“You can do anything for 20 seconds.” You might have heard that line in a workout class or on Daily Burn 365, when a trainer wants you to focus on an exercise, drive through the burn and push past what you reckon are your limits. Well, there’s a reason they want you to go small but hard. You only need to push at your max effort for 20 seconds to conquer a Tabata— a training technique founded by scientists back in the late 90s. Research still says this method improves your VO2 max and offers mega cardio benefits, not to it mention blasts calories quick.
Tabata workouts—a form of HIIT—specifically involve putting in 20 seconds of serious work, then resting for 10 seconds. You repeat this work-to-rest ratio for eight rounds. (Yes, that means you can get a solid workout in just four minutes.) Better yet, you can incorporate nearly any exercise into a Tabata format (as long as you’re going at an intense effort), and you don’t need weights or a lot of space.
So, still thinking you have no time to squeeze in a workout? Place this total-body Tabata workout, courtesy of Daily Burn 365 trainer Prince Brathwaite, to the test today. You won’t even have to leave your living room.
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Your 8-Minute Total-Body Tabata Workout
Meet your new time-saving, body-burning, calorie-scorching workout. In right Tabata form, you’ll do the two exercises below for 20 seconds each, resting for 10 seconds in between. Repeat for eight rounds, alternating moves, so you hit a total of eight minutes. Do this whenever you can fit it in, and get ready to get fit.
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1. Ickey Shuffler
How to: Start standing with feet hip-width apart (a). Quickly drive your knees up to your chest as you go toward your right side. Pump your arms so opposite arm comes up with opposite leg (b). After three steps, pause for a second, then drive off your toes and take three steps in the other direction (c). Continue powering through for 20 seconds.
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2. Squat + Crawl Out + Push-Up
How to: Start standing with feet hip-width apart (a). Push your hips back and drive your butt down to perform a squat (b). Without standing back up, place your hands on the ground and walk them forward so you hit a high plank (c). Perform a push-up, with your body in a straight line from shoulders to ankles (d). Walk your hands back in toward your feet, then stand up (e). Repeat.