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HIIT IT: A Kickbutt Tabata Workout to Do at Home

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Pushups-Tabata-Workout-HIIT-Textbookscom-BlogWant to freshen your fitness regimen with a workout that packs a punch? A Tabata workout is the way to do it. Based on cardio spurts and strengthening moves, this workout style is also known as HIIT, or high intensity interval training. It’s structured, it’s simple, and it’s intense (in a good way!)

Named after a Japanese scientist who studied the affects of interval training, Tabata workouts combine body-weight and plyometric exercises broken down into 30-second increments – 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off. Studies show that Tabata and HIIT workouts and pushing yourself to personal maximum effort for 20 second spurts can be 5x more effective, increasing your anaerobic capacity and pushing metabolic rates higher.

With 10 moves, this workout will clock in at about 30 minutes (20 seconds work/10 seconds rest, repeated 4 times each, with a minute rest in between sets). You can use the stopwatch on your cell phone or download free apps on sites like or

This workout is easy to do at home – you don’t need any equipment or a lot of floor space. Or you can download the workout card and follow along at the gym. Ready, set, go!

Tabata Workout HIIT Download Card1 High Knees
Stand with your legs hip width apart. Raise your knees as high as you can (to waist level, if possible) as you run in place. Push yourself to maximum effort, without overexertion, for 20 seconds.

2 Alternating Leg Lunges
Standing tall and straight, step your right leg in front of you and lower your knee toward the floor into a lunge. Keeping your hips level with or above knee, knee inline with toes, and your back steady. Push your right leg back and return to standing position. Complete same move on left side. Do as many as you can in 20 seconds.

3 Jump Squats
Stand with your legs slightly more than hip width apart and lower your hips back until level with knees, keeping knees in line with toes. Push through your quads to jump up, reaching for ceiling as you do. Lower back down gently into a squat and do as many as you can in 20 seconds.

4 Push Ups
Lay face down on the floor. Place your hands on the floor, under your shoulders, with your legs extended back, and firm on your toes. Extend your arms up, pushing the floor away. Lower yourself until you are an inch or two from the ground, and repeat. You can also try modified push ups, balancing on knees instead of your toes.

5 Box Jumps
No box required on this one. Picture a four-square at your feet. Jump with feet together, landing softly and bending your knees slightly as you do. Rotate through imaginary squares 1, 2, 3 and 4 as many times as you can in the 20 seconds.

6 Bicycle Crunches
Lay down on your back, with knees bent, feet on the floor. Do a sit-up and lift your knee to opposite elbow. Repeat back and forth.

7 Burpees
From a standing position, place your hands on the ground firmly in front of you, while quickly pushing your feet behind you, as if you were going to do a push up. Quickly come back to standing position, jump, and extend your arms toward the ceiling.

8 Crab Kicks
Sit on the floor with your hands and feet flat on floor, hands directly under shoulders. Push your hips and chest toward ceiling and push yourself up into a crab walk position. Kick your right leg up toward the ceiling, lower it back down, then kick the left. Repeat back and forth.

9 Ski Moguls
Stand tall with your legs together and jump side to side, swinging your arms in downhill skiing motion as you do. Be sure to land softly and bending your knees slightly.

10 Shoulder Touch Planks
Lay face down on the floor. Line up your elbows and hands under your shoulders and place your hands flat on the floor. Raise your hips toward the ceiling and tighten your abs as you support yourself with your extended arms and toes. Steadying yourself on your left hand, touch your right hand to your left shoulder, then alternate back and forth.

Phew! You did it. Grab some water and catch your breath. End by marching in place for two minutes, followed by arm, leg, and back stretches.

Consult your physician before starting any diet or fitness program.