Thursday, 6 February 2014

Tabata - A Quick & "Easy" Indoor Workout

I posted last week on my FB page for people to "Like" a status if they wanted a post on a quick & effective workout, so here it is! I don't have pictures of each exercise, so I'll post pictures that I've found online and link to the page that they come from.

**DISCLAIMER** I'm by NO MEANS a fitness instructor (except for Zumba) and as with any exercise, you should consult with a physician if you think any of this will be too intense for you. However, if you have no injuries and are in relatively decent shape, you should be able to pound this routine out, NO PROBLEM!

First - The program I'm going to tell you about follows the method of TABATA. I first learned about Tabata when I attended the CanFitPro conference two years ago in Toronto, where my friend took a class with Mindy Mylrea and left said class sweating, shaking and grinning like a loon. Shortly after, I tried it at one of HER classes and been hooked every since.

Tabata is a form of the high intensity interval training method (or H.I.I.T) that can offer more health benefits than traditional cardiovascular exercise. I personally like it because it’s short, efficient and can fit in almost any fitness program. No equipment is required, no skill level is required and the whole thing takes about 25 minutes from start to finish.

Any exercise can be incorporated into the Tabata training. However the basic outline of the Tabata training method are as follows:
  • One "Set" is 4 minutes long
    • 20 seconds of intense training (meaning that for 20 seconds you give your ALL, whatever that means for you)
    • 10 seconds of rest 
    • Total of 8 rounds per Tabata set
Now in my friend's class (and when I do this at home) we do 4 Tabata Sets (for a total of 16 minutes of intense exercise) plus a 2-5 minute warm-up and a 5 minute cool down for a total of about 25 minutes. A TRUE Tabata set is the same exercise for the full 4 minutes, but I get bored easily and like to switch it up (which is what I'll tell you about here).

Also, I highly recommend downloading a free Tabata Timer on your phone/iPad/tablet or whatever. Trying to do it with just a timer is frustrating (especially when you have sweat dripping in your eyes). I use this one and like it very much.

Now, pick your fave, pump-up playlist, and get ready! I've done this set and it is challenging. Go at your own pace, but push yourself a little bit too. It's okay if you can't to the exercise full throttle the whole time, just keep movint!

 Here we go...

(Go HERE for a picture-free version of this post!)

Warm-Up (do this twice):
25 Jumping Jacks
20 Squats (quick ones)
10 Burpees

Set 1 (Legs & Cardio):
Remember, 20 seconds on, 10 second off per minute. 
1st & 3rd Minute - FROG SQUAT
http://sweatandstamina.tumblr.com/post/49403726470/the-ultimate-squat-guide
Image from Sweat & Stamina
2nd & 4th minute - Mountain Climbers
Image from Shape Magazine
REST FOR 30 SECONDS

Set 2 (Legs, AGAIN):
1st and 3rd Minute -Ski Moguls
http://www.shape.com/fitness/workouts/home-tabata-workout-blast-fat-4-minutes/slide/5
From Shape Magazine
2nd and 4th minute - Lunge Jump
Keep in mind, if this is your first time doing this workout, you may be feeling out of breath and tired at this point. If you are, don't force yourself to do the jump in the middle. You can just step back and lunge with the other leg. Whatever is most comfortable for you! 
http://www.womenshealthmag.com/fitness/lunge-jumps
From Women's Health Magazine
REST FOR 30 SECONDS - You're halfway there!

 SET 3 (Abs & Arms):
Switching it up here, I'm going to do 4 different exercises!
First Minute - Bicycle Crunch
Women's Health Magazine
 2nd minute - Tricep Dips
You can do these like below or using a chair/bench or any other sturdy surface
FitSugar
 3rd minute - Double Crunch
Click HERE for a really good tutorial
 Fourth Minute - Downward Dog Push-Ups
These are BRUTAL, but they are also awesome
Equinox
REST FOR 30 SECONDS

SET 4: Full Body
1st & 3rd Minute - Spider Man Abs 
Glamour Magazine
Description from Glamour Magazine: Start in push-up position with hands directly below shoulders. Pull right knee out to the side, hovering toward the right elbow, as shown. Return to start and repeat on opposite side.**IF YOU CAN** Add a push-up in the middle.

2nd & 4th minute - Cross Knee Plank
From Glamour Magazine
Description from Glamour Magazine: Starting in push-up position, bend and lift left knee, bringing it across body toward right elbow, as shown. Return to start and repeat, bringing right knee to left elbow.

YOU'RE DONE! 

Cool Down:
I'll  admit, when I do this on my own, I'm bad and don't usually stretch & when I do, I don't really have any sequence for them, so I reccomend you head over to FitSugar for a great sequence of stretches. You can also do whatever you feel is best for you!

I hope you enjoyed this workout, I know I sure do! If you have ANY questions at all, please, please, please feel free to leave a comment below. I'd LOVE to hear from you!

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