Tabata, a form of high-intensity interval training, is proven to raise your VO2max, or the maximum volume of oxygen your body can use; your anaerobic capacity, or your ability to go hard during workouts; and help you burn calories long after you’re done with your workout. There is just one catch: “You have to go all out,” says trainer Roger Hall, author of the new book the Tabata Workout Handbook.
Tabata requires 20 seconds of everything-you’ve-got work, followed by 10 seconds of rest, for a total of four minutes. Though you can get a lot of benefits from that short amount of time, Hall devised a protocol that turns this quickie session into a complete workout: a tabata of four different exercises, for a 16-minute routine.
His book gives you more than 100 combinations, but it’s simple enough to build your own plan, too. “To create the ideal four-move combo, you want to include a push, a pull, a hinge, and a squat,” says Hall. “Putting these four movements together will hit every major muscle group.” For example, a push could be an exercise like an overhead press or a bench press; a pull could be a row or a pull-up; for the hinge (a movement that recruits the hip flexors), you could do a kettlebell swing or a deadlift; and the squat could be any version of the classic exercise, be it back squat, front squat, Bulgarian split squat, or a pistol. Here are our three favorite examples from the book to get you started.
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