A Lotta Tabata || 4-Minute Total Body Toning Workouts



If you’re short on time (aren’t we all?), you CAN still get in a workout. Between carpools, family, and work, sometimes getting to the gym is hard, SO here’s a little secret of mine: TABATA. Tabata is high intensity interval training that takes only 4 minutes, it’s easy to follow, and kids can join in too.  This is how I get fit in 4 minutes. 

Now set the clock for 4 minutes or download a Tabata timer app. Before you hit start, choose a movement. Once you hit start, your workout will look like this:

Step #1: 2o seconds ON (performing reps of the movement).
Step #2: 10 second OFF (rest) ➡ You’ve successfully completed 1 round!
Step #3: Repeat steps 1 and 2 for 8 complete rounds—totaling FOUR minutes.

Easy peasy! But don’t be fooled…I can promise you, your muscles will be feeling it. 😉

For even MORE of a workout, simply stack multiple 4-minute Tabata “blocks” on top of each other. In other words, once you complete movement #1 (say, Push Ups), simply Tabata another movement (like Burpees). Each “block” is 4 minutes, so essentially, you can do a total body workout with 3 moves in just 12 minutes…like I did in the video above. Below are the moves I did in my workout…


My Leggings || My Sports Bra || My Tank Top

Plank Risers:

8 rounds in 4 minutes of 20 seconds of plank risers (do as many as you can!), 10 seconds of rest.



8 rounds in 4 minutes of 20 seconds of Thrusters (do as many as you can!), 10 seconds of rest.



Bent Over Dumbbell Rows:

8 rounds in 4 minutes of 20 seconds of Rows (do as many as you can!), 10 seconds of rest.

HP Row

PS: The app is chock-full-o Tabata, and simple, easy-to-do, time-efficient workouts like this!

What movements do you like to Tabata? Share your faves in the comments below.



Related reading:

Fit in 4 Minutes
Top 10 At-Home Exercises for Total Body Toning
Extreme Transformation Sneak Peek Workout
Powell Pack Workout | Deck of Cards
Commercial Break Workout: Total Body Blaster
Tuesday Tip: Couch Potato Workout
5-Minute Workout for Sculpting Sexy Arms
Fabulous Abs in Just 5 Minutes


  1. Courtney Ramsey - September 20, 2018

    Where do we find the Tabata toner in the app? Having trouble finding it.
    Thanks for everything you all do!

    • Team Powell - September 24, 2018

      Hi Courtney: We have tabata workouts in the app with an accompanying timer, but not a specific generic tabata timer. I think when this blog post was written, we were hoping to have a timer in the app very soon, but this is something we’re still working on. Thank you for bringing this to our attention, and I’ll have Heidi change the wording in this blog post. We hope you’re loving the app! 🙂

  2. Brooke Bowlby - August 15, 2018

    Tabata is my favorite work out! Love these ideas

  3. Ann thomas - April 12, 2018

    Love the tbata!!! Quick question, would it be better to skip the 30 sec rest? Or does it serve a purpose?

  4. Lucy - May 20, 2017

    Your book says we should eat within 30 min of waking. I like to work out first thing in the morning, typically 60 min hot yoga. Is it bad that I’m not eating meal 1 until after? Should I change up the order and have meal 2, which I think is smaller, prior to working out and then follow up with meal 1 after my workout?

    • Team Powell - May 20, 2017

      Hi Lucy: You’re doing awesome, and what works for one person with eating and working out might not work for another. Here’s a post that talks about how to schedule your meals and working out: https://heidipowell.net/9194. 🙂

  5. Madison - April 1, 2017

    Hey Heidi!! I wanted to get the new app but I’m not old enough because I’m a teenager but I love working out! So please keep posting on insta so I can get your amazing workouts!!

  6. Frances - March 22, 2017

    Hello what did you suggest for get lean and burn fat I do weight and cardio at the end of my workout. Do I do heavy weight or a comfy weight and long repetition…

    • Team Powell - March 23, 2017

      Hi Frances: Getting lean/losing fat is all about nutrition AND exercise. You can get some great tips here: https://heidipowell.net/9060, and Chris and Heidi will launch their new app – TRANSFORM – on Monday! It’s a complete transformation app with customized meal plans, workouts, and life lessons, as well as many other awesome things that will help you both achieve your goals. You can learn more about the app here: http://thetransformapp.com. 🙂

  7. tova williamsson - March 8, 2017

    I have started to add tabata in the end of my workouts, what 3-4 exercise except the one you listed below would you do for a whole body workout? 🙂

    • Team Powell - March 8, 2017

      Hi Tova: You could do pretty much anything! Check out the “workout” section on this blog, and you’ll find other workouts with options you can use. Another option: Search “Exercise Movement Glossary” for even more ideas!

  8. Brittany - March 3, 2017

    Heidi, Thank you for sharing! I needed this!! 🙂

  9. Victoria Pile - March 3, 2017

    Hi Heidi – I have a bladder prolapse. Any idea what exercise would be good for me? My Physio has said no squats and no sit ups. They have said I can do light weights for arms whilst sitting!!!! What would you recommend which would get me some results? I am doing my daily cardio starting with small promises of 5 ‘mins a day and building so I can keep my promises.

    • Team Powell - March 4, 2017

      Hi Victoria: I’d definitely work with your Physio to put an exercise program in place that will help you achieve your goals and not negatively affect your bladder prolapse issue. They are the best ones to help you since they understand your issue and can work with you on a one-on-one basis. We’d hate to recommend something that would make things worse. Heidi does have some workouts and workout movements on this blog that you could show them (as well as many movements in their books: https://heidipowell.net/books-dvds/), and then you could use these to formulate a program that will work for you. And congratulations on keeping those promises to yourself – that’s a huge step towards achieving your goals!

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