Tabata Exercises to Take You From Zero to Burn ASAP

Tabata Exercises to Take You From Zero to Burn ASAP

Thanks to the super-short bursts of work and rest, Tabata workouts take HIIT to the next level.

But to squeeze the most intensity — and benefits — out of Tabata training, you need to choose the moves that get your heart rate up, stat.

Tabata workouts follow a set format: 20 seconds of all-out work followed by 10 seconds of rest, eight rounds total.

“If done correctly, the 10 seconds of rest won’t feel like it’s enough to recover and catch your breath,” says Holly Janiszewski, a NASM-certified personal trainer in Minneapolis, Minn.

To get that breathless, burning sensation in no time flat, Janiszewski recommends the following Tabata exercises for your next workout.

Woman doing burpees on grass field

1. Burpees

  • Stand with feet hip-width apart.
  • Squat down and place both hands on the floor in front of you.
  • Hop your feet back to a push-up position: body in a straight line from head to heels, core engaged, and back straight.
  • Do a push-up.
  • Hop your feet back to your hands, and then jump into the air.
  • Land softly and immediately launch into another rep.

2. Tuck Jumps

  • Stand with feet hip-width apart and bring your fully extended arms to chest height, palms facing the floor.
  • Lower into a quarter squat. Then, explode off the balls of your feet to jump into the air.
  • As you jump, pull your knees into your chest. Aim to bring your knees to your arms.
  • Land softly and repeat.

3. High Knees

  • Stand with feet hip-width apart, arms at your sides.
  • Lift your right knee at or above hip level while simultaneously bending your left elbow 90 degrees to mimic a running motion.
  • Quickly switch arms and legs. Stay light on your feet and run in place for time.

4. Skater Jumps

  • While standing, shift your weight onto your left leg.
  • Bend your left knee to lower your hips a few inches. Lift your right foot off the ground.
  • Push off your left leg to jump explosively to your right, landing softly on your right foot. When you land, allow your left leg to cross behind you and swing your arms across your body in the same direction.
  • Repeat the movement on the opposite side. Continue jumping back and forth for time.

Woman doing Tabata exercises at home

5. Jump Squats

  • Stand with feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Keeping your chest up, core engaged, and back flat, push your hips back and bend your knees until your thighs are parallel to the floor.
  • Push yourself back up explosively, jumping straight up.
  • Land softly and repeat.

Woman doing Tabata exercises at home

6. Jumping Lunges

  • Begin in a lunge position: front thigh parallel to the floor, rear knee bent to about 90 degrees.
  • Keeping your chest up and back straight, jump up so both feet leave the floor. Swing your arms to help you achieve more power and height.
  • Switch legs mid-air and land softly.
  • As soon as you land, lower into another lunge to begin the next rep.
  • Keep alternating legs for time.

7. Mountain Climbers

  • Begin in a push-up position: feet together, body in a straight line from head to heels, hands lined up under your shoulders.
  • Brace your core. Lift your right foot off the floor and drive your right knee toward your chest. Keep your back flat, butt down, and body rigid.
  • Quickly return your right foot to the starting position while simultaneously driving the opposite knee toward your chest. That’s one rep.
  • Continue alternating legs for time.

8. Toe Taps

  • Stand facing a step or short bench.
  • Place your left toes on the top of the step and bend your elbows 90 degrees (right arm forward, left arm back).
  • With your chest up, switch your feet rapidly so your left foot is on the ground, and your right toes are on the step. Pump your arms in sync with your steps.
  • Keep switching your feet and arms as quickly as you can for time.

If you’re craving more Tabata exercises, test out Autumn Calabrese’s latest program, 9 Week Control Freak, which features three training formats — including Tabata and density training — to create a powerful stimulus for results.