With less than a month left until summer, you've got to tone up fast. It's time to learn about Tabata, a Japanese method of training with sessions that's based on timing instead of counting reps and is absolutely perfect for scorching fat and getting toned up for the summer. Tabata is known for improving performance and muscle tone.
In fact, a study in the Journal of Physiology found that short, intense interval workouts like Tabata can be a more time-efficient way to get in shape than longer, steadier paced workouts.
Try these four Tabata moves two to three times a week; it should take 20 minutes to complete. Each move should start with 20 seconds of flat-out effort on each move, 10 seconds of rest, and repeat eight times. Take a full minute to rest before moving on to the next exercise. You will also need weights that are about half the weight of your normal level so you can last through the time sets. Lastly, since this is a high-intensity exercise, you should try wearing a heart rate monitor to make sure that you're working out at 80 percent of your maximum heart rate, your optimal fat-burning zone. Let's get started!
1. Press-up Row. In a pushup position, grip the handles of two weights. Instead of lowering yourself down, bring one arm up to your armpit while holding yourself tight. Lower and repeat.
2. Leapfrog Plank. Leave your weights to the side, get in the pushup position, with your shoulders and hands in line and your back straight. "Leap" your feet forward towards your hands, and then jump back to plank position. Do this back and forth as fast as you can.
3. Front Squat. Rest your weights on your shoulders, palms facing out, standing with feet hip-width apart. Slowly squat (remember to keep your butt tucked in and your back straight!) as far down as you can, making sure that your knees are aligned with your toes. then return to start.
4. Clean and Press. Stand with your weights at your toes. Squat down and grab your weights overhand. Stand up and lift the weights up and over your head, then lower them down to the floor. Repeat.
Jennifer Cohen is a leading fitness authority, TV personality, best-selling author, and entrepreneur. With her signature, straight-talking approach to wellness, Jennifer was the featured trainer on The CW's Shedding for the Wedding, mentoring the contestants' to lose hundreds of pounds before their big day, and she appears regularly on NBC's Today Show, Extra, The Doctors and Good Morning America.