Tabata workouts are known as the 4 minute high intensity interview (HIIT) workout. You can read about its history and the science behind it here.
Traditionally the workout is 20 sec of work with 10 secs of rest - repeated 8 time
s through (hence the name 4 minute workout). Then you move on to the next exercise. I have seen and done workouts that vary the work/rest time as well as varying the exerises between rounds. Sometimes it’s 40 seconds of work, 20 seconds of rest or even 30 seconds of work and 30 seconds of rest. Regardless of the work/rest time, the idea is that you work really hard and push yourself during the work phase then get to take a quick breather during the rest phase but your heart rate is still high so that you get the benefit of working for the full time. Plus, you can do anything for 20 seconds!
You can do any exercise you want during the work phase of a Tabata HIIT circuit, however, the most beneficial is when you do exercises that work your major muscle groups in your body (ie. legs, chest, back) to really raise your heart rate (think squats, pushups, or rows).
My favorite type of tabata workout is actually where you don’t rest during the rest phase. Rather you hold a static pose. So for example, if you are doing jump squats for the work, you would hold the squat for the resting period.
Here is a Tabata workout for you to do. It is a cardio based workout, working your legs, butts, core and shoulders. Do 8 rounds of each exercise with 20 seconds of work and 10 seconds of rest. Rest for 1 minutes and then move on to the next exercise. It should take you 20 minutes. You can use a stopwatch for this - or download a Tabata App. I use Tabata HIIT Timer.
Exercise 1 - Jump Squats (working rest option is a squat hold)
Exercise 2 - Mountain Climbers (working rest option is a plank on your hands hold)
Exercise 3 - Alternating Plyo Lunges (working rest option is a lunge hold - alternating which leg each round)
Exercise 4 -Thrusters (working rest option is a side plank hold - alternating sides each round)
If you have any questions about the workout or if you want to comment after you've done it, feel free to email me (email@example.com) or comment on my facebook page.