My Favorite Bodyweight Tabata Workout

Tabata workouts – are 4 minutes of super-intensity that burns fat and increases cardiovascular performance.

Wonderful, right?

But what exercises are ideal for Tabata training? In my Kindle book entitled, 10 Tabatas, I go through the details of training with Tabatas and lay out 10 bodyweight workouts.

But one stands out to me and is clearly my favorite bodyweight Tabata workout: the Burpee Mountain Climber Combo.

This workout is not for the timid and you honestly need to have a solid physical fitness foundation to be able to reap the benefits of Tabata training. Start somewhere and build up, in the book I layout specific ways to ramp up to full intensity Tabata training.

But let’s get into my favorite Tabata workout.

Grab your timer and set it up for 8 rounds of 20 seconds of work followed by 10 seconds of recovery. That is the Tabata protocol, but don’t miss out on the most important factor from Dr Izumi Tabata’s research – intensity. the Tabata protocol requires that you are exerting yourself at 170% of Vo2MAX. Vo2Max is the amount of oxygen your lungs can process, so during the work period you are pushing yourself past the aerobic threshold. You will be breathing very hard.

The workout consists of alternating sets of the burpee and the mountain climber.

The burpee is a bodyweight movement I’ve grown to love and hate. Here are the steps in the movement:

    1. Stand tall with your hands at your sides and feet shoulder width apart.
    2. Lower yourself by performing a deep squat while reaching toward the ground with your hands.
    3. With your hands on the ground, hop and extend your feet back into the starting position for a push up
    4. perform a push up by lowering your body with your arms until your chest touches the ground, push back up
    5. Hop and bring your feet back up between your hands in the crouched position again
    6. Jump up, fully extending your hips and leap into the air. While in the air clap your hands above your head.
    7. Land in the starting position – that’s one rep

That’s the Burpee.

Now the Mountain Climber comes in many varieties, but I like the cross-body mountain climber the best. It pulls in more of your external obliques as well. Here is a brief video demonstrating The Cross Body Mountain Climber.

So now combine these into my favorite bodyweight tabata workout.

  • Alternate between Burpees and Mountain Climbers for each of the eight rounds of the Tabata Protocol.

By the end of the 4 minutes you will have completed 4 sets of each exercise with each set consisting of as many repetitions of the movement as you can complete (in good form) in 20 seconds.

Give it a shot. Check out the Kindle eBook and let’s hear which exercise is your favorite Tabata Workout.

Troy Pesola

Process, technology, and innovation geek that loves staying in shape for all life has to offer. Life long cube dweller and master wellness business mentor as well as a husband, and now father of college-age kids who lives and explores the Colorado Rockies.

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