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You DO Have Time: 25 Minute Workout For Busy Days

When it comes to being busy, I get it.  The last 6 weeks of my life can be summed up with yesterday’s Facebook status:




So today I’m introducing you to a workout method that’s perfect for days when you don’t have a ton of time, but you do have a little motivation and a set of dumb bells.  It’s called Tabata.

Real quick background on Tabata, (if you don’t care, just skip to the workout below, but I’m a nerd so I think this is interesting).

If you frequent the blog or get my newsletter you know I’m a huge fan of (HIIT) High Intensity Interval Training (if you don’t get my newsletter, sign up here).

Named for the scientist who published the study-Dr. Izumi Tabata, this method is another form of HIIT.  To explain (minus the technical jargon) you perform 20 seconds of an exercise at a super high level of intensity. I’m talking balls-out, the hardest you can go.  Then “rest” for 10 seconds and repeat for 8 rounds-totaling 4 minutes.  In Dr. Tabata’s study, his subjects used cycling.  What many fitness enthusiasts have since discovered, is this method can be applied to any exercise.

Where the original intention is lost usually-is the level of intensity, a lot of people go hard, but don’t reach that super high level of intensity Dr. Tabata intended.  For our purposes-that’s OK, go as hard as you can for the 20 seconds.

Here are 5 exercises to perform in Tabata fashion for a 25 minute butt-kicking workout:

1.  Squat jumps (load ’em if you can, meaning hold some dumb bells to add weight)

2.  Push ups with a spiderman plank: do a regular push up, then a spiderman plank (pictured below) bring same knee to same elbow on the right side, then the left side.

*Note if you’re a knee push-up kinda gal, that’s ok.  Do the push up on your knees, then come up to your toes for the spiderman plank.

3. Bent over row to a reverse fly:  4 Steps pictured below





4.  Front lunge with a front shoulder raise (alternate legs):


5.  Hi/low plank: This is exactly what it sounds like, you’re going to alternate from a high plank position on your hands, to a low plank position on your elbows.  Start high, come down on the right elbow, followed by the left elbow, come back up on the right hand, followed by the left hand.  Since Tabata has 8 intervals, do 4 leading with your right arm, and 4 leading with your left arm.

Remember, go hard for 20 seconds, rest for ONLY 10 seconds, and get right back to it for the next 20 seconds-8x. Take 45s-60s of rest between each new exercise.  You can do this.  I love this workout and can’t wait to hear from you after you try it.



Whaddya think? Comments and questions? Drop ’em below!




You DO Have Time: 25 Minute Workout For Busy Days
  • Jennifer

    I have done classes at my gym with tabata/hiit and they are awesome! Previously I was swimming 5+ miles a week with minimal weights, and I did that for two months and didn’t see much change. I decided to go out on a limb and try these classes and it was a great decision! In a month I dropped a pant size and the gross fat on my thighs and stomach is almost gone. I used to only go two days a week (one hour long class and one half hour) but I’m really hooked and just started going four days. Thanks for the exercises, Liz! It’s nice to have some to do at home. I’d recommend them to anyone!

  • Kelsea

    you rock! thank you for making working out so much simpler

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  • Penina

    I think a video of you doing the actual exercise would be really helpful. I frequent because of the instructional video tuts and have gotten surprising results, and I just started working out using the tips, three days ago. I saw your youtube post and clicked the link to your site (was interested in the thigh-trimming info but I didn’t see a video on it). Offering a few free videos is a great way to increase traffic and visitor retention.

    • Liz DiAlto

      Thanks, Penina. That’s my plan this fall…more workout videos. If you go under the exercise or workout tab under categories you’ll see many of the posts do have videos.

      • T

        I actually like some workouts that aren’t videos, or some outline beneath the video so I can print it out and take it to the gym. I love this workout and came back today looking for more similar ones.