Tabata Workout Image Credit: Oxygen
Tabata Workout Image Credit: Oxygen

The 12-Minute Total-Body Tabata

This no-excuse workout only requires a set of dumbbells — and some grit!

Just the mere mention of this four-minute workout can strike fear into the heart of the most formidable of athletes, and for good reason. “A Tabata is just as mental as it is physical,” says Vanessa Serio, NASM-CPT, ACSM, owner of The Top Strength Project in Providence, Rhode Island. “Your goal is to push past your comfort zone to get the results you want.”

This workout, designed by Serio, triples the traditional format, stringing together three Tabata couplets to create a 12-minute workout. “This is a great way to get in some movement on those impossible, fit-it all-in days,” she says. “You can also use it as a fun finisher.”

Make sure, however, you’re delivering 100 percent effort. “You should work at an all-out pace while using correct form,” Serio says. “Yes, it is going to burn, but it’s only 20 seconds. Then you get to rest — a little!”


Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and turned out slightly from your hips. Hold a set of dumbbells at your shoulders with your palms facing rearward, elbows bent. Push your glutes back and bend your knees to lower into a deep squat. Then drive through your heels and explode to standing, pressing the dumbbells up overhead to full extension. Lower the

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