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updated: 8/22/2011 6:23 AM

Tabata workout increases metabolism, burns calories

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  • Squat to press is one of eight exercises performed circuit-style in the Tabata workout.

    Squat to press is one of eight exercises performed circuit-style in the Tabata workout.

  • Medicine ball snatch

    Medicine ball snatch

  • Prone sprint

    Prone sprint


This month's workout utilizes a training protocol called Tabata to burn maximum calories and maximal fat while increasing your body's metabolic rate.

Our Tabata workout consists of eight exercises performed circuit style where each exercise is performed for 20 seconds and then followed by 10 seconds of rest. Perform all eight exercises with their corresponding work/rest periods one time through and then repeat for up to three rounds if desired.

Squat to press: Begin with feet shoulder-width apart while holding a pair of light to moderate dumbbells overhead. Squat down to a comfortable depth while lowering the dumbbells down to shoulder height. Rise back up to a standing position as you press the dumbbells overhead.

Medicine ball slam: Begin in a normal standing position with feet shoulder-width apart while holding a light to moderate medicine ball overhead. As you squat down, forcefully swing the medicine ball down toward the floor and release it straight downward, doing your best to slam it into the floor. Squat down and pick it up and continue slamming with all-out intensity.

Jumping rope: Begin by jumping rope with a rhythm that is comfortable for your skill level. The main focus is keeping the rope flowing and your body moving.

Lunge to curl: Start with feet together while holding a pair of light to moderate dumbbells at your sides. Step forward with one leg into a lunge position as you curl the dumbbells. Step back to your starting position as you straighten your arms and then repeat on the other leg.

Prone sprint: Assume a push-up position with one leg bent and tucked forward while the other leg is extended back. Keep 50 percent of your weight on your hands and the other 50 percent on your back foot. Quickly switch your foot position making sure to only touch the floor with your back foot.

Speed squat: From a normal standing position, squat down to a comfortable depth while keeping tension on your hips and legs. Stabilize at the bottom for one second and then stand back up with speed and force. Your goal is to do as many squats as you can in 20 seconds.

Push-up: Take a wider than shoulder width hand position on a bench or the floor. Tighten your entire body and make sure you have a straight line from shoulder to ankle. Slowly bend your elbows and let your body drop down until you have a 90-degree bend at each elbow. Push back to your starting point and repeat.

Medicine ball snatch: From a standing position, squat down and grab a light to moderate medicine ball off the floor. Stand back up to your starting point while maintaining a natural curve in your low back. As you near the standing position, curl the medicine ball toward your chest and push it over head with force as you finish straightening your legs. Reverse the steps until the ball touches the floor and repeat.

Tabata is a great alternative to traditional cardio such as running, biking and the elliptical. Get outside the box and get results.

For a video of this workout, visit

Joshua Steckler and Mark Trapp are co-owners of Push Fitness, a personal training studio in Schaumburg specializing in weight loss, muscle toning and nutrition. Contact them at