By Rachel Debling
Illustrations By Mark Collins
You may not see a ton of guys in the gym doing bodyweight routines, but if the success of programs like Insanity have taught us anything, it is that you don’t need a ton of gear to work up a sweat. This winter, consider this Tabata routine your secret weapon against gravy, pies, and inclement weather. Designed by Amber McKay, CSEP-CPT, a group fitness, kettlebell, TRX, and Schwinn indoor cycling instructor, it will leave you feeling spent without a gym membership.
Grab a stopwatch and a set of Gliders or small towels. For each exercise, perform it in intervals of 20 seconds activity to 10 seconds rest, until four minutes has been reached (eight sets). Rest for one minute, then move onto the next exercise and repeat. If you don’t have a timer, do each exercise for three sets of 15 reps.
Tip: Breathe in on the easy phase, using a three-second count, and breathe out on the hard phase with a one-second count.
McKay explains, “Tabata is a form of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) that is short on time but high in intensity.” In general, Tabata drills improve cardiovascular capacity while also increasing strength — not to mention it’s great for weight loss. She says Tabatas work by performing exercises at an all-out effort for a short duration of time, thus increasing heart rate, metabolism, and the amount of energy expended.
Get into a push-up position on the floor with one Glider or towel under each hand and arms wide. Perform a push-up, extend your arms, then slide them close together and perform a narrow push-up.