Whether you’re looking to sneak in a time-efficient workout or simply want to shake up your running routine, you’d be hard-pressed to do better than Tabata training. Similar to high-intensity interval training (HIIT), the original Tabata Protocol was developed for Olympic speed skaters and put to the test by Japanese sports scientist Izumi Tabata. These workouts are all about getting the most bang for your buck. Bust your butt for a few minutes at top-level effort and the research shows you’ll burn a ton of fat, and improve aerobic and anaerobic fitness too.
Start with a 10-minute warm-up before going into this tabata-style workout. With each move, do as many as you can in 20 seconds, take a 10-second break, then move on to the next exercise. Once you’ve completed all five exercises, take a 1-minute break and repeat the entire sequence three more times. (Similar workouts can also be done while running or riding a spin bike.)
Photos: Oliver Baker
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your back straight. Bend your knees and lower your backside downward, feeling your weight supported through your heels. When your thighs are parallel to the ground, explode upward, jumping with both feet and swinging your arms in the same direction.
Get in pushup position. Jump your right knee forward toward your chest, keeping your hips in plank position and stabilizing your upper body with your arms and shoulders. As you jump that leg back to starting position, simultaneously drive your left knee forward and repeat as if you were running in place.
Begin by lunging forward with your right foot, lowering your body until your right thigh is parallel with the floor and your left leg is behind your body. Keep your back straight and your right knee aligned with your right ankle. Then push off both feet to explode upward and switch your foot position midair, landing with your left leg out in front of your body and the right leg behind. Lunge downward again and continue alternating legs.
With a straight back and good posture, begin by marching in place, bringing each knee up until your thigh is parallel with the ground. Swing the opposite arm forward with each knee drive. Once you get the motion down, get on your toes and pick up the pace.
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Squat down and put your hands on the ground, jumping your feet back into pushup position. Do a push-up before jumping your feet back toward your hands and springing into the air with your arms over your head.