12 Minutes Full body TABATA Workout

The world of exercise is a rapidly expanding and we’re constantly discovering new ways to get the very best out of our workout routines. Tabata workouts are not a recent invention, but they have made a resurgence recently. In this article, we’ll discuss what this exercise involves, its advantages and examples, and how you can get the most out of your Tabata workout.

What is the Tabata Protocol?

The Tabata protocol is a workout technique developed by a Japanese researcher called Dr. Izumi Tabata in 1996. The system involves a series of short bursts of high-intensity exercises, separated by even shorter rest periods (typically in a 2:1 ratio). Classically, this means 20 seconds of intense exercise followed by a 10-second rest and then another exercise.

He based the technique on another exercise technique that focuses on short bursts of high-intensity activity known as high-intensity interval training (HIIT). However, he incorporated some unique principles to create a more rigid exercise system which took the core principles of HIIT to another level.

Another fundamental similarity between the Tabata protocol and HIIT is that they put the body in Excess Post-exercise Oxygen Consumption (EPOC). This unwieldy term simply means that for a short period (usually about 12 to 48 hours), your body enters a hyper-metabolic state. This allows you to consume more calories than usual, promoting weight loss even when you’re not exercising.

Advantages of a Tabata Workout

There are several advantages that a Tabata workout has over other forms of bodyweight exercises. Some of these include:

  • It improves both aerobic and anaerobic performance.

Research published in the Journal of Physiological Sciences has shown that Tabata workouts activate both the aerobic and anaerobic energy-releasing systems. Most short, high-intensity exercises activate only the anaerobic respiratory system. The aerobic respiratory system is usually less involved since it is started by low-intensity, long-lasting exercises like marathons.

By improving aerobic health, the Tabata protocol is associated with improved cardiovascular and mental health, as well as a reduced risk of conditions like type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, strokes, certain types of cancers, and so on.

  • Tabata is great for weight loss.

As we mentioned earlier, Tabata workouts put your body in an EPOC state which is more effective for weight loss than regular exercise. This is because your body consumes more calories during the training and several days afterward. Some sources suggest that this may increase your calorie consumption by as much as 6-15%.

  • The workouts are short and effective.

Tabata workouts are known to be twice as effective as regular exercises. For example, about half an hour of Tabata workouts carried out three times a week is equivalent to an hour of cardio done five days a week. An intense Tabata workout burns up to 15 calories per minute, which is higher than other forms of exercise like running (8 cal/min), walking (4 cal/min), weight lifting (3-4 cal/min), and swimming (8 cal/min).

  • These exercises can be done without equipment.

Another great thing about Tabata workouts is that they do not necessarily require exercise equipment. Bodyweight exercises are more than enough resistance to carry out an effective workout session. However, free weights like dumbbells, kettlebells, and weighted vests can be added to increase the intensity of the workout.

  • It offers some flexibility.

Even though the principles behind Tabata workouts or rather Richard, the exercises or not. There is a nearly infinite combination of possible movements which you can integrate into your Tabata routine as long as you follow the key principles of the protocol, which are the short bursts of high-intensity activity, brief rest periods, and preference for compound exercises.

6 Amazing Exercises You Can Craft Into a Tabata Workout 

Here are some fantastic Tabata exercises you can try to take your workout routine to the next level.

1. Jumping Jacks – 4 sets, 20 secs

Jumping jacks are a full-body exercise that is great for burning calories.

  • Start in a standing position with your feet together and your arms by your side.
  • Jump into the air while kicking your feet slightly more than shoulder-width apart and bringing your arms together over your head so that you land in this stance.
  • Jump again and this time, return to the starting stance with your feet together and your arms by your side.
  • Do this for four sets of 20 seconds each, with a 10-second rest period between each set.
12 Minutes Full body TABATA Workout -  Jumping Jacks

2. Mountain Climbers – 4 sets, 20 secs

This exercise is great for building your core and lower body.

  • Start with a high plank position with your back straight and core fully engaged.
  • Bring your right knee forward underneath you as close to your right arm as possible.
  • Return to the starting position and repeat the process with your left knee and left arm.
  • Do this for four sets of 20 seconds each, with a 10-second rest period between each group.
12 Minutes Full body TABATA Workout - Mountain Climbers

3. Spot Sprint – 4 sets, 20 secs

This is a standard aerobic exercise, but the added intensity helps recruit your anaerobic respiratory system too.

