Sign up & receive a free HOME workout

© 2018 Fit By Britt

  • White Facebook Icon
  • White Twitter Icon
  • White YouTube Icon
  • White Instagram Icon
  • Brittany Miller

Tabata Workout for Beginners

You may have heard the term “Tabata” in your workout class or read it in a fitness magazine, but have you ever participated in a Tabata Workout class before?

Tabata can sound intimidating at first, but it really isn't. Tabata is basically a version of High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), which means repeated bouts of high-intensity exercise followed by a short recovery period.


So what is a Tabata Workout?


Tabata workouts are super effective. If you are short on time while at the gym or only have a little bit of time to work out while the kids are napping at home, a Tabata Workout is a great option for you as they typically take only 16 minutes to complete.


A Tabata workout has a structured work-to-rest period of 20 seconds of work time followed by a 10 second rest period. You repeat the same exercise 8 times for a total of four minutes. That 4-minute round equals 1 set. Most Tabata workouts include a total of 4 different exercises so you would be completing 4 sets in total to create a 16-minute workout.


There are a variety of Tabata Training techniques and modifications that one can follow, so even if you are a beginner, you can incorporate a Tabata workout into your weekly training schedule at home or at the gym.

Did you know...Tabata workouts can be completed on a treadmill or a spin bike. You can also use weights or just your body weight.


To get the most out of a Tabata workout you want to work at a hard pace (being mindful of proper form of course) so that by the time you have finished 20 seconds of work, you feel exhausted. If you move casually through each exercise, you won’t reap the real benefits that come from Tabata training.


Here is a basic total body beginner Tabata workout that you can do at home to get started!

Equipment Needed: 

- Yoga Mat (Optional)

- Two Small Towels (or sliders/paper plates if performing the move on carpet)

- Timer (I like to use the free version of the SECONDS app on my phone).

Note: All exercises below can be completed without any equipment


The Workout:

Set your timer to...

20 seconds of work

10-second break

8 Rounds

Total Time for Each Exercise: 4 Minutes

* Take a 1-minute break between exercises.*


Repeat each exercise below for a full 8-rounds (4-minutes) before moving on to the next exercise. This workout should take about 16-minutes in total. Make sure to spend at least 5-minutes warming up and cooling down/stretching.


Exercise 1: Air Squat

(Move up and down as quickly as possible for the full 20-seconds).


Exercise 2: Squat Jump

(To modify, hop your feet out wide into a sump squat and then hope them back together, coming back to standing.)


Exercise 3: Push-Ups

(To modify, start on your knees. Keep shoulders stacked overtop of your wrists and your elbows close to your sides to target the triceps more. You can also perform this move against a wall or on a bench).


Exercise 4: Mountain Climbers

(To modify, place hands on a bench so you are raised up slightly OR stand up and drive your knees up to your chest, alternating feet as quickly as possible. Avoid tilting your butt up into the air. You can fix this by making sure your shoulders are stacked overtop of your wrists).


Comment below if you have any questions or if you think you will be giving this workout a try!


Good Luck!