4 Minute Fat-Burning Tabata Workouts June 22, 2016

Are you worried your sedentary lifestyle is taking a toll on your health? Wondering how you can find time out of your busy schedule to get your body moving? Then the Tabata workout is what you should try today.

Fitness routines have transformed over the ages giving us maximum benefits in the shortest time. We no longer need to sweat for hours, only to wait for negligible results. Tabata workout, the new miracle workout on the block, is so intense and quick that you can have a total body workout with a couple of minutes.

Now that’s incredible, isn’t it? Go ahead and read on what this workout is all about, and how it can make you super-fit in the coming days.

What Is Tabata Training?

The Tabata Protocol was first designed in the 1990s to train the Japanese Olympic speed skating team. The team’s head coach Irisawa Koichi developed the unusual technique to increase both short-term strength and long-term stamina.

It was Izumi Tabata who observed this effective training method and published it. As a researcher and professor for sports and health science in Japan, he established many helpful findings on the method. The studies conducted indicated that this HIIT workout had a more positive impact on both anaerobic and aerobic systems.

Intense, But Worth It

Tabata workout is a type of High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). If interval training is effective, Tabata is no less than explosive.

  1. The method involves 20 seconds of very high-intensity training followed by 10 seconds of low-intensity training or rest.
  1. Each exercise needs to be performed at your hardest pace, for eight times in four minutes.
  1. About 20 seconds of effort + 10 seconds of rest multiplied by 8 = 4 minutes. So, set a timer for the routine.
  1. The exercises are taken up in four sets comprised of two each.
  1. You can combine bodyweight exercises, dumbbells, and punches; anything you like (1).
  1. The first three sets are easy to perform, but by the last set, if you’re still standing, you haven’t done it right.
  1. If low intensity is using 50% of your capacity, HIIT demands that you put in everything you can give.
  1. A Tabata workout gives your heart very little time to build the pace, but gives you an endorphin hit in the end.

[ Read: 30 Minute Interval Training Workout ]

Why Tabata? Because Tremendous Results!

Intense, short workouts such as the Tabata method are very effective in boosting the body’s metabolism. Interestingly, the fat continues to burn long after the workout.

  • Tabata workout is better than a 60-minute cardio workout (2).
  • Since various exercises are combined, it engages a majority of the body’s muscle groups.
  • Consequently, it builds lean muscle, which burns fat.
  • Tabata HIIT enhances maximum oxygen consumption (VO2 Max) by 14% and anaerobic capacity by 28% (3).
  • Results are observed as early as six weeks when Tabata method is implemented for four minutes for four days a week.

Originally, the Olympic players were able to perform the Tabata training at VO2 Max of approximately 170%.

As VO2 Max is a standard for cardiovascular fitness, the higher your VO2 Max, the stronger is your heart.

Interval Training Exercises

For the maximum benefit, intense interval training exercises must raise your heart rate as high as possible in a short period (4).

Always warm-up before a workout. Here are a few exercises that you can include in your Tabata routine.

1. Stationary Running:

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Image: Shutterstock

This is one of the basic exercises in a Tabata protocol.

  1. Begin running as fast as you can on the spot.
  2. In 20 seconds, slow down and walk around for 10 seconds.
  3. Alternately, you can find an open space and start sprinting.
  4. Continue for the second repetition or combine the set with another interval training exercise.

2. Plank Walk:

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Image: Shutterstock

A walking plank is tougher than your average exercise and is better for it.

  1. Get down on your knees and elbows.
  2. Rest your forehands firmly on the ground, and ensure your feet are supporting your legs.
  3. Your body is off the floor, aligned straight.
  4. Raise one leg behind you.
  5. Return the leg to the floor, and raise the opposite leg.
  6. Repeat the movement.
  7. Rest in plank phase.

3. High Knees:

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Image: Shutterstock

  1. You can use a skipping rope for this exercise.
  2. You can also jump on alternate legs without a rope.
  3. Jump up as fast as you can to set your heart racing.
  4. Make sure your knees are raised as high as your hip.
  5. Stand to rest.

4. Dumbbell Squats:

dumbell squat pin_image_share

Image: Shutterstock


  1. Hold two lightweight dumbbells in both your hands.
  2. Stand straight with feet slightly apart.
  3. Start with your hands near your shoulders, dumbbells facing outwards.
  4. Bend at the knees in a squat, then rise and jump up with legs spread and hands above the head.
  5. Return to the squat position and repeat the movement.

There you are. These are some of the intense exercises that can get your pulse racing and the fat burning. There are also other different forms of this workout that you can try out and get maximum benefits.

Different Forms Of Tabata Workout

The various types of Tabata workout are discussed here.

1. Tabata Mashup

This workout is a killer! It comprises of two classic moves. This type of Tabata contains 20 seconds of squats, 20 seconds push-ups, coupled with short periods of rest. It is a sweat producing high-intensity workout.

2. Living Room Tabata

If it is extremely wet or hot to run outside your house, you have no reason to worry at all. Build up the routine with this living room Tabata workout. This is the perfect workout program if you have a space crunch. It helps to maintain the cardiac health with moves like squat jumper and mountain climbers. These help to burn calories at a faster pace.

3. Eight-Minute Tabata

Most of us are always running short of time. If that is the case for you, this is the perfect workout for you! This workout comprises of two rounds. If you intend to continue for longer, just repeat the steps over and over again.

4. 10 Minutes, No Equipment Tabata

This 10-minute Tabata workout routine combines two sets of Tabata, short warm-up, and a cool down. There is a video, which guides you on the exact way to perform the workout. Just follow the video sincerely. This video workout also adds more intensity to the routine. It is advised to carry out this workout back to back to get intense results.

5. 20-Minute Tabata

Again, if you do not have enough time and are willing to do some amount of physical activities, the 20-minute Tabata will be the best for you. It is a combo pack of high-intensity body weight and cardio exercises with no equipment. It will help to burn the extra calories in a very short period.

6. Printable Tabata Workout

The printable Tabata workout is known for its variety of moves – from burpees to the backward lunges. You will not get bored and will always be extremely excited during the workout. And you will also burn a lot of calories.

[ Read: 4 Minute Fat-Burning Workouts ]

7. Total Body Tabata

If you are eager to maintain a healthy body, opt for this 30-minute total body workout. The rest periods will be worked upon by the isometric workouts like wall sits and planks, and will help you to improve the body on the whole.

Carry out the various Tabata workouts based on your convenience and preference. And enjoy a healthy and fit body. A fitter and healthier you – that is what we want for you. And, Tabata will help you achieve just that.

Have you ever tried Tabata training program? Did you enjoy it? Share your experience with us in the comments section below.