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Tabatas are one of my favorite types of workouts of all time.
They are short, incredibly effective, and very hard, if you do them right – everything that makes a good workout. And best of all, they only have four minutes to complete!
So what are they? Tabata training is an interval training style developed by Dr. Izumi Tabata at the National Institute of Fitness and Sports in Tokyo, Japan.
He conducted tests in two groups of athletes, comparing moderate intensity training (such as long distance running) for training high intensity intervals (like sprinting).
The results were surprising – not just athletes who do interval training high intensity increase your aerobic and anaerobic capacity in general, their VO2 max, resting metabolic rate, but also helped them to burn more fat – resulting in a physical thinner much faster than their counterparts moderate intensity training.
How to do Tabata workouts:
Tabata workouts require all out for 20 seconds, then rest for 10 seconds. You repeat this cycle eight times to complete the training.
You need an interval timer to enforce a Tabata, since no one can accurately count to 20 seconds when they are working so hard.
And trust me on this one – if you think you can do four minutes of exercise in your dream, you’re underestimating how hard Tabata workouts are actually (if you do them right, that is). Tabata workouts leave you breathless, but worth every second of pain.
Tabata workouts you can do at home
Ready to get started? Here are three awesome tabata workouts you can do at home, outside or at a gym:
This is the classic Tabata training, and most people think of when they think Tabatas.
To do this, just find an open space and set the timer for 8 rounds of 10 and 20 seconds. Then run as fast as you can for 20 seconds intervals and walk slowly or completely relax during intervals of 10 seconds.
2. High knees with jump rope
Grab a jump rope and get your heart pumping with this incredible tabata workout you can do anywhere.
To do this, set the timer for 8 rounds of 10 and 20 seconds, jumping rope as fast as humanly possible during intervals of 20 seconds and rest for 10 seconds intervals.
3. Alternate between burpees and mountain climbers
This one’s extra fun: you’ll be doing two different exercises, and switching each interval.
You’ll start by doing 20 seconds of burpees, rest, then do 20 seconds of mountain climbers. Continue until you’ve completed all eight rounds.
Get creative with your tabatas—you can do them with any type of bodyweight exercise or traditional cardio activity. Just remember that to make them effective, you have to work as hard as you can!