Get a Better Cardio Workout: Tabata Style

Ask most people what they look for in a workout and their answer will likely come down to two things: fast and effective. That's where high-intensity interval training techniques, like Tabata, come in handy. 

Get a Better Cardio Workout: Tabata Style

Tabata is a HIIT (high-intensity interval training) workout, developed by professor Dr. Izumi Tabata to train Olympic speed skaters. The system is easy to apply: 20 seconds of work, followed by 10 seconds of rest. 

The important thing to note about Tabata is the intensity factor. Moving through the cardio workout leisurely will get you nowhere. The routine was developed to fully exhaust Olympic athletes, so it's probably not the best routine to try if you're a fitness newbie.

You might be wondering why the 20/10 format? Try doing an all out sprint for more than 20 seconds and you will quickly understand why you need those 10 seconds of rest. The rest period provides just enough recovery to perform another 20 seconds of maximum effort.

Here’s Why Tabata Works

Think about the difference between a marathon runner’s body and that of a sprinter. Marathon runners, as a general rule, are lean with very little muscle mass. That’s because while running is still one of the best ways to lose weight, on it’s own, it will never get you that ripped body you’ve been dreaming about.

Sprinters on the other hand, are visibly more toned and spend a fraction of the time getting there. Similar to a sprinter’s workout, tabata relies on high intensity in shorter bursts, helping you define muscle tone more efficiently. 

Classic Tabata Moves to Help You Get Started

Because tabata is a formula more than a routine, workout possibilities are virtually endless. That being said, here are a few moves that are tabata classics:

  • Burpees

  • Kettlebell swings

  • Walking lunges

  • Planks

  • Rowing

  • Squat jumps

  • Skaters

  • Mountain climbers

Ready to get started? Christine Salus shares a great 30 minute tabata workout you can execute right in your living room. Give it a try today!

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