Tabata Training Circuit: A Six-Move Fat-Shedding Workout

Training Plans

Grab a medicine ball and use it to burn 500 calories in 24 minutes with this tabata workout

Sam Rider
9 Mar 2016

Tabata workouts, named after sports and health scientist Izumi Tabata, are high-intensity intervals of 20 seconds’ effort followed by ten seconds’ rest, repeated eight times for a total of four minutes. Because you’ve barely time to get your breath back, your heart rate rockets and you keep burning calories while you (try to) recover.

Reclaim your abs, 500 calories at a time, with this rapid medicine ball circuit from coach Andrew Tracey. “This is next-level full-body Tabata conditioning,” says Tracey. “High intensity is key here, especially if you’re using a light med ball. It has to be all-out, balls to the wall on every set.” All you need is a med ball and a sturdy floor to slam it into. The movements will work every part of your body, building functional power, while the relentless on/off nature of the Tabata intervals will kick your heart rate up to a fat-strippingly high pace. After a few weeks you’ll have a beach-ready body.


Do each of the six exercises in order for 20 seconds, resting for ten seconds between them. Complete four rounds of the circuit for a total of 12 minutes, take a three-minute rest, then go again. To progress, increase the weight if you can, or try to do more reps in each period of effort.

Although the med ball adds resistance, you’re primarily using your bodyweight to burn calories here. When you can’t make it to the gym, sub in a football, which is just as good as long as you keep the movements explosive.

1. Ninja get-up

Tabata training circuit: Ninja get-up

Hold the ball in both hands and kneel on the floor. Drive your hips up and forwards powerfully and use the momentum to land in the bottom of a deep squat, then stand.

Tip: This is a dynamic move to kick things off, so warm up with light cycling or bodyweight squats first

2. Slam

Tabata training circuit: Slam

Hold the ball high above you with straight arms and slam the ball hard into the floor, using your core to generate power. Catch the ball as it bounces up and continue into the next rep.

3. Reverse lunge

Tabata training circuit: Reverse lunge

Hold the ball with both hands and take a big step backwards. Lower until your front thigh is parallel to the ground, keeping your body upright and glutes strong.

Tip: Going backwards with your lunges challenges your calves, hamstrings and glutes to work harder

4. Rolling press-up

Tabata training circuit: Rolling press-up

Get in a press-up position with one hand on the ball and lower into a press-up. As you drive back up, roll the ball across your body and repeat the press-up with your other hand on the ball.

5. Thruster

Tabata training circuit: Thruster

Hold the ball at chest height. Lower into a squat, keeping your knees wide apart, your heels down and your back straight, then drive back up and press the ball above your head until your arms are straight.

Tip: Crank up the heat by turning these into wall ball squats. Face a wall and throw the ball high against it as you stand

6. Straight-arm twist

Tabata training circuit: Straight-arm twist

Hold the ball with your arms straight and parallel to the ground. Rotate your torso to bring the ball from one side to the other, using your core to accelerate and decelerate each rotation.

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Model: Callum

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