In a previous column written by Dr. Chris Telesmanic DPT, he discussed the benefits of high intensity interval training specifically Tabata training. As a follow-up we thought we would provide you with more details and a few workout suggestions on how to get started with Tabata training or add it to your workouts.

Here is how Tabata Training works: 20 seconds of high intensity exercise, 10 seconds of rest, eight total 30 second rounds for a total of four minutes. You can perform more rounds of Tabata for four, eight, 12, 16, or more minutes.

Here are a few tips to get you started
  • Warm up for 10 minutes prior to starting Tabata
  • Use full body exercises that engage as many muscle groups as possible
  • You can use body weight, a weighted vest or free weights if you choose
  • Go all out for during the 20 second work cycle
  • Do your best to catch your breath during the 10 second rest
  • Consider a Tabata app for your phone for keeping time and rounds

Some other ideas to mix Tabata training into your workouts. Break up Tabata into body parts. For the first round perform lower body exercises, second round upper body exercises, third round cardio, and fourth round core strengthening exercises. Here are a few Tabata workouts to get you started.

Perform each exercise for 20 seconds with 10 second rest. Perform 2-4 rounds of each exercise.

Level 1:
  • Squats or sit to stand
  • Sit-ups
  • High knees
  • Side lunges
Level 2:
  • Jumping jacks
  • Push –ups
  • Squats
  • Sit-ups
Level 3:
  • Burpees
  • Lateral bounds
  • Plank
  • Backward lunges

Remember these workouts are not designed to be done everyday. Start out performing them 2-3 times a week alternating them with lower intensity steady state workouts. As always, if this type of exercise is new to you, take the time to talk to your health care provider to see if it is appropriate for your health history.

Learn more about movement, fitness and health in this space each week or by visiting, or calling 478-5833. Dr. Maria Fermoile is a Doctor of Physical Therapy at Alliance Health in Fresno. She will be happy to answer questions submitted to