This week I introduce to you the ‘Tabata’ method of training, a form of HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training). Tabata is all about putting in an all-out effort for 20 seconds, followed by a 10 second break. That’s just 20 seconds of hard work, which seems much more doable than a minute of pushing yourself to your max, as it’s ONLY 20 seconds! Inspiring this week’s workout is Tone It Up, an amazing fitness brand based in the US. I have two of their ‘Beach Babe’ DVDs, which are perfect for getting your summer body. Many of their moves are very unique, so the workouts are always interesting. One of the sections on their DVD is a HIIT, which is based around the same principle of 30 seconds of hard work, but doing four moves continuously one after the other, without the 10 second break. I have taken some of the full-body moves featured on their DVD, and created this Tabata workout for you.
Tabata training was discovered by the Japanese scientist Dr Izumi Tabata and a team of researchers from the National Institute of Fitness and Sports in Tokyo. Tabata and his team conducted research into two groups of athletes: one group trained at a moderate intensity level while the other group trained at a high intensity level. The moderate intensity group worked out five days a week for six weeks, each workout lasting one hour. The high intensity group worked out four days a week for six weeks, each workout lasting four minutes and 20 seconds (with 10 seconds of rest in between each set).
The results? Group one had improved their aerobic system (cardiovascular), but showed little or no results for their anaerobic system (muscle). Group two showed much more improvement in their aerobic system than group one, and had improved their anaerobic system by 28 percent.
This is yet another example of an excellent workout that doesn’t involve spending a long time in the gym. In fact, just doing a 4 minute workout 4 times a week can significantly improve your fitness even more than if you were to religiously go to the gym and do a long run five days a week, and that’s pretty amazing if you ask me. Plus, this workout involves no equipment, so you could do this 4 minute workout when you wake up, and be feeling fresh and fit all day long. Plus, you will give your metabolism a significant boost, as when you work out on an empty stomach, your body goes straight to your fat stores for energy, and then burns calories at a significantly higher rate for the rest of the day. You then don’t have to worry about finding time to fit in going to the gym. It’s a win-win!
Make sure you hold each move for 20 seconds and then rest for 10 seconds. Each move engages all your muscle groups, allowing you to build lean muscle. When you have completed all the moves once, do the circuit again until you reach 4 minutes!
Plank jumps with jumping jacks
For this move, you will do five ‘plank jumps’, followed by five jumping jacks, repeating this movement as many times as possible within 20 seconds. Begin in a plank position, moving your legs in and out by jumping. Then stand up and do the five jumping jacks, before getting back into the original plank position again.
Downward pike kick
Beginning in a downward dog position, bring one knee toward the opposite elbow, and then bring this knee back and push it behind you, so that your leg is in the air. Do one side in the first round, then the other side in the second round.
We are all familiar with this evil, calorie-torching move. Lower your body down into a squat, then launch yourself off the ground. Ensure that when you hit the ground again you go straight into the squat position again, so that you do not damage your joints.
Squat with a kick
After your squat, kick one leg out in front of your chest, lower back into the squat, and then kick the other leg out. Repeat as fast as you can.
Beginning in a plank position, drive one knee at a time up towards your chest.
Spider Man Push Ups
Complete a push up at the same time as moving one knee up to your elbow. With each push up, switch which knee you raise towards your elbow.
Begin standing up straight, and then shuffle a couple of paces to your left and touch the floor, and shuffle a couple of paces to your right and touch the floor.
As always, please let me know in the comments section how you get on with this workout. Don’t forget that during each 20 second interval, you really do have to push yourself as hard as you personally can to fully reap the benefits.
By Hanni Matthews
Image 1 – http://toneitup.com/fitness
All other images – Writer’s own