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How to do a Tabata workout at home

If you follow different fitness trends, you can know Tabata, a powerful type of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) that you can do within minutes. Unlike regular HIIT training, Tabata follows a particularly strict formula for training and resting, which makes it easier for you to build endurance and burn fat.[1] You can include a variety of cardio and strength exercises in your routine, depending on what your training goals are. If you are looking for a fast but effective workout, Tabata can be a great solution for your training needs.


[[[[Edit]Tabata Basics

  1. Stretch to warm up your body before exercising. Focus on stretching all body parts, such as the neck, shoulders and legs. After stretching on your own, ask a friend or family member if they would be willing to do some partner stretches with you. Give yourself several minutes to warm up so you do not risk twisting or pulling a muscle.[2]
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    • For example, you can do some neck rolls to stretch your neck and then move forward, backward, left and right.
  2. Exercise vigorously for 20 seconds. Set a timer for 20 seconds and start performing the exercise of your choice. Do your best to push yourself to the absolute limit when you work, even if it is uncomfortable.[3] If you have trouble keeping track of your training time, you can use a Tabata timer.[4]
    Do a Tabata Exercise at Home Step 02.jpg
    • These exercises can be anything that makes your blood pump, such as jump jackets, crunches, sprints and more. You can only focus on cardio or strength training or choose activities that cover both categories.
    • You can find a Tabata timer here: https://www.uwgb.edu/university-recreation/online-resources/tabata-workouts.
  3. Let yourself rest for 10 seconds. Slow down or pause after your intense workout and give yourself a short moment to breathe.[5] If necessary, you can use a Tabata timer to keep track of how long you rest so that you do not ruin the flow of your workout.[6]
    Do a Tabata workout at home Step 03.jpg
    • As tempting as it is to give yourself extra rest time, try to limit yourself to just 10 seconds. It feels really exhausting right then, but these exercises will help you build endurance!
  4. Alternative training and rest until you have trained for 4 minutes. Continue training for 20 seconds, working as hard as you physically can. Break for 10 seconds and then repeat the cycle again. After 4 minutes you can stop.[7]
    Do a Tabata exercise at home Step 04.jpg
    • Some people prefer to do several 4-minute Tabata circuits, giving themselves one minute of rest between each segment.
  5. Cool down for several minutes when you have finished training. Start by walking in place, rotating your arms in circles as you walk. Transition to a calf stretch and then change to a hoarding stretch. At this time, pull each leg up toward your glutes for a dynamic four-legged stretch. Once you have done that, extend your arms behind you to stretch your chest and pull them forward to stretch your back. Finish with a few triceps stretches, along with side stretches that engage your side muscles.[8]
    Do a Tabata workout at home Step 05.jpg
    • Always take time to cool down and stretch, even if it is only a few minutes. This helps prevent strain or damage in the long run!
  6. Limit yourself to two Tabata sessions each week. Plan your training goals for the week. While Tabata is a great workout, do not expect to do it every day. Instead, limit yourself to two days each week and supplement the rest of your time with other workouts and exercises.[9]
    Do a Tabata workout at home Step 06.jpg
    • For example, you can cycle on Monday; does Tabata on Tuesday; swim on Wednesday: do more Tabata on Thursday; and drive on Friday.

[[[[Edit]Choosing exercises for Tabata

  1. Get your heart pumping with sprints and go lungs. Find an open area in your home where you can safely run on the spot without crashing or colliding with anything. Drive in place as fast as you can for 20 seconds, then switch to walking lungs for 10 seconds to slow yourself down.[10]
    Do a Tabata exercise at home Step 07.jpg
    • Go forward and bend 1 knee in front and 1 behind you to perform once. Take a “step” forward, lung forward with your opposite leg while leaving the other bent behind you.
  2. Incorporate narrow and wide squats into your Tabata routine. Lay out a yoga mat to cushion your feet and leave your feet together. Take a squat, bend your knees at a 90 degree angle. Lift yourself from this position and jump and spread your feet apart as you land. Squat down, then straighten up and bring your feet together. Repeat these alternating squats for 20 seconds as part of your Tabata workout![11]
    Do a Tabata workout at home Step 08.jpg
    • Try to switch between these squats as quickly as possible to get full effect.
  3. Take a chair and do some step-ups. Pull over a sturdy chair next to you in your training space. Pretend you are climbing a flight of stairs by stepping on the chair’s chair with both feet and then walking back down to the floor. Repeat this step as fast as you can for 20 seconds.[12]
    Do a Tabata exercise at home Step 09.jpg
    • Double check that the chair is stable and that you can comfortably climb on it without any problems.
  4. Lean against a wall to make an easy wall seat. Find an open wall in your home that has no decorations. Plant your feet firmly on the ground and keep your back even against the wall. Bend your knees at a 90 degree angle and hold this “sitting” squat for 20 seconds.[13]
    Do a Tabata workout at home Step 10.jpg
  5. Strengthen your stomach with a few crunches. Find a comfortable place where you can lie down in your home or roll out a yoga mat. Lay the front side up on the mat and perform as many crunches as possible for 20 seconds.[14]
    Do a Tabata workout at home Step 11.jpg
    • As uncomfortable as it may feel, do your best to push yourself to the limit when exercising.
    • As an example of Tabata training, you can cycle between crunches, lunges, burpees and planks.
  6. Try a regular or inverted plank to engage your core. Find an open, comfortable area where you can stretch along the floor. Hold a basic plank position on your forearms for 20 seconds, or try an inverted plank, where you balance yourself on your palms while holding your legs and chest at a rigid 45 degree angle.[15]
    Do a Tabata workout at home Step 12.jpg
    • With inverted planks, only your heels are on the ground.
  7. Get some cardio with buttocks or high knees. Drive in place as fast as you can. Make some high knees by lifting your legs higher in the air while running. You can also try some buttocks, where you take your heel to your glutes as you move. Continue one of these exercises for 20 seconds as part of your Tabata workout.[16]
    Do a Tabata workout at home Step 13.jpg
    • Always make sure you run in an open area where you do not risk colliding with anything around you.
  8. Push yourself to the limit with burpees. Roll out a yoga mat so that your body is supported and cushioned while you exercise. Go down in launch position and then jump on your feet. Jump up in the air and return to the original push-up position, repeating this exercise for 20 seconds.[17]
    Do a Tabata exercise at home Step 14.jpg

