Tabata Yoga Complete Guide

Tabata Yoga is composed of yoga-inspired exercises and Tabata approach. It takes the advantages of both practices and blends them in one highly effective, quick and moderate-intensity exercise program.

At first sight, it may seem a little unrealistic to have these contrasting approaches mixed in a single workout plan. However, this modern combo of strength and mindfulness has proved to be quite impressive for both weight loss and fitness purposes.

The idea of the Tabata program comes from Tokyo. Researchers have found that short term but high-intensity training can have a greater positive effect on the body than a long-lasting program with moderate-intensity level exercises.

If you want to exercise and not spend hours in the gym, Tabata Yoga can be a great solution for you.

It is important to mention that the program may be challenging for those who are new to working out or have never tried Tabata before. However, with every circuit, your body will become stronger and you will get more comfortable with the exercises.

Since Tabata Yoga has created a massive online buzz, we have decided to uncover all the secrets and benefits of this new workout routine and offer a series of exercises to help you get started with it.

So, prepare your mind and body to dive into the wondrous world of Tabata Yoga and reap the benefits of the two training styles.

What is Tabata Yoga?

The history of Tabata goes back to a study conducted by Japanese scientist Dr. Izumi Tabata and a group of researchers from the National Institute of Fitness and Sports in Tokyo. The aim of the research was the comparison of the results gained from two participant groups.

The first group did one-hour moderate-intensity workout for five days per week for six weeks while the other one had high-intensity interval training (HIIT) for four days per week for six weeks. The duration of the workout done by the second group was just four minutes, including a 20-seconds exercise cycle followed by 10 seconds break.

The research results showed that high-intensity interval training has greatly enhanced both aerobic (cardiovascular) and anaerobic (muscular) systems. However, the long-lasting program with comparably moderate exercises did not have the same impressive result and showed little changes in participants’ anaerobic system.

Hence, the 28% increase in the anaerobic system of the second group has proved that short-term exercises may be increasingly effective and powerful and thus smashed many stereotypes in the fitness industry.

Since Tabata itself is very tough to perform, mixing it with yoga elements can make it a little easier for joints and untrained muscles. Over time, there were created numerous variations of Tabata training targeting different muscle groups.

If you are a Yoga fitness workout fan check out our article on another full body effective stretching and bodyweight resistance training: PiYo Calendar | Full Schedule & Workout List Ultimate Guide. PiYo is a unique combination of Pilates and Yoga giving you a nice opportunity to practice both exercise methods simultaneously.

Tabata Yoga Benefits and Results

The main advantage of Tabata Yoga is quite obvious: you will benefit from both elements of the program without having to put heavy stress on your joints. Tabata workout promises enormous benefits such as physical strength, cardiovascular fitness, and healthy weight loss. Thanks to Yoga moves you can also improve your mental well-being by reducing stress level, maintaining calmness and right concentration.

Here are the most significant benefits of Tabata Yoga:

Training for a shorter time and gaining better results

Lengthy yoga sessions may not interest people who need something quick and effective. And spending about 90 minutes on a standard yoga class would not be an option for them. Tabata Yoga, on the other hand, doesn’t require much time and works better than many regular workouts. You get to build your muscles and relax in yoga poses.

Less pressure on joints

If you have ever come across with HIIT then you know it can be extremely hard. Completing a HIIT workout is both a physical and psychological challenge. People, who are not used to any form of exercising should be aware that Tabata, being a type of HIIT, can create pressure on joints and cause muscle pain.

So, if you are a fitness rookie and want to practice any HIIT workout, then Tabata Yoga might be a starting point for you. Compared to other Tabata fusion exercises, this one is gentler for your joints and back.

Building strong lean muscles

The principle of increasing muscle mass in the body is the same regardless of the training method. The pressure from each exercise leads to very small tears in the tissue, which needs to be repaired. Then, tissue units of muscles come close to these little gaps.

This continuous process adds muscle tissue and contributes to muscle growth. When doing Tabata workout this process happens much faster as there are greater physical exertion and muscle activation. Due to simultaneous fat loss and muscle gain, this unique training style also leads to better lean mass to fat ratio.

Improved metabolism

Girl eating healthy food

Tabata program increases the heart rate and accelerates metabolism. This results in faster fat loss, which continues even after the workout.

Tabata Yoga for Beginners

As mentioned before, Tabata Yoga can be a good way for beginners to start their fitness journey. However, even the dynamic yoga moves along with Tabata can be tough for a beginner. So, if this is your first step towards your fit body and healthy lifestyle, it may be a good choice to start with easier versions of Tabata Yoga workout.

