Skip to main content

Now is the time to work tabata training into your workout routine

Tabata training is an exercise program designed to burn maximum calories in minimal time. This high-intensity workout doesn’t require a lot of space or equipment, making it perfect for an at-home sweat session. This regimen has gained enormous popularity because this quick, strenuous workout is perfect for people with only a few extra minutes in their day to devote to exercise.

Here, we’ve assembled a quick guide to help you better understand the ins and outs of Tabata training, so grab a water bottle, a pair of sneakers, and a yoga mat because it’s time to get our bodies moving.

Related Videos
A woman doing tabata

What is Tabata training?

Originally developed for ice skaters in Japan, this intense exercise program, like many high-intensity interval training (HIIT) programs, burns lots of calories over a comparatively short period of time. This program alternates between twenty-second bursts of high-intensity exercises and ten seconds of rest. The set is repeated eight times for a total of four minutes, and every four-minute repetition is considered one “Tabata.”

Many use a treadmill or stationary bike for this workout, but many other plyometric moves are fair game. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Jump rope
  • Sprints
  • Push-ups
  • Planking
  • Jumping jacks and/or squat jacks
  • Burpees
  • Lunges

Just because it’s short, doesn’t mean it’s easy. Novice exercisers will have a hard time getting through those seemingly interminable minutes. Just like everything in life, practice makes perfect, so don’t be disappointed if you can’t make it all the way through without a few extra breaks.

Men doing tabata training
AtStock Productions/Shutterstock

What are its health benefits?

Michele Olson, a Tabata expert and exercise-science researcher with Auburn University at Montgomery in Alabama, said that despite its short durations, Tabata can burn substantially more calories than more time-consuming and lower-intensity forms of exercise.

“This particular style of interval training has profound effects even on short-term, post-exercise metabolism. It would take five times the amount of typical cardio exercise, like 20 minutes of very brisk walking, to shed the same number of calories that result from a four-minute Tabata…Having limits on time is one of the biggest obstacles to exercise for many in the population. If you can achieve the same benefits doing short bouts of exercise that would normally take 20-30 minutes…[that] will play a meaningful role in exercise participation and health promotion.”

Enhanced cardiovascular health is associated with lower risks of problems related to the heart, brain, blood sugar, and certain cancers.


How do I start?

A quick web search unveils almost innumerable Tabata videos. Below, we share some of our favorites, but we encourage you to try different channels and trainers until you discover what works best for you.

Each video will be effective, but you’re more likely to stick with a program you actually like. Do you prefer burpees over jump rope? Or maybe you love the first five minutes of one video, but the last ten a separate routine. That’s great! Mix and match your Tabatas to curate a workout program that works best for you. Don’t forget the basics though, and be sure to stretch, pay attention to your form, and start slowly to prevent injury.

Tabata may just be the ideal exercise regimen for modern life. It delivers big benefits in little time, all at low (or no) cost in a space-efficient setting. Gyms are becoming more expensive and more crowded by the day, so keep some money in your pocket and try out a home-based routine. In minutes, you can complete a total body workout that is simple and unique to your individual preferences and needs. Next time you have a few minutes to spare, this blood-pumping exercise will always be a great investment of your time.

BlissMark provides information regarding health, wellness, and beauty. The information within this article is not intended to be medical advice. Before starting any diet or exercise routine, consult your physician. If you don’t have a primary care physician, the United States Health & Human Services department has a free online tool that can help you locate a clinic in your area. We are not medical professionals, have not verified or vetted any programs, and in no way intend our content to be anything more than informative and inspiring.

Editors' Recommendations

5 resources to help build your home gym
pilates apps woman on ball smiling

If you’re someone who decided during quarantine to convert a spare bedroom, nook, or garage space into a home gym, you’re not alone. When our favorite gyms and fitness studios closed their doors back in 2020, it created a movement to incorporate our health and wellness routines from the comforts of our own homes. Even now, with fitness studios and gyms reopening, many are opting to keep their home gym routines. With the accessibility to fitness equipment online, cutting out commuter times, and decreased risk of catching unwanted germs, it looks like home gyms are here to stay.

However, when it comes to building a workout, it can be boring or repetitive. While you can opt for fitness subscription programs, those can be expensive. Instead, try incorporating these fitness and wellness resources into your home gym and workout routine.

Read more
Ready to hike through Yellowstone? Outstanding equipment for the outdoor adventurer
hiking meet up groups group fall foliage hike

Ah, the great outdoors! Nothing calms the nerves or nurtures the soul quite like the exhilaration of a hike! Not only is hiking good for your mind, but your body benefits too! While taking in all that beauty around you, you are getting an incredible workout. That hike through the woods can sharpen your focus, calm your nerves, improve your balance, strengthen your core, build your endurance, and improve your heart health. The benefits are extraordinary!

Whether you prefer to stay local or visit trails that offer a change of scenery, the equipment you rely on is an important component of a safe, enjoyable hike. Read on to discover some gear you’ll reach for again and again.

Read more
Items to help you heal and recover
woman massaging neck

You want to have items in your home that can help you recover your body and clothes. You want to prevent a mess from happening or prevent future injuries. You want the items to finally fix that loose button or prevent yourself from making a mess on your shirt while eating a delicious dinner. You are an active person with an active lifestyle. You enjoy working out, and your job relies on you lifting heavy packages. You need the items that can help you heal, recover, or prevent you from injuring yourself. The five items listed below will make your path to recovery easier.

You are a person who is looking for the perfect equipment for someone in the hospital recovering from surgery. You want to make their path to a recovery run smoothly. The five items listed above are what you will need for that person. The elbow and calf braces are perfect for someone who is doing physical therapy. The adult bids will make it easy for the person in a hospital bed to prevent future food and drink messes. The batteries are a great way to add some night light if the person reading a book at night, and does not want that bright hospital light. If the person is wearing their favorite button-up shirt, their supplies to fix any buttons that had fallen off.

Read more