  • Start standing with your feet close together and raise your arms onto your hands in front of your face.
  • Briskly jog in place while remembering to raise your legs until your thighs are almost parallel to the ground, as well as swing your arms slightly for balance.
  • Do this for four sets of 20 seconds each, with a 10-second rest period between each set.
12 Minutes Full body TABATA Workout - Spot Sprint
12 Minutes Full body TABATA Workout

4. T-push Ups – 4 sets, 20 secs

This variation of the standard push-up may be uncomfortable at first, but you soon get the hang of it.

  • Start in a standard push-up position with your arms above shoulder width apart and your palms facing forward. Engage your core and place your feet close together.
  • Lower your body by bending your elbows until your chest is almost touching the ground, then lift yourself back up to starting position.
  • At the height of the motion, turn your body to the side and raise one arm until it is pointing straight in the air, creating a T-shape with your entire upper body.
  • Do this for four sets of 20 seconds each, with a 10-second rest period between each group.
12 Minutes Full body TABATA Workout -  T-push Ups

5. Pop Squat – 4 sets, 20 secs

Pop squats add explosive, high-intensity motions to your workout.

  • Start in a standing position with your feet close together.
  • Lower yourself into a squat position with your feet slightly more than shoulder-width apart.
  • Quickly return to the standing position and add an explosive jump as you bring your feet together.
  • Do this for four sets of 20 seconds each, with a 10-second rest period between each set.
12 Minutes Full body TABATA Workout -  Pop Squat

6. Bicycle Crunch – 4 sets, 20 secs

Bicycle crunches are a great way to work out your abs while combining several functional movements.

  • Lie down with your back flat against the ground, your arms behind your head, and your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Engage your core and lift both legs off the floor while extending your hips and flexing your knees slightly.
  • Bring your right knee to your chest by flexing your right hip and knee while at the same time lifting your left shoulder blade off the floor until your elbow and knee almost meet.
  • Alternate this step by using your left leg and right arm.
  • Do this for four sets of 20 seconds each, with a 10-second rest period between each set.
12 Minutes Full body TABATA Workout -  Bicycle Crunch

How To Get the Most Out of Your Tabata Workout

Here are a few tips to improve your Tabata workout.

Choose the Right Type of Exercises

The best workouts for an effective Tabata session involve compound exercises that affect both the upper and lower body. You can choose to use or add free weights to add another level of difficulty to your workout routine.

Focus on Reaching Your Optimal Heart Rate

A great way to track the effectiveness of your Tabata workouts is to monitor your optimal heart rate. The optimal heart for high-intensity workouts should be between 77% and 93% of your maximum heart rate. A rule of thumb for calculating your maximum heart rate is subtracting your age from 220.

Your Workout Diet Is Important

This means sticking to healthy dietary habits and avoiding unhealthy meals like fast food, soda, saturated fats, processed meats, frozen dinners, and so on. Stick to whole grains, healthy fats like fish oil, lean meats like fish and pork chops, high-fiber foods like fruits and vegetables, and lots of water.

It’s also a good idea to take a lot of healthy carbs before your workout. This includes nuts and raisins, oatmeal, Greek yogurt, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, brown rice, granola bars, and bananas. Research has shown that this gives your muscles the extra boost they need to make it through the workout. This could include¬†

Taking protein after a workout is good for promoting muscle growth and speeding up the healing process. Protein shakes, eggs, chicken, salmon, cottage cheese, tuna, and even a protein bar are all great sources of protein for your workout.

12 Minutes Full body TABATA Workout


  • Is Tabata different from HIIT?

Tabata workouts are slightly different from HIIT even though they are built on the same principles of quick bursts of high-intensity exercises separated by short periods of rest or low-intensity activity. Tabata workouts usually involve short bursts of activity in a 2:1 ratio (for example, 20 seconds of training and 10 seconds of rest).

  • Does Tabata help with weight loss?

Tabata workouts are great for weight loss because not only do they burn more calories than regular exercise, but they also put your body in an Excess Post-exercise Oxygen Consumption (EPOC) state, which increases the metabolic demands of the body for up to one to two days following the workout session.

  • Can I do Tabata exercises every day?

Tabata workouts are pretty intense, so to prevent injury and make sure your body fully recovers, you should do 2 to 3 sessions a week.


Tabata workouts are the ultimate exercise technique guaranteed to take your workout routine to the next level. It is built on the principles of HIIT but offers a unique twist. It can be performed virtually anywhere and is great for weight loss and improving your overall health.

12 minutes Full body TABATA Workout

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