9 tips to do tabata routines and not fail in the attempt

Tabata routines are a type of high intensity interval training (HIIT) which consists of performing 20 seconds of intense exercise, followed by a 10 second rest period in regular cycles. This method was born in Japan with the intention of serving as training for Olympic skaters.

It is important to clarify that the tabata method is a very specific type of HIIT training, which combines exercises in the 20:10 ratio (20 seconds of activity: 10 seconds of rest). 8 repetitions are made until 4 minutes are completed.

After this cycle, a short rest of between 60 and 90 seconds is carried out and another new cycle is carried out. So until completing the desired number of series or the required training time.

Tips for doing tabata routines

The tabata routines are very intense and the exercises are very explosive. This increases the chances of injury if you are not careful. To make them more secure, follow the tips below.

1. Use an app to measure times

A specific application of tabata is perfect for measuring times. You can configure the number of cycles or the total time in advance, as well as specify the rest period after each lap.

You can also use music tracks designed for tabata, which include exercise start and end prompts.

High intensity interval exercises (HIIT) are a special form of training that concentrates blasting in a few seconds.

2. Be clear about the exercises before starting

There are several ways to make tabata. You can perform the same exercise in each cycle or several, alternating 2 or 4 of them. You can even do a circuit of 4 exercises (two laps per cycle) or 8 (one lap per cycle).

The important thing is that you are clear about the exercises you are going to do before you start.

3. Balance the exercises

A very interesting option to do tabata is to use full body exercises, whatever type they are (with weight, with resistance or with the body). However, if you are going to do some specific ones for a muscle group, it is interesting that you compensate throughout the routine. In addition, you can include explosives and speed, such as the skipping.

4. Warm up before you start

Spend at least 10 minutes warming up before starting your tabata routines. Includes joint mobilization exercises and dynamic stretching.

Tabata is very intense and explosive. If you don't warm up, you not only run the risk of injury; you won't get the most out of it either.

5. Don't complicate yourself

Do not complicate yourself with very elaborate or difficult exercises. It is better to do a simple one and do it well, than to do a difficult exercise poorly.

This also applies to intensity. Better to do more repetitions of a push-up or push-up with your knees supported than two or three incomplete ones.

6. Don't be afraid to gain weight

Unless you have a problem, don't be afraid to do the exercises with weight. It is not about taking more than you usually lift, or going overboard to the point of hurting yourself.

Work with loads for more effective exercise, looking for balance. If throughout the session you see that it is too much, you can reduce it a little.

7. Don't underestimate bodyweight exercises

Bodyweight exercises are a great resource to complete your tabata routines. In addition to involving the entire body or a large number of muscle groups, they tend to be simple, scalable (you can increase the intensity), and offer variety to the routine.

8. You can include plyometric and isometric exercises

Among the exercises that you can include in your tabata routines value plyometrics and isometrics. Some of the very interesting first ones to do are the burpees and the box jumps. As an interesting example of isometric, on the other hand, we have the iron.

9. When finished, stretch

It is very important that you stretch after finishing your tabata routine. In addition to gradually recovering your normal heart rate, you will help your muscles return to their normal length. This makes it easier to compensate for the shortening suffered with exercise.

Read this: What does a complete stretching routine look like?

Example of tabata routine

The simplest and most entertaining way to do a tabata routine is in the form of a circuit with 8 exercises. At the end of the lap would come the extra rest period.

This type of exercise has the advantage that it is very easy to do in a group, each starting with an exercise or station.

An example is the following:

  1. Skipping.
  2. Push-ups (in any of its variants).
  3. Table.
  4. Burpees.
  5. Climber (mountain climbers).
  6. Jump rope.
  7. Side table.
  8. Dumbbell lunges, barbells, or jump lunges.
  9. Squats with weight on the shoulders.
  10. Jumping jacks,

Discover: Japanese method to tighten your abdomen in just 4 minutes

Benefits of tabata routines

There are several benefits of tabata routines. The most interesting are the ones that we comment on below.

They help burn fat and lose weight

Tabata routines help burn fat because increase metabolism, due to the high intensity of exercise. In this sense, it is suggested that the training is up to five times more effective than traditional cardio in 4 minutes.

One study found that only a small amount of interval training was significantly more effective than cardiovascular exercise in the same period of time.

They contribute to maintaining muscle mass

One of the common dangers of weight loss exercises is loss of muscle mass. In fact, it is recommended to combine strength with aerobics for this reason.

Nevertheless, tabata routines do not show this drawback, thus offering a complete solution. Although it requires a lot of effort, it does not compromise as much.

Improve aerobic and anaerobic capacities

On the other hand, tabata routines are perfect to promote the improvement of aerobic and anaerobic capacities. The first is the ability of the lungs and heart to carry oxygen to the body. The second is the maximum amount of energy that the body can produce in the absence of oxygen.

You can make tabata anywhere

You don't need anything special to make tabata or be in a specific place. With what you have at hand you can prepare your routine.

You just have to be clear about what you are going to do depending on the circumstances. Even if you can only do a few exercises, nothing happens. You repeat until the time you had planned is over.

You don't actually need equipment to do tabata routines, so it is possible to practice them anywhere.

Suitable for all

Anyone can make tabata. Of course, you have to adapt it to the level of physical condition and choose the exercises taking into account possible health problems. You select the appropriate exercises and get started.

Always plan tabata routines

Tabata is an extraordinary type of training that, well designed, has incredible potential. But just as incredible is his potential for injury.

Therefore, it is vitally important to be careful, to make sure that the exercises are executed correctly and not overdo it, especially at the beginning. Even if only for not being in pain for several days with terrible soreness, it is preferable to plan and limit the effort to our abilities.