Sounds like an infomercial, but it’s true! You actually don’t need any equipment at all to get a good strength and cardio workout. Here’s the Tabata workout we did this morning. High intensity intervals, a great workout in a relatively short amount of time. We got a full butt whooping in under an hour.

Tabata intervals consist of doing one exercise at your maximum effort level for 20 seconds, then rest for 10 seconds. You’ll repeat this 8 times for a total of 4 minutes. The exercises should be completed at 170% of your VO2 max. In layman’s terms, you better work harder in those 20 seconds than you’ve ever worked in your life. You’ll then move onto the next exercise, doing the same thing… one exercise for a total of 8 rounds, on for 20, off for 10. I usually do anywhere from 7-10 exercises depending on what I want from my workout. For more on Tabata, click here.

Here’s what we did this morning:

Started with a 10 minute warm up, a slow 1/2 mile run, some plank walk-outs, squats, etc., then a fast 1/2 mile run, then straight into our Tabata intervals. It is important to note that these exercises should be done at your maximum effort level. You should to fail at some point during the Tabata set. If you’re not at muscle failure, you’re not working hard enough. When you get to the point that you can no longer do the exercise with correct form, you can modify the exercise so that you can do it correctly. Sloppy exercises won’t get you anywhere, so if you’re having trouble doing the exercise, do a version of it that you can be successful at. We rested approximately 60 seconds in between each new exercise set.

  1. Mountain Climbers — Modification: Walking Mt. Climbers or High Plank
  2. Reverse Lunge Alternated w/Curtsey Lunge — Do left leg for the first round, right leg for the second round, and repeat. Modification: Hold reverse lunge and do small pulses up and down.
  3. Knee-to-Elbow Push Ups — Modification: Knee-to-Elbow High Plank
  4. High Knee Run — Modification: High Knee March. Try to keep hands behind head, alternate right elbow to left knee, and vice versa. Do not lean forward, stay upright.
  5. Squat Jumps — Doesn’t have to be high, concentrate instead on keeping the knees soft to absorb the landing, deccelerate and keep the body moving as you go into the next jump. Use you arms as well. Modification: Remove the jump, stay grounded.
  6. Swinging Triceps Modification: Tricep Dips
  7. Brazilian Lunges — Often done w/gliding discs, but since we didn’t have equipment, start in a reverse lunge, left foot forward, right foot back. Keep your fingertips on the ground, stay down low, and move your right foot up so that it’s parallel with your left foot. Keep fingers on the ground, lean forward (back is flat, chest to left thigh), and move right foot backwards again, keeping left foot in place for the entire round. Alternate using right foot forward for the next round. Modification: Stand upright, leaning forward slightly. Left foot forward, right foot back, bring right knee up, keeping left foot flat on the ground, then return right foot back behind you. Repeat for the entire round.
As a cool down, we ended with 10-15 minutes of slow lunges, squats and core work, and of course, stretching. Enjoy!