Hi friends, how are you doing out there?
I’m not going to lie … I’ve been riding the struggle bus here and there. And that’s okay. I shared a little bit of my heart earlier about it, and how the feeling of acceptance and to just be okay with every day and how it evolves during this quarantine has helped me a lot.
I haven’t been working out every day, but I have been moving a lot, and it’s been great for both my mental and physical health. I take long walks every morning, I go for runs a few times a week, and I aim to complete strength workouts about three times a week at home. It definitely isn’t the same as going to the gym and lifting heavier things, but it’s what works for now.
So, let’s move on to today’s workout. I just love Tabatas!
For those of you who are new to the blog or this type of training, Tabatas are 4-minute bouts of exercises. You follow a :20 work, :10 rest pattern and do the same exercise 8 times in a row before moving on to the next. Tabatas usually include HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) exercises, but this workout focuses more on compound strength exercises than getting your rate rate up.
I specifically chose exercise combinations that work more than one muscle group at a time for this circuit. Why not get more bang for your buck, right? All of them require core stabilization, so you should be engaging your abdominals the entire time and stay focused on that!
All you need for this one is a light and medium set of dumbbells, so you can complete it in your living room, or even take it outside for a bit of fresh air if you have a backyard (lucky ducks).
Just like any workout, please make sure you’re cleared by a doctor to complete a new exercises, listen to your body, and rest between exercises or whenever it’s truly needed!
Also, you can check out my Tabata Training playlist that makes it easy to follow the :20 work, :10 rest pattern. The coach in all of the songs does the counting for you. (Love that!)
Now let’s get on to the cues and demos …
(catch the video demonstration, too!)
• plank walk outs
Start by standing with your feet wider than your hips. Hinge at your hips and keep your legs as straight as possible to reach towards the ground. Slowly walk your hands out to a plank position. Once you hit a plank, hold the position for a few seconds, then slowly walk your hands back in while keeping your legs straight all the way up to the starting position. This is one rep. Repeat for :20 on, :10 off 8x.
If your wrists bother you, you can substitute this exercises for sit-ups or an elbow plank hold.
• single leg deadlifts (medium)
Start by standing straight and hold a medium dumbbell in your left hand with your palm facing in. Keeping your core tight, lift your left foot off the ground and get a good balance on your right leg. Slowly lean your entire torso forward, all the while keeping your back neutral. Raise your left leg up until it’s parallel to the floor and reach your left arm down towards your foot. Return to the starting position. This is one rep. Repeat for :20 work/:10 rest 4x, and then switch legs. You can drop the weight to modify.
• floor peck flys (medium)
Start by laying flat on a mat with your heels about a foot away from your butt, or with your hips and knees both at 90-degree angles. The second option is more advanced. Using your lower abs, press your lower back into the mat. Holding a dumbbell in each hand, bring both hands towards the ceiling.
Slightly bend your elbows and lower the weights in an arching motion. When your elbows hit the floor, they should be even with your chest.
Pause briefly, then squeeze the dumbbells back together in an arching motion. Repeat for :20 work/:10 rest 8x.
• row to triceps kickbacks (light – medium)
Start standing with your feet under your hips, holding a light to medium dumbbell in each hand and palms facing each other. Bend your knees slightly and lean your torso forward until your back is about 45 degrees to the floor. Keep your core tight. Bend your elbows in and keep them tight by your sides. (This is a row.)
At the stop of the position, squeeze the back muscles of your arm and extend to lift the dumbbells while straightening your arms. (This is a triceps kickback.) After a brief pause, lower the dumbbells slowly back to the starting position. Repeat for :20 work/:10 rest, 8x or you can always split the moves up and do 4 sets of row into 4 sets of triceps kickbacks.
• lateral lunges with biceps curls (medium)
Start standing tall with a dumbbell in each hand.
Step out to the right and shift your body weight over your right leg, squatting to a 90 degree angle at the knee. The objective is to try to get low enough to “sit down” (squat), keeping your back as upright as possible. Push off and bring your right leg back to the center and starting position.
Engage the core to keep your body exactly where it is. Keeping your shoulders down, squeeze the dumbbells up to your shoulders to perform a biceps curl and then slowly lower them back down. Keep the elbows locked into your sides!
Repeat for :20 work/:10 rest 4x on the right, then 4x on the left.
• side plank hip dips
Start by lying on your side and stack your feet on top of each other. Position your elbow directly under your shoulder. Lift your hips and torso off of the ground while keeping the abs and glutes contracted. Place your hand on your hip.
Holding a side elbow plank, begin to lower and lift your hips in a small pulsing motion for 20 seconds. Rest, then repeat for 4 consecutive sets on each side. You can modify this exercise by bending the bottom knee or intensify it by raising your top leg a few inches off of the other.
The side planks get challenging for sure!
• cardio bonus: air squats or jump squats
Start with your feet a bit wider than your shoulders. Stand tall, then come down into a squat position with your thighs slightly higher than your knees. Quickly push yourself up into the air (your body should be straight), then land in the squat position and pause for a moment before repeating. You can always modify to stationary air squats if you feel pressure in your knees or need to actively recover from jumping during the Tabata. It gets challenging for sure.
I hope you enjoy the workout if you give it a try, and stay safe out there!
More LIL Tabata Workouts:
Questions of the Day
• When is the last time you did an exercise one leg or arm at a time?
• What has been one positive of your week so far?
Disclaimer: Although I am a certified personal trainer, I am not necessarily your personal trainer. The workouts I post are what work best for me, and might not be the right type of exercises for you. I always recommend consulting a doctor or health professional before making changes to your diet and/or fitness routine.