A Tabata Workout to Super-Charge Your Mood

Written by
8fit Team @ 8fit
Fitness Lifestyle Female Ame Outdoors Happy Post-Run Stretching Healthy 006-e1547744476849
Written by
8fit Team @ 8fit
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By now, you’ve probably heard how great exercise is for its mood-boosting abilities. In particular, high-intensity exercises such as Tabata (a form of HIIT) show promise for people who want to get that much sought-after rush of endorphins and good vibes.

Research shows that regular exercise has both short and long-term benefits for your mental health, so what are you waiting for? Put on some comfortable workout clothes, get out your timer or smartphone and try our tabata workout today!

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What is Tabata?

To understand what Tabata is all about, it helps to know a little bit about the origins of this groundbreaking training. In 1996 Dr. Izumi Tabata and Olympic speed skating coach Irisawa Koichi developed this technique as an efficient way to improve endurance and strength in their skaters. During their research, he discovered that study participants benefited from higher calorie burn and increased cardiovascular endurance in just four minutes.

Tabata is more of a HIIT protocol than a specific exercise – you can customize it to your liking as long as you follow the Tabata model. Let’s say you want to do a Tabata of burpees. To start, you would set your timer to 20 seconds. Then, do as many burpees as you can in those 20 seconds. Rest for ten seconds. Do another 20-second round of burpees, then rest. Repeat the pattern six more times, equaling a total of four minutes and eight rounds. That’s one Tabata.

Mood-boosting Tabata workout

Ready to give our Tabata workout a shot? Here’s exactly how to do it, step-by-step:

  1. Do each Tabata exercise for 20 seconds with 10 seconds rest between exercises.

  2. Repeat each of the two exercises in a Tabata set four times, for a total of four minutes for each set. Rest for one minute between sets.

  3. Give each exercise around 90% of your maximum exertion/capacity.

  4. Modify the workout as needed and avoid any exercises that cause pain or discomfort.

Feel free to create your own Tabata workout by mixing up or switching out the different exercises below. Give it your best shot!

Set 1 (20 seconds active, 10 seconds rest)

Skaters

Skaters ame female workout indoors
  1. Start with your feet wider than shoulder-width apart

  2. Jump sideways to the left, landing on left leg, keeping the right leg lifted without it touching the floor

  3. Change direction to the right

Burpees

  1. Starting off standing, squat down and place your hands on floor outside of your feet

  2. With your hands firmly planted, jump your feet back and straight behind you

  3. Lower down until your chest touches the floor with your elbows tight to your body

  4. Briefly keep your hands on the floor and use your hips to pop feet back into a squat

  5. Then explode up into a jump and land on feet as softly as possible

Set 2 (20 seconds active, 10 seconds rest)

Russian Twists

Russian twists female blonde indoors gym
  1. Sit on the floor with your knees bent at 45º and your heels several inches above floor

  2. Lean your torso back to a 45º with balance on your sit bones

  3. Rotate your torso to tap both hands on floor by your left hip

  4. Rotate your torso in opposite direction to tap both hands on floor by your right hip

Forearm Plank

Blonde woman doing plank, mom
  1. Place your elbows on the floor directly underneath your shoulders

  2. Next lift your hips up, with your legs straight behind, feet together and toes curled under

  3. Engage every muscle throughout to keep your body in a straight line from your head to heels

  4. Hold the position for the indicated amount of time

Set 3 (20 seconds active, 10 seconds rest)

Squat Jumps

  1. Stand with your shoulders above hips, feet hip-width apart, toes slightly turned out

  2. Drop your hips back and down with your knees behind toes at all times don’t collapse knees inward

  3. Drop your hip crease below parallel

  4. Immediately jump up explosively

  5. Land gently back to start position

Mountain Climbers

raphael mountain climbers
  1. Place your hands on floor directly under shoulders

  2. Next lift your hips up, with your legs straight behind, feet together and toes curled under

  3. Engage every muscle throughout to keep your body in a straight line from your head to heels

  4. Keep the left foot straight out behind and pull the right knee in towards your chest

  5. Place right foot back down behind and pull left knee in towards chest

  6. Repeat quickly in succession

Set 4 (20 seconds active, 10 seconds rest)

Push-Ups

  1. Begin with your hands on the floor directly under your shoulders

  2. Next lift your hips up, with your legs straight behind ,feet slightly wider than hip-width

  3. and toes curled under

  4. Engage every muscle throughout to keep your body in a straight line from your head to heels

  5. Slowly lower your chest to the floor with your elbows tight to your body

  6. Extend arms to push body back into the start position

Side kicks

  1. Stand tall with your feet hip-width apart

  2. Shift your weight onto one leg, lift the opposite knee up to hip-height

  3. Lean torso to the other side to counteract leg, and kick out sideways with your heel

  4. Reverse the movement and return to start position, where you then switch sides

Tabata workouts + 8fit = BFF

For even more Tabata exercises plus step-by-step instructions every step of the way, check out the 8fit Pro app for more fun options. Remember, exercise isn’t just a way to get fitter and stronger – it also can make you feel happier, more confident, and full of life. The stronger you get, the easier it will be to make exercise part of your everyday life.

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