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20 Minute Full Body Tabata Workout

20 Minute Full Body Tabata Workout

By Sarah Juul, Contributing Blogger

Have you been looking for a way to make your home exercise routine exciting at home? Are you struggling to find ways to build both strength and get your heart rate up? If you haven’t tried a tabata style exercise program before, it might be the perfect way to get a full body workout with no fancy equipment required! Tabata workouts are also fast-paced so you’ll have fun while torching some serious calories.

Tabata is a type of high intensity interval training with bouts of exercise that last for 4 minutes at a time. Tabata workouts have so many great benefits to your health including increasing metabolism, burning fat, building strength, and improving cardiovascular endurance! The challenge is to push yourself as hard as you can for 20 seconds at a time, then recover for 10 seconds before pushing yourself again. In a typical tabata, 8 rounds of exercise are performed which takes a total of 4 minutes.

The routine we’ll be doing today incorporates 2 exercises into each tabata. One strength building exercise and one cardio building exercise to keep your heart rate up. We’ll be doing 3 tabatas total to hit each major area of the body; arms, legs, and abs. You’ll want either a stop watch handy or download a free tabata timer on your phone to keep track of the intervals for you (there are so many of them out there!).

 Before we get started, I just want you to remember when things get challenging, that you can do ANYTHING for 20 seconds! If you need to slow down during the 20 second interval, that’s completely normal, but try to keep moving until the 10 second rest period.

Now let’s get warmed up!


Warm-Up – 5 minutes

Before any type of high intensity training, it’s important to perform a proper warm-up to prevent injuries. We’ll be doing 3 movements to make sure our muscle groups are warmed up before pushing our maximum effort in the tabatas!

Alternating Side to Side Lunge – 20 repetitions total

Start standing with your feet together, then take a large step out to the side. Alternate bending your knees and sitting your hips backwards into a side lunge. You should feel a good stretch on the inside of your opposite leg and this will help to get the glutes warmed up and ready for the workout ahead!

Jumping Jacks – 20 repetitions

You know this one! Start standing with your feet together then jump your feet apart as your hands come up overhead. Return to the starting position by jumping your feet back together as your hands come down by your side.

Inchworms – 5 repetitions

Start standing with your feet together. Reach down towards the floor with both hands and walk your hands out into a plank position (bend your knees for this to get your hands to the floor if needed). Then walk your hands back in towards your feet to return to standing.

Repeat this circuit 2-3 times which should take about 5 minutes depending on your speed.


Tabata 1: Upper Body – 4 minutes

In this upper body tabata we will be alternating between modified push ups and standing punches. Set your stopwatch to 4 minutes or get your tabata timer ready!

Modified Push Ups


Start in a plank position from your knees. Bend your arms so that your chest moves down towards the floor then push back up to the starting position. Keep your hands directly under your shoulders and your elbows should stay close to your body when owering towards the floor. Try to perform as many reps as you can in 20 seconds then make sure to rest for 10 seconds before moving on to the next exercise.

Standing Punches

Stand with your feet hip width apart and knees slightly bent. Hold your hands up by your shoulders and in a fist. Alternate punching forward in front of your body. Your shoulders should turn slightly as you punch and your core should be held strong. Try to pick up your speed during this 20 second interval! Rest for 10 seconds then return back to push ups.

You should perform 8 rounds of 20 seconds total, 4 sets of each exercise, for 4 minutes of work including the 10 second breaks.  

Rest for 1 minute and get some water before moving onto the next tabata!


Tabata 2: Lower Body – 4 minutes

This lower body tabata will alternate side lunges with skaters for a serious glute burn! Reset your timer and get ready to get to work.

Side Lunge

Start standing with your feet together. Step out to the side and sit your hips backwards into a side lunge. Make sure your knee does not travel in front of your toes and try to keep your whole foot on the ground. Push off of your lunging foot and bring your knee up to your chest to try to balance on your opposite foot. Then step back out into the lunge. Do as many reps as possible in 20 seconds! Stick to one side of the body for this one and then do the opposite side next time.


Start standing with your feet together. Push off of one foot to jump to the side and land on your opposite foot, trying to keep balance on the landing leg. Then push off of this leg to land on your other side. Use your arms to help you get some distance and try to stay low to the ground. Make sure to keep your speed up to get that heart rate pumping for those 20 seconds! Rest for 10 seconds then go back to the side lunges on the opposite leg.

Remember to perform 8 rounds of 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off, for a total of 4 minutes of work.

Rest for 1 minute and let your heart rate cool down before getting ready to work your core!


Tabata 3: Core – 4 minutes 

It wouldn’t be a full body workout without some ab exercises. Reset your timer and get ready to fire up your core!

Bicycle Crunch

Lay on your back with your legs straight and your hands behind your head. Bring one knee up to your chest and your opposite elbow towards that knee into an oblique crunch then switch to the opposite side. Perform as many as you can in 20 seconds!

Plank Jack

Start in a plank position from your forearms with your feet touching. Jump your feet apart then back together without letting your hips move up into the air. Pick up some speed to challenge yourself for the 20 second interval! 

You know what to do. Perform 8 rounds of 20 seconds of work, resting for 10 seconds in between, alternating between the 2 exercises.


You’ve reached the end of this full body tabata workout. You should be proud of yourself for tackling this challenging routine! Feel free to come back to this workout once per week and try to beat your maximum reps. It’s a great way to keep track of your strength and cardio capacity!

Don’t forget to spend some time cooling down, hydrating, and stretching all those hard worked muscles. It will help you recover faster and come back stronger in your next workout.


Full Body Tabata Workout

Warm-up (5 mins)

Side to side lunge x20

Jumping jacks x20

Inchworm x5

Repeat 3 times

Rest 1 minute

Tabata 1 – Upper body (4 mins)

Modified push ups (20 seconds) | Rest (10 seconds)

Standing punches (20 seconds) | Rest (10 seconds)

Repeat 4 times

Rest 1 minute

Tabata 2 – Lower body (4 mins)

Side lunge right (20 seconds) | Rest (10 seconds)

Skaters (20 seconds) | Rest (10 seconds)

Side lunge left (20 seconds) | Rest (10 seconds)

Skaters (20 seconds) | Rest (10 seconds)

Repeat 2 times

Rest 1 minute

Tabata 3 – Core (4 mins)

Bicycle crunch (20 seconds) | Rest (10 seconds)

Plank jack (20 seconds) | Rest (10 seconds)

Repeat 4 times