T Nation

Suggestions for Tabata Drills


hey, i was looking for some suggestions for Tabata drills...specifially, some exercises that are easy to use for these (since speed is an issue).

i was thinking pushups, crunches, punch/kick combos, but kind of ran out of other ideas.

anyhow, i'd appreciate any idears from y'all...


crunches are a terrible idea for tabata. The point of tabata is to use as many muscles as possible, which is why exercises like front squats are often best. I've also used deadlifts and back squats as well as rack pulls and my favorite, box squats.


I've always done squats for tabata. Pushups could be good as well, and shadowboxing (I guess that's what you mean?) would be good also. Many fighters do that to replicate the pace of a fight- 15 seconds throwing like crazy, 15 moving around.... but that's probably too easy to do, might want to stick with weight bearing exercises.

The heavy bag would probably be better because you can really exhaust yourself by banging out full speed even for 20 seconds.


uhhh...everything i've read indicated that speed is the key with Tabatas.

thanks, though...


yeah, that's kinda what i meant....

maybe sprawls, maountain climbers....


BW squats
mountain climbers

really they work great with aerobic machcines

airdyne sprints
versa climber is deadly

these have to be all out- using a hear rate monitor helps
to make sure you are truly pushing it
I have watch heart rate monitor that beeps its ok


hmm well sorry about misinformation!


Bodyweight squats
DB or KB thrusters
Sprints on a bike (like in the original Tabata study)
Sprints on a track or treadmill
Sprints on an eliptical
Mountain climbers

What are you looking to get out of doing the Tabata's? You doing any complexes or anything?


yep, sprawls
fast bearcrawls to the end of the room, then bearcrawl backward
jumping squat to tuck jump
pushups for rounds - but every round a different type (also good for situps/crunches)
spider hops both forward & backward
yep, heavy bag, all out


Front squats work great - easier to rack and unrack and you can lean on the bar on your 10 second break. Dan John did a couple pieces on them a few years back.

Sprints and bike sprints work fine but if you have not tried front squats you should!


looking at using these as finishers for my workouts....i'm kicking aorund the idea of 1-2 exercises back and forth for 20:10x8 every day i train....

my workouts are largely MMA-based, btw....


cool...thanks for all the ideas!


punchout drills ala ross enemiat. Hill sprints in the HRI manner as per Joel Jamison are a much better option overall... and works what most people THINK tabata does. I noticed much better recovery, speed, and overall burst related endurance from doing blocks of this work.