The festive season is right around the corner and if you are looking forward to shedding those extra kilos for fitting into your new wardrobe, then this is for you. We all know that work stress and personal commitments often leave us with very little time to perform an elaborate exercise regimen.

Now, if you are looking to lose some weight and stay fit at a rapid pace, that too with a simple yet vastly efficient routine that you can easily squeeze into your busy schedule, then Tabata training is the ideal workout for you!

tabata training protocol

So, What Exactly Is Tabata Training?

Tabata training is, in fact, a variant of HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) encompassing a unique pattern of cardiovascular exercises. It was conceptualized and developed by the renowned Japanese professor Dr. Izumi Tabata, in the late 1990s, for the expansive coaching of the Olympic speed skating team.
Also Read: 5 Cool Exercises To Soothe Your Muscles After A High-Intensity Workout

However, people at all fitness levels, be it beginner, intermediate or advanced, can easily perform this workout. Each routine in Tabata lasts only for four minutes and will thoroughly stretch your core muscles, improve your flexibility and build your sense of balance. Any type of movement, be it a squat, lunge or push-up can be incorporated into a Tabata sequence and the training course is organized as follows:

  • Concentrated training for 20 seconds
  • Rest for 10 seconds
  • Repeat this for 8 rounds i.e. a total of 240 seconds or 4 minutes

Tabata confers immense incentives for physical fitness such as eliminating additional body fats, augmenting metabolism, protecting and strengthening muscle tissue as well as elevating stamina.
Also Read: 5 Incredible Health Benefits Of High-Intensity Killer Workout

It is no wonder then that Tabata is popularly referred to as the “4-minute miracle workout”. Well, go on and try these Tabata exercises today, that will guarantee that oh-so-fit and fab body.

woman doing lunges

5 Super-Easy Standard Tabata Exercises:

1.    Jump Squat

Stand erect, with your feet a little apart. Squat a bit to gain some momentum, then jump up high, making sure to land gently on your toes. Repeat for 20 seconds, rest, then resume again.

2.    Lateral Lunge To Knee Drive

Stand straight and spread your feet wide. Next, laterally lunge with your left foot and then shift your weight onto the right, lifting your left leg knee-high. Repeat this procedure.

3.    Squat Thrust To Frog Jump

Squat completely and then place both hands on the floor, extending your feet fully behind. Slowly retract into the squat and then do a frog leap, ensuring a soft landing on your toes. Perform this reiteration as per the 20-10 sequence.

4.    Skater To Curtsy Lunge

Keep your feet beside each other and then bend forward like in a curtsy. Slide both your feet to the other side in a motion similar to skating and then curtsy again. Repeat this technique for 20 seconds, gradually increasing pace and power to improve your calf muscles and get rid of cankles.

5.    Mountain Climber To Single Leg Push Up

Lie down on your front completely, raising your torso in a plank-like position by placing your palms on the ground. Bring your right knee forward, then your left knee and then do a quick single-leg push up. Do this recurring method according to the 20-10 timeline.

Superb Benefits Of Tabata Training For Improved Physical Strength And Stamina:

Sheds Excess Body Fat

The high-intensity nature of exercises involved in Tabata training increases heart rate, thereby enabling the cardiac muscles to pump blood to all cells, tissues and organs in the body and promote circulation of oxygen, nutrients and energy. Moreover, the fast-paced 4-minute form of this workout pushes the body into the “fat-burning zone” promptly, elevating metabolism and thus aiding in using up calories and losing surplus weight.

Fortifies Core Muscles

Although weight loss generally implies a reduction in not only body fat but also muscle mass, Tabata training is a rather advantageous workout in that its duration is very short – a total of just 4 minutes, when compared to cardio routines and strength training sessions. The gruelling exercises in a Tabata workout engage the arms, torso, hips, thighs, calves for a brief period, hence reinforcing core muscle tissues and safeguarding them from injury, wear and tear.

Boosts Aerobic And Anaerobic Capacities

Aerobic capacity refers to volume of oxygen that the lungs and heart can circulate within the system and is calculated as the maximum amount of oxygen consumed during arduous exercise. Anaerobic capacity is the amount of energy that can be produced by the body in the absence of oxygen, which is achieved by burning carbohydrates. Tabata training is a fantastic workout that enhances both aerobic and anaerobic capacities and uplifts exercise performance.

Difference Between Tabata And HIIT

HIIT usually covers all types of interval training that include a period of workout followed by a period of rest. The work period can be a fixed time or number of repetitions. During the active phase, you would be exerting as hard as you can, even to the stage of fatigue.

The time durations can differ, but generally, each interval lasts 2 to 3 minutes and the complete workout session lasts for 20 to 40 minutes. HIIT exercises use bodyweight workouts or a treadmill. Equipment like kettlebells, a jump rope or dumbbells can also be used.

Whereas Tabata is a kind of HIIT that’s more precise in its interval period and has very shorter recovery periods. Usually, a person does Tabata at a higher intensity than a traditional HIIT workout.

Each Tabata session lasts for 4 minutes and involves eight intervals of 20 seconds of strenuous workouts followed by 10 seconds of rest. Generally, Tabata workout is done for 20 minutes, but one can also opt to do one or a few exercises for a shorter period.

Tabata workout delivers several benefits such as:

  • Promote metabolism
  • Time-efficient
  • Improves aerobic and anaerobic fitness levels
  • Boosts lean muscle mass
  • Increases heart rate


Tabata training is a swift workout regime that can easily be carried out at any time of the day, as it requires only a timer and no gym equipment. Keep in mind to cool down after performing this rigorous drill, to allow your muscles to recover and stay fit and active.