By Chrissy Fink
Tired of long, grueling and boring cardio sessions? Um, who isn’t?! Even if you have the dedication (and stamina) to stick it out on the elliptical or treadmill for the requisite 30 minutes 3-5 days per week, we all have things we’d much rather be doing – or need to be doing. When your motivation for a long gym session is lacking or your free time is limited, try a Tabata Interval workout, a hot new trend in fitness that takes intervals to the extreme with 20 seconds of intense work followed by 10 seconds of rest. The best part: you only have to repeat each exercise 8 times – and you can do anything (except maybe hold your breath) for 4 minutes!
Ready to give this “no-excuse” workout a try? No need to head to the gym for a Tabata class. Rather, pick a few of your favorite exercises and put together your own Tabata workout. Be sure to do each move for 8 rounds (so a total of 4 minutes per move). If you only have 12 minutes, do 3 different exercises! Have 20 minutes? Aim for 5 different exercises!
5 Exercises To Make Your Own Tabata Workout With…
Overhead Towel Squats. Begin standing with your feet hip-width apart. Holding a towel taught overhead (wrists over shoulders), lower your body down into a squat position. Look in a mirror to make sure your knees are over your toes, your butt is back and your toes are pointing straight ahead. come back up to start. Make sure to keep that towel overhead the whole time with your biceps by your ears.
Push ups. Starting out in a high plank position with your feet straight out behind you on your toes and your hands a bit wider than shoulder width apart, lower down and press back up. Make sure to pull your abs in towards your spine. While you may be inclined to do as many as possible in your 20 seconds, try playing with the speeds since slower pushups can actually be harder. Also vary the width of your hands (putting them a bit closer together will work the triceps more).
Side Lunge Jumps. Start standing with your feet shoulder width apart and your knees slightly bent. Step your right leg out to the side as your left leg bends into squat position (try to keep your knee over your ankle and stay facing forward). Get as low as possible before jumping up and landing back in the starting position before switching sides.
Tricep Dips. Sit on the floor with your legs straight out in front of you, hands by your hips, fingers pointing towards your toes. Lift your hips off the floor by straightening your arms (as always, keep your abs engaged). Keeping your arms close to your body, slowly lower your body by bending your arms (your elbows should point straight behind you) and press back up to start.
Low Plank Crawl. Begin in a low plank position (on your toes and forearms and your body in a long straight line). Bring your right knee up to meet your right elbow and back down. Alternate sides, keeping your abs lifted and your hips as steady as possible.
Don’t forget to go all out for the 20 seconds because you will get a 10 second break! Need a little help timing your intervals? Download the GymBoss Timer app (it’s FREE!) here.
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