The length of the workout may vary from 4 minutes to 45 minutes. And they may even target specific body parts. From a large pool of possibilities, you may choose low impact Tabata workout, some special routine focusing on the abs and core stregthening, an advanced workout plan 12-minute training for the lower body, and many others.

Don’t think that Tabata Yoga for 1st beginners will be as easy as a pie. You will still burn calories and work the targeted muscles, at the same time protecting your knees and joints from injuries.

Tabata Yoga Workout

Trainer Kaisa Keranen (@kaisaft), the creator of 30-day Tabata Challenge, does Tabata Yoga training for burning calories and staying always in tonus. She believes that yoga-inspired moves in Tabata may not only tone the muscles but also take care of the body.

The main rule is doing as many reps as possible (AMRAP) in a 20-second cycle.

This may sound like not a big deal but believe us when we say that those 20 seconds may seem to be lasting forever when you are doing truly intense exercises. However, you should keep on doing as the 10-seconds rest follows right after that.

The round must be repeated two to four times to have the best results for your body.

Here are the most powerful Tabata Yoga moves that require no equipment and can be done anywhere you want.

Lunge to Forward Hop

  1. Step back with your right foot into a left leg lunge.
  2. Jump up on to the right leg with a left-foot kick up to glutes with your heel.
  3. Jump back into left leg lunge.

AMRAP must be done for 20 seconds, and rest for 10 seconds. Each new cycle must be completed on the opposite side as well.

Crouching Push-Up

  1. Get into a high plank and go down into a push-up.
  2. Push your chest away from the floor and bend your knees to step on your heels. Arms must be straight and hands should not change their position on the floor.
  3. Shift weight forward and come into initial plank position.

Complete AMRAP for 20 seconds, and rest for 10 seconds.

Lateral Lunge to Rotate Open

  1. Do a lateral lunge with the right leg and go as low as possible. Your hand should be on the floor and the left leg straight on the side with the toe pointing up.
  2. Lift straight left arm towards the ceiling, rotating your chest to the left. Then return the hand to the floor.
  3. Walk your hands to the left and change the foot, shifting weight over to a left-side lunge. With your right arm reach towards the ceiling by rotating the chest to the right side.
  4. Place your hands to the floor and alternate the sides.

Complete AMRAP for 20 seconds, and rest for 10 seconds.

Side Plank Toe Tap

  1. Start in a high side plank position on your right hand. Lift your left arm above head, biceps touching the ear.
  2. Lower your left arm and lift straight left leg to tap together directly above the torso.
  3. Repeat from the beginning.

AMRAP must be done for 20 seconds, and rest for 10 seconds. Each new cycle must be completed on the opposite side.

Usually, during Tabata program one type of exercise is done for the first four rounds, then another form of exercise is completed for the second four rounds. It is also recommended to do a restorative yoga pose during every 10-seconds rest to help your muscles relax and get ready for the next round. This is what they call a Tabata Yoga Mashup.

If you want to get fit fast and the abdominal (belly area) section is your main problem, our article on The 3 Minute Flat Belly Flow program will help you fight the stubborn belly fat by activating the midsection. This way you won’t waste long hours in the gym and will have toned abs in a month.

Tabata Yoga Warnings

Tabata Yoga challenges are mostly connected with the high intensity of the program. There is always some degree of risk involved when you perform high-impact exercises. If you follow basic and simple safety rules you can continue enjoying your training, get great results and have fun at the same time.

Here are some useful tips to keep you safe while you focus on shaping your body.

Proper warm-up and cool down

Always take some time to do a good warm-up and cool down before and after the workout. In this case, your body will be fully ready for the training and the probability of any injury will be close to zero.

Make sure your body is ready

Do an honest self-assessment; is your body ready for high-impact exercises? If you have never done HIIT before, then the answer is probably no. So, start with small steps and perform low-impact exercises before you are strong enough to accept the Tabata Yoga challenge. You may even discuss your intention of doing Tabata Yoga program with your doctor for the peace of mind.

Be fully informed

Do your research and learn everything you need to know about this program and what it offers. You will be more motivated when you know what awaits you and confidently face the challenges when they arise.

Start with the modified version

Tabata Yoga may work for beginners as well when they know where to start from. If you are a newbie, speak with your trainer to come up with a modified version of the exercises that best fit for your case. This will help to prepare your body for more intensive exercises.

Add a healthy diet plan

Nutrition is an extremely important component of a healthy lifestyle. HIIT requires a lot of energy and to make sure you have the proper amount, you need to follow a balanced, protein-rich diet and eventually be able to reach your fitness goals. Check out our article Spanish Ketogenic Mediterranean Diet for some ideas.

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