Last night’s workout was a good one!
I decided to really challenge myself with nine Tabatas. Yep, nine.
I shared a similar workout format about a month ago, and I loved it so much that I wanted to create another. Only … this one kicks it up a notch or two!
I specifically chose exercises that work more than one muscle group at a time. 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!
For those of you who are new to the blog or this type of training, Tabatas are 4-minute bouts of HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) 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.
All you need for this one is a light and medium set of dumbbells, so you can take it almost anywhere!
Just like any workout, please listen to your body and rest between exercises or whenever it’s truly needed.
Check out my Tabata Training playlist that makes it easy to follow the :20 work, :10 rest pattern. The coach in most of the songs does the counting for you. (Love that!)
Now let’s get on to the cues and demos …
• overhead reach with leg lowers (light – medium)
Start by lying on your back with both hands holding one weight, arms reaching towards the ceiling. Straighten your right leg towards the ceiling and bring your left leg in so that your heel is about a foot away from your butt. Keeping your abs tight and lower back touching the mat, exhale and simultaneously lower your arms and leg towards the floor. Inhale and return to the starting position to complete one rep.
Repeat for 20 seconds, rest for 10, and complete for 4 consecutive sets on the right, then 4 consecutive sets on the left.
• side plank pulses
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.
• weighted donkey kicks (light)
Start on the floor on all fours with your knees under your hips and wrists under your shoulders. Place a dumbbell in the crease behind your right knee. Keep your knee bent at a 90-degree angle, and lift your leg up until you feel your glute tighten. Keeping your core tight, your torso in place, and your foot flexed, pulse the foot towards the ceiling. Make sure the motion is only coming from the hip joint.
Pause briefly at the top, then come back to your starting position and repeat for 20 seconds. Rest for 10 and then repeat for 4 consecutive sets on the right, then 4 sets on the left.
Focus on engaging your glutes throughout the exercise and keeping your back neutral.
• dumbbell swings (medium)
Before you start, please note that this is not an arm exercise. If done correctly, it works the legs, abs, and booty.
Start standing with your legs slightly wider than your hips and toes slightly pointed outward. Hold a medium dumbbell in both hands and go down to a squat position while bringing the dumbbell between your legs. Make sure to keep your spine straight! Keep your chest open and shoulders down. Engaging your core, straighten your knees and bring your hips over your feet.
Squeeze your glutes. Your arms will swing forward, and there’s no need to go higher then your shoulders. Think of a pendulum type of movement. Let the weight fall back between your legs and return to the squat. This is one rep. Repeat for 20 seconds at a time.
• single arm chest presses (medium)
Start by laying flat on a mat with your heels about a foot away from your butt. Holding a dumbbell in your left hand, bring both hands towards the ceiling. Keeping your right hand where it is (straight towards the ceiling), bend your left elbow to lower your upper arm to the floor. Press the weight back to the ceiling by straightening your elbow to complete one rep.
Repeat in Tabatas for 4 consecutive sets on the left, followed by 4 consecutive sets on the right.
• single leg deadlift with rows (medium)
(If this is too advanced, start with a bent-over dumbbell row)
Start by standing straight and hold a set of medium dumbbells with your palms facing each other. 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.
Holding this position (keep your core tight and challenge yourself with the balance), perform a row.
With your palms facing your body, engage your abs and squeeze your shoulder blades together as you bring the weights towards your torso. Keep your elbows pointed upward! Slowly lower the weights back to their starting position (on your single leg) to complete one rep. Repeat for 20 seconds, then return to a standing position to rest. Repeat on the same side for 4 consecutive rounds, then switch sides.
• biceps curls (medium)
Grab a set medium set of dumbbells and start in a standing position with your feet shoulder width apart. Rotate your palms to the front (holding a dumbbell on each side) and engage the core to keep your body exactly where it is. Keeping your shoulders down, squeeze the dumbbells up to your shoulders and then slowly lower them back down.
Keep the elbows locked into your sides!
• lying triceps extensions (skull crushers)
Lie flat on your mat with your knees bent (or flat on a bench if you have access to one) and a dumbbell in each hand. Lift your arms to an extended 90-degree angle from your body and the floor. Your palms should be neutral (facing in) and the elbows should be straight.
This is your starting position.
Keeping your elbows tucked in and directly over your shoulders, slowly lower the weight until the dumbbells are near your ears. Keep them in line and don’t let them touch each other (or your head!). Using the triceps, bring the weight back up to the starting position. Repeat for 20 seconds of work, 10 seconds of rest 8 times.
• lunge hops
Start by jumping into a lunge position with your left leg forward. Make sure your front knee does not pass your toes. Jump together (staying on the balls of your feet), then switch sides and jump into a lunge position with your right leg forward. Repeat for twenty seconds at a time, then rest for ten seconds. Complete 8 full sets.
Try to stay light on your feet throughout the exercise. If you feel like your legs are giving out or you need to modify this exercise, revert to reverse lunges.
I hope you (hate to) love this workout as much as I do!
More LIL Tabata Workouts:
Have a great Wednesday!
Questions of the Day
• When is the last time you did an exercise one leg or arm at a time?
• What has been the highlight 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.