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4-Minute Tabata-Inspired Fat-Blasting Workout

author image Jessica Smith
As a certified wellcoach, author, fitness lifestyle expert and the star of numerous exercise DVDs, Jessica Smith is constantly writing and producing video content about the latest news and expert information on health, fitness and wellness. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in communications.

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4-Minute Tabata-Inspired Fat-Blasting Workout
Get ready to burn, baby, burn! (Calories, that is.) Photo Credit: Travis McCoy/LIVESTRONG.COM

If you're trying to get fit but don’t have a lot of time to devote to working out, the Tabata protocol might be the workout for you. Tabata is a 4-minute, high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workout named after Izumi Tabata, Ph.D. It involves a mix of 20 seconds of maximum effort followed by 10 seconds periods of rest for eight rounds. A recent study found that Tabata burns an average of 13.5 calories per minute (several participants burned much more), making it one seriously efficient workout! Read on to see a 4-minute, Tabata-inspired, fat-blasting workout!

How to Maximize Your Training
Make sure you go all out during your workout. Photo Credit: Travis McCoy/LIVESTRONG.COM

How to Maximize Your Training

First and foremost, according to exercise physiologist Michele Olson Ph.D., you’ve got to go all out with Tabata. “It's a tough training method if you do it correctly, but if you are doing eight rounds of the 20-10 formula and not truly pushing beyond max, you won't see the benefits of the authentic Tabata format.” Olson notes that getting to that max level every time may mean you need to stick with only five to six rounds in the beginning and build up to eight full rounds. It’s best to cut your rounds short and go all out, otherwise you're just doing a variation of circuit training.

Read more: 5 Common Myths About HIIT Workouts

1. High Knees
Keep those knees high! Photo Credit: Travis McCoy/LIVESTRONG.COM

1 High Knees

Before you jump into this workout, Olson recommends a five-minute warm-up. Jumping rope — real or imaginary — is a great way to break a pre-Tabata sweat. After you’ve warmed-up, you’ll be ready for your first interval: high knees.

HOW TO DO IT: Start by running in place as fast as you can (remember to GO ALL OUT!), driving your knees up as high as you can lift them. Pump your arms back and forth to help propel your knees higher for 20 seconds. Rest for 10 seconds and then move right into the next exercise.

2. Squat Jump
Explode off the ground. Photo Credit: Travis McCoy/LIVESTRONG.COM

2 Squat Jump

Squat jumps are a great plyometric (jump training) exercise that target all the major muscle groups of your lower body while getting your heart rate skyrocketing.

HOW TO DO IT: Lower into a squat position, pushing your hips back and knees tracking over (but not past) toes. Keep your chest lifted and arms bent with your elbows touching your knees. Quickly jump straight up, reaching your arms overhead. Land softly in squat position and then immediately repeat for 20 seconds. Rest for 10 seconds and then repeat once more.

Read more: 10 No-Gym Plyometric Moves for Explosive Strength

3. Dumbbell Snatch
You got this! Photo Credit: Travis McCoy/LIVESTRONG.COM

3 Dumbbell Snatch

As a traditional kettlebell training exercise, this move challenges your entire body while building incredible core stability. If you don't have a kettlebell, Olson recommends using eight- to 10-pound dumbbell, depending on your level.

HOW TO DO IT: Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Holding a dumbbell with your left hand, extend your right arm out straight to the side of your shoulder. Lower into a squat position as you swing the dumbbell through your legs. Next, explode through your hips to stand up and press dumbbell vigorously overhead. Repeat as quickly as possible with good form for a total of 20 seconds. Rest for 10 seconds and then repeat on the opposite side.

Read more: 9 Fat-Torching Kettlebell Moves

4. Speed Skater
Only a little more of the workout left. Photo Credit: Travis McCoy/LIVESTRONG.COM

4 Speed Skater

Channel you inner Olympic speed skater for this one and focus on stability and balance.

HOW TO DO IT: Stand with your feet together and your arms by your sides. Take a wide step out to the side with your left foot, lowering into a squat position, bending your right knee behind body, tapping right foot lightly on the floor and swinging arms to the left. Quickly push off your left leg, swinging your arms out to the sides of your shoulders, jumping out and over to the right, landing on right leg with left leg crossed back, arms swinging to right side. Repeat as quickly as possible for 20 seconds. Rest for 10 seconds and then move right into the next interval.

5. Lunge Jump
Reach for the sky. Photo Credit: Travis McCoy/LIVESTRONG.COM

5 Lunge Jump

Here's another plyometric exercise that targets your lower body. But this time, instead of squats, you're jumping from a lunge position.

HOW TO DO IT: Step with your right leg back into a lunge, bending your elbows with your arms by your sides. Jump straight up, reaching your arms overhead and extending your legs. Land softly in the lunge position with the same leg in front. Repeat as quickly as possible for 20 seconds. Rest for 10 seconds and then repeat on the opposite side.

Read more: 22 New Lunges to Supercharge Leg Day

What Do YOU Think?
Tell us what you think! Photo Credit: Travis McCoy/LIVESTRONG.COM

What Do YOU Think?

Had you heard about Tabata? Do you use Tabata in your current workouts? What are some of your favorite moves to incorporate into your Tabata workouts? If you haven't tried it yet, will you? What other types of HIIT have you tried? Leave a comment below and let us know!

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