Tabata HIIT Workout

Posted On Aug 3, 2021 By Amy Kiser Schemper

A woman performing a Tabata HIIT workout.

Tabata is a high intensity interval training (HIIT) style workout developed by Japanese physician Dr. Izumi Tabata. In a traditional Tabata workout, you cycle between 20 second work intervals, followed by 10 second rest intervals for four minutes, with each work interval performed at a very high intensity. Like many workout styles, the term Tabata has been expanded by fitness professionals and gyms to include strength, mobility and even flexibility training. No matter how you are doing it, the experts agree, Tabata is an extremely effective way to train. When done in the traditional HIIT format, a Tabata workout burns fat and calories and improves endurance and power at a higher rate than many other formats.

As a trainer, one of my favorite ways to implement Tabata training is by alternating an isolated strength move with a high intensity cardio move or compound strength exercise. The workout below uses dumbbells or a kettlebell (or alternate between both) to keep the heart rate up while sculpting the entire body. Try it!

Tabata HIIT Workout

*Alternate between the two exercises for 20 seconds of work, followed by 10 seconds of rest, for 8 rounds totaling 4 minutes. Rest one minute in between circuits. Repeat for a longer workout.

Circuit #1

  • Squat
  • Plank Row

Circuit #2

  • Lunge
  • Curl and Press

Circuit #3

  • Swing
  • Windmill

Circuit #4

  • Press & Bridge
  • Roll Up Twist