Monday, November 21, 2011

Cardio Circuits, Tabata Intervals and Muscular Endurance

Our last post was all about pushing strength and muscular endurance in the chest, shoulders, triceps and abdomen.  Today we are going to get the blood flowing and your heart pumping, especially since Thanksgiving is coming up this week. Plan on doing this today, on Thanksgiving morning and the day after your mighty feast!

Tabata intervals+ 20 seconds work/10 seconds rest for 8 rounds, or about 4 minutes. *(Hint: Use a gym timer if you have one.)

There will be three exercises you do this with. To get results as close as possible to what the Tabata team did in the lab, push yourself as fast as possible during that 20 seconds. Before beginning, do a thorough 5-10 minutes warm up of sun salutations, jogging, jumproping or similar. As always, go through a series of joint rotations as well.

Between Tabata intervals, rest 2-3 minutes.

1.) Bodyweight Squats.  It is always good to start with the biggest movement first. Be sure to squat to parallel on each repetition. Keep your back straight while pushing your hips back as you go down. Arms straight in front of you, or put your hands behind your head. You can also cross them over your chest.

2.) Springing Tripod Twists: Although speed is the key to a Tabata interval, don't sacrifice form to keep up, especially with this exercise. If you are new to it, a moderate pace will wear you out regardless.

Watch this stellar video by the master himself:

3.) Mountain Climbers: There are some who say you should bring the knee all the way up to one side and keep your head high and looking forward while doing these. However, for doing these Tabata style, speed is the key. This should be more like running off the starting block then crawling up a mountain. Find the 'stride' that allows you to move your feet fast. Try to get the knees to the lower chest area.

You could do this for more than one round, but here should be no reason to. Each Tabata interval is designed to exhaust your muscles and leave you gasping for air. Still, if you are in need of more, add another round of each. This is also a great workout to slip into a few minutes when you are pressed for time. Enjoy!

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