Yesterday we went over the Tabata Protocol, an exercise method that only lasts four minutes but can do more for your aerobic (and anaerobic capacity) than 60 minutes of cardio. Don’t think it’s just limited to running and biking however; you can do other exercises that will work your full body and leave you crying on the floor like a baby when you’re done, and I mean that in the best way possible. Here are some other exercises that will work burn major calories and kick your ass, while also improving your endurance, strength, and ability to operate at maximum capacity for longer periods of time.
- Squat Thrusters – If you have a set of dumbbells, hold them up at your shoulders, do a squat, and then when you stand up thrust your shoulders up and do a shoulder press. Your goal is to do as many reps as possible (with good form) in the 20 seconds. Keep the weights right next to you so you keep your rest period to exactly 10 seconds. Stand by a clock or keep a stop watch handy. Here’s a handy video to show good form on Squat Thrusters:
- Jump Rope – After you read last week’s article on jumping rope, maybe you want to mix it in here with some Tabata. Next time you’re watching Arrested Development reruns, see what you can get done during the 4 minute commercial break.
- Push Ups - Don’t go for a specific number, just try and do as many push ups as possible in the 20 seconds for each interval. Remember to work on good form, and write down the number of reps you do in each set.
- Burpees – Funny name for an ass-kicking exercise. Stand up, then squat down, kick your legs out, do a push up, bring your legs back in, and explode up into a jump. Here’s a video showing the exercise in action:
- Pull Ups – This will test your back, biceps and forearms to the limit. Pull ups are my favorite exercise.
These are just a few examples. Concentrate on exercises that work your whole body, that you can do safely but at maximum effort. The great thing about Tabata is you can always improve. If you did 10 burpees per segment last week, this week go for 11. The better you get, the more reps you’ll be able to do in each 20-second set. Always get stronger and faster.
Want to see some crazy Tabata in action? Check out this CrossFit workout in Oahu, where people did 8 rounds of Squats, Push-ups, Sit-ups, and Pull ups. Technically it’s only 16 minutes of exercise, but look at these guys by the end of it. That’s how I want to feel when I’m done exercising. What did you accomplish in the last 16 minutes?
What can you accomplish in 4 minutes?