Are you looking for variation to your workout routine? You can try Tabata exercise; killer exercise in a short amount of time. But, have you heard about this exercise routine?

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Well, this exercise was originally developed to train Olympic speedskaters, but it can benefit non-Olympian athlethes too, including you. Let’s find out more about this exercise here!

What Is Tabata Exercise?

Tabata is a for, of HIIT (high-intensity interval training) that’s been proven to burn calories quickly. It was developed by Dr. Izumi Tabata who conducted a study into the effects of HIIT and compared it to steady-state training.

In Tabata exercise, each set lasts for four minutes. Choose your move, then do each move for 20 seconds at maximum effort, followed by 10 seconds of rest, then repeat it for eight times for a total of four minutes.

Benefits of Tabata exercise range from help burn calories and fat faster to boost your metabolism. HIIT exercise in general is effective at burning fat because it requires your body to work at maximum to return to your pre-workout state or called EPOC; excess post-exercise oxygen consumption. It will give you extra afterburn effect even after you finish your workout session.

And the added maximum intensity in Tabata exercise means your body will have to work harder to return to your resting state. This also means you will burn more calories with the exercise.

To reap the best benefits of Tabata exercise, you have to push yourself to the max when do the exercise for the 20 seconds round.

How To Do Tabata Exercise?

In every exercise routine, never forget to spend time (at least 5 minutes) to do warm-up. Then you can do the Tabata set for 4 minutes and repeat as many as you wish. You can give yourself one minute rest between each set. End it cool-down to avoid any injury.

Exercise move to add to your Tabata workout include (but not limited to):

  • Burpees
  • Jump squats
  • High knees
  • Lunge
  • Jumping jacks
  • Push up
  • Skaters
  • Tuck jumps
  • Mountain Climbers
  • Kettlebell swing
  • Rowing

For example, here’s what your Tabata exercise might look like.

Warm-up5 minutes
Jumping jack (20 sec), rest (10 sec)
Burpees (20 sec), rest (10 sec)
Skaters (20 sec), rest (10 sec)
Jump squats (20 sec), rest (10 sec)
Repeat for 2 times
Total time for one Tabata set (8 rounds) = 4 minutes
Rest 1 minute
Repeat the Tabata set again 4 minutes
Rest1 minute
Repeat the Tabata set again 4 minutes
Rest1 minute
Cool-down5 minutes
Total workout time 25 minutes

Take note that you can do any number you want.

Tabata is not really a workout for fitness beginners because it needs you to do each move in high intensity that if you are doing it right, you will feel absolutely exhausted for four minutes in each set. You can talk to a doctor about the best way if you want to perform this kind of exercise.  

Go to or download our mobile app, and choose your preferred method of meeting a General Practitioner who will perform a diagnosis before redirecting you to the specialist you need to see.