if you follow your increments to the letter—super effective. Phil Timmons, a trainer at Blink Fitness, tells me that doing these types of workouts two to three times a week can improve your endurance and boost your metabolism for the 24 to 36 hours following the HIIT session.
Before you try Tabata on for size, Timmons has a few words to the wise. (Sorry, unintentional rhyme!) "The 20 seconds of high intensity effort needs to be at perceived max effort for the individual," says Timmons. "Due to the short 10 second recovery, the heart rate stays elevated making this a high intensity (anaerobic level) steady state workout." Keep that in mind as you gear up for the best-of-the-best Tabata workouts on YouTube:
The Body Coach TV's 15-minute Tabata workout
This workout has plank skiers—IMO, the hardest ab move out there. Combined with squats and burpees, this is a sweat sesh your body won't soon forget.
HASfit's 40-minute Tabata cardio workout
Don't let the (kind of LOL-worthy) still of this vid confuse you. This workout is HARD. Move through running in place, lunges, and weighted jumping jacks.
The Fitologists 4-minute Tabata workout
There's nothing that inspires you to raise your BPM quite like a group of people squatting in unison. So lace up your tennis shoes and join them.
FitnessBlender's 30-minute Butt and Abs Tabata workout
A good starting point for beginners, this video combines mat-based moves like crunches and donkey kicks for a targeted ab burn.
GymRa's 40-minute core Tabata workout
This sequence infuses a few boxing moves for an overall body burn. Now all you need is a beach vista to replicate the true sweat-drenched experience.
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