No Fuss Workout – Tabata Training

woman jumping rope in gym

If you’re looking for a quick and effective workout that can be done in your living room (during the baby’s naptime or to start the day off right), look no further than TABATA TRAINING!  In some cases, lasting only FOUR MINUTES, Tabata training is a wonderful way to improve your cardiovascular fitness, as well as work on those fast twitch muscles that may have been underdeveloped during pregnancy.  You can perform Tabatas anywhere (think your living room or while traveling) and with little to no equipment!

What IS Tabata Training?

The Tabata protocol looks like this:

20 seconds on. HIGH INTENSITY!!

10 seconds off.

Repeat for a total of 8 times – 4 minutes total workout time!

I know you’re thinking, “4 minutes?!?  That’s not a workout!”  I promise – when you work to your max during those 20 seconds, you’ll get out of breath quite quickly and force your body to workout ANAEROBICALLY (or without oxygen)!  Tabatas are designed so that you won’t NEED to work out any longer than 4 minutes, but if you are advanced you can do a few rounds of eight OR pair a Tabata with some additional cardiovascular or strength training. 

How Often Should I Tabata Train?

As with any type of high-intensity training, I wouldn’t advise anyone to train Tabata-style on consecutive days. Instead, alternate, 2-3 times a week max.  You can also incorporate Tabata intervals into a strength training regime (example: Bench Press then two rounds of Tabata intervals. Then back to Bench Press.)  As with ANY health and fitness program, it’s best to consult your primary physician before beginning.  If you’re a new mother and still within your initial six weeks post-partum, it is advised that you forgo plyometric and tabata training until you’re cleared for exercise.  Listen to your body!

What Does a Tabata Workout Look Like?

Creating a tabata workout is fun and easy!  With the proper knowledge of exercise form and technique, you can create your own tabata workout!  Here are the steps for creating your own Tabata-style workout.

  • Choose EIGHT exercises you know how to do – select a good mix of plyometrics and strength.
  • Write the exercises on a piece of paper so you can easily remember them.
  • Get yourself a timer – this can be a stopwatch, an online tabata timer or the Gymboss app for smartphones.
  • Set up the timer for 20 seconds of work, 10 seconds of rest and to repeat this sequence eight times.
  • Work out!

Just in case you’re a little confused, I’ve taken the guesswork out of creating a Tabata for you!  On non-consecutive days, perform “Hakuna Tabata” 1-4 times through, depending on your fitness level. 


For video demonstrationsHigh Knees, Burpees, Knee Ups with Mountain Climbers, Plank with Frog Jumps, Sumo Burpees, Jumping Lunges, & Jump Squats

For more fitness and health tips, please visit my healthy living blog, Lindsay’s List, and join in on the fun at the LL Facebook page, where I host giveaways and weekly workouts!