Tabata training is a type of High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) method invented in 1996 by Izumi Tabata, a Japanese scientist. The training includes heavy and vigorous exercise followed by a short period of complete rest or low intensity exercise for recovery .
It follows a 2:1 ratio rule where 20 seconds of training is followed by a 10-second break. This interval should be followed non-stop for 4 minutes. Because this requires a lot of energy and increased oxygen demand, a beginner to this method should start with a low-intensity workout.
Several studies have concluded that Tabata training has several health benefits. Apart from improving cardio endurance, it can also improve muscle strength and body metabolism which will increase the rate of burning calories and aid in weight loss. One study shows that a 20-minute Tabata workout, which uses multiple rounds of plyometric and bodyweight exercises, meets ACSM guidelines for improving cardiorespiratory endurance.
How to train in Tabata?
The Tabata workout follows a 2:1 ratio with 20 seconds of extended training followed by 10 seconds of rest or recovery. This interval should be followed for a non-stop 4 minutes, which amounts to one round. You can do 4 rounds with a 1 minute break between each round to complete a total of 20 minutes of training.
You should always start with a low intensity level and increase the difficulty as your body gets used to it. Some tips related to Tabata training are:
- Always do warm up exercises before Tabata workout
- Start with a low-intensity exercise with intermittent rest of 20-30 seconds
- Keep an eye on your intensity build-up. You can sometimes reach a maximum intensity that can cause injury from muscle laxity
- Perform Tabata training max 3 -4 times a week. Otherwise it can lead to overtraining and injuries
10 Tabata Exercises You Must Try!
It is one of the toughest yet powerful exercises that can be included in Tabata. It gives strength, power and endurance to the body. Burpee helps strengthen several muscles of the body, including the glutes, quadriceps, and chest muscles.
Stand up straight. Keep the distance between both feet equal to your shoulder width. Squat down and get to the push-up position. Push yourself back and jump to get into a squat position. Jump in the air with both hands above your head. Exhale the air as you jump up. Land smoothly and softly on the mat.
Continue this exercise for 20 seconds. Rest for 10 seconds and repeat the process eight times.
#2 Shelf Jacks
To start this exercise, get into a push-up position with your feet together. Spread your feet as wide as possible by taking a small jump. Jump again and bring your feet back to the starting position. Keep your body as stable as possible. Repeat the movements for 20 seconds. Rest for 10 seconds and repeat the interval eight times.
#3 Push ups
It is one of the most well-known exercises that we usually do during our training regimen. Get into a push-up position with palms slightly wider than shoulder height. Lower your body in a straight line until your chin almost touches the floor. Exhale and push your body back to the starting position. Continue this exercise for 20 seconds. Rest for 10 seconds and repeat the interval eight times.
#4 Tabata Sprints
Tabata sprints can be performed outdoors on a flat surface or indoors on a treadmill. Stand upright with your chest high and shoulders relaxed. Run as fast as possible for 20 seconds. Rest for 10 seconds and repeat the interval eight times.
#5 Plank jumps to push-up
Get into a push-up position with palms and feet held slightly wider than shoulder height. Jump in and land your feet near the elbows. Jump out and return the feet to the starting position. Now lower your body in a straight line until your chin almost touches the floor. Exhale and push your body back to the starting position. Continue this exercise for 20 seconds. Rest for 10 seconds and repeat the interval eight times.
#6 side skaters
Side skaters improve your endurance and strengthen your leg muscles. Begin the exercise by standing upright with feet hip-width apart. Jump on your right side and land on the right foot while placing the left leg behind the body without touching the floor. Then jump to the left and land on your left foot while placing the right leg behind the body without touching the ground. Continue this exercise for 20 seconds. Rest for 10 seconds and repeat the interval eight times.
#7 scissor shovel
To perform this exercise, lie on your back with your hands under the hip. Straighten the legs and keep them off the floor. Now crisscross the legs wide and close for 20 seconds. Rest for 10 seconds and repeat the interval eight times.
#8 Skipping rope
Skipping rope is an effective workout for your entire body. Maintain symmetry and high posture while doing this exercise. Grab a jump rope and hold the two ends. Twist the rope from your head to the legs and jump as the rope moves under your legs. Skip the rope for 20 seconds. Rest for 10 seconds and repeat the interval eight times.
Stand in a push-up position with palms shoulder-width apart and feet together. Drive one leg toward your chest by bending the knee. Alternate with the other leg. Continue this exercise for 20 seconds. Rest for 10 seconds and repeat the interval eight times.
#10 Spring lunges
It is more demanding than traditional lunges. The jumping lunges improve cardiovascular fitness and build strength in the leg muscles. Stand upright in a split stance with one foot forward and the other back. Lower the body into a lunge position by bending both knees. Now jump up and switch legs to lower the body into a lunge position. Continue this exercise for 20 seconds. Rest for 10 seconds and repeat the interval eight times.
Tabata training improves health in several ways. Several studies have concluded that it improves cardiorespiratory endurance as well as muscle strength. It is necessary to take precautions if you are a beginner. Furthermore, the heart patients should also seek the advice of the doctors before starting Tabata training.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q. Is Tabata more effective than running?
A. Yes. Tabata is more effective than running in terms of burning calories. The Tabata workout burns almost 30% more calories compared to running. People who do Tabata burn an average of 13 – 15 calories per minute.
Q. Is Tabata dangerous?
A. Tabata is a high intensity exercise regimen and people should do it with caution. The change to the original Tabata version, without scientific proof, could do more harm than good. People can choose Tabata only for weight loss, which is not the actual use. Furthermore, it is not really recommended for beginners to start with Tabata.
Q. What is the difference between Tabata and conventional high-intensity interval training?
A. There is a difference between the Tabata and conventional high intensity interval training. Tabata’s intensity level is higher with a short recovery time compared to conventional HIIT. Some people are unable to continue Tabata training because of the high intensity.