[[[[Edit]Use home equipment

  1. Add a kettlebell to your regular Tabata workout. Try some exercises that are about swinging or lifting a kettlebell. Start by bending your knees and swinging the equipment down through your legs. Then use your hips as speed and turn the kettle upwards and raise it to your shoulder height. Take the kettlebell back between your legs and bend your knees to repeat the exercise for 20 seconds.[18]
    Do a Tabata exercise at home Step 15.jpg
    • You can find kettlebells online or in most stores that sell fitness equipment.
  2. Include skipping ropes in your circuit for a good workout. Jump rope for 20 seconds, try a “double under” technique to really get your blood pumping. Try to swing the rope under yourself twice before your feet hit the ground, which gives a particularly tough workout. Above all, focus on jumping rope as fast as you can.[19]
    Do a Tabata workout at home Step 16.jpg
  3. Train with a rowing machine to train hard. Visit your local gym or home gym and find the rowing machine, which gives you a good workout throughout the body. Set your rowing machine to a high weight setting and do as many reps as possible in 20 seconds.[20]
    Do a Tabata exercise at home Step 17.jpg
    • Intensive rowing training usually involves 28 “strokes” or reps per minute.
    • Do not stop completely during your rest period – relax a little on the machine.
  4. Do a heart-centered Tabata workout with the treadmill or bike. Set the treadmill at a speed where you will be sprinting completely. Maintain this speed for 20 seconds and then slow it down for 10 seconds. Repeat these adjustments as you continue your Tabata training.[21]
    Do a Tabata exercise at home Step 18.jpg
    • You can also perform this exercise without a treadmill – you just need to monitor your speed closely.


  • Follow training videos or programs if you want some extra guidance when exercising.


  • Talk to your doctor before trying Tabata if you have a serious health problem, such as a heart condition. Your doctor can offer advice, suggestions and options that can help you be safe while exercising.[22]


  1. https://www.mensjournal.com/health-fitness/tabata-training/
  2. http://web.mit.edu/shotokan/www/Basic_warm_up.pdf
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3772611/
  4. https://www.uwgb.edu/university-recreation/online-resources/tabata-workouts/
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3772611/
  6. https://www.uwgb.edu/university-recreation/online-resources/tabata-workouts/
  7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3772611
  8. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=3w1szPuqY8I&t=0m10s
  9. https://www.mensjournal.com/health-fitness/tabata-training/
  10. https://www.mensjournal.com/health-fitness/tabata-training/
  11. https://www.shape.com/fitness/workouts/tabata-treadmill-interval-workout
  12. https://www.uwgb.edu/university-recreation/online-resources/tabata-workouts/
  13. https://www.uwgb.edu/university-recreation/online-resources/tabata-workouts/
  14. https://www.msn.com/en-us/health/workout/strength/tabata-intro-lunges-crunches-burpees-and-planks/ss-BBtO6T6
  15. https://www.uwgb.edu/university-recreation/online-resources/tabata-workouts/
  16. https://www.uwgb.edu/university-recreation/online-resources/tabata-workouts/
  17. https://www.washingtonian.com/2012/09/26/grant-hills-burpee-tabata-workout/
  18. https://www.besthealthmag.ca/best-you/workout-routines/combine-tabata-and-kettlebells-for-your-best-workout-ever/
  19. https://www.mensjournal.com/health-fitness/tabata-training/
  20. https://www.mensjournal.com/health-fitness/tabata-training/
  21. https://www.shape.com/fitness/workouts/tabata-treadmill-interval-workout
  22. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/in-depth/exercise/art-20047414

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