Tabata Ab Blast!

You say tomato…I say TABATA! 🙂 PSF clients love our Tabata Express classes and sometimes will use the Tabata Protocol within our other group fitness formats.  Outside of class, it is an easy way to introduce intervals into any exercise program since it is very regimented…

Ok, so what is the Tabata Protocol?

Simply put, it is a structured interval program of 20 seconds high-intensity work followed by 10 seconds of recovery. The original Tabata Protocol calls for 8 intervals of these 20 seconds high- intensity exercise followed by 10 seconds of rest (which equals 4 minutes of one exercise).

We personally think that it is a bit boring to do the same exact exercise for 4 minutes straight, so instead we like to focus on a specific muscle group.  You will also notice there is no direct ‘rest’ included in our routine as we prefer active recovery or small, almost isometric intervals – consider that our own personal modification on this method but feel free to substitute with rest as needed.


Let’s start with a simple CORE ROUTINE using the Tabata Protocol: 

*Make sure you are properly warmed up before you begin & keep good form!

**Try to work continuously, without break, for the entire 4 minutes!

  • 20 seconds regular crunches, 10 seconds pulse in the center

  • 20 seconds alternating crunches right and left, 10 seconds pulse right/left

  • 20 seconds straight leg reverse crunches, 10 seconds of double pulses (hips & head)

  • 20 seconds single scissors, 10 seconds pulse legs in “L” for 5 then switch legs & pulse again

  • 20 seconds regular bicycles, 10 seconds fast bicycles

  • 20 bent knee double crunches, 10 seconds double pulses

  • 20 seconds hold regular elbow plank, 10 seconds hinge plank forward & back

  • 20 seconds hold regular elbow plank, 10 seconds alternating knee taps


“Credit for this simple and powerful training method belongs to its namesake, Dr. Izumi Tabata and a team of researchers from the National Institute of Fitness and Sports in Tokyo, Japan. Their groundbreaking 1996 study, published in the journal Medicine and Science in Sports & Exercise, provided documented evidence concerning the dramatic physiological benefits of high-intensity intermittent training. After just 6 weeks of testing, Dr. Tabata noted a 28% increase in anaerobic capacity in his subjects, along with a 14% increase in their ability to consume oxygen (V02Max). These results were witnessed in already physically fit athletes. The conclusion was that just four minutes of Tabata interval training could do more to boost aerobic and anaerobic capacity than an hour of endurance exercise.”

Tabata Anything

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