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When it comes to fighting the battle of the bulge, some of us are marathoners and others are sprinters. Tabata workouts are for people who want to go hard, go fast…and finish in under 30 minutes. Though a stopwatch used to be the best tool for Tabata, many apps now do timing for you, as well as much, much more.
What is Tabata?
Tabata is a type of high-intensity interval training that was made famous by researcher and training coach Izumi Tabata. His research found that these quick bursts of intense exercise could be as effective as steady state cardio, if not more so.
The basics of a Tabata workout are this: Do 20 seconds of very intense bodyweight activity, followed by 10 seconds of rest. Repeat eight times for a four-minute cycle. A typical Tabata workout consists of four of these four-minute cycles.
Generally, you complete these bodyweight exercises as quickly as you can while keeping good form. They might include jump squats, burpees, pushups, bodyweight squats, mountain climbers, and jump rope.
Tabata is challenging, but it’s also good for your heart and lungs. With the right app to track your workout, you can get in highly effective cardio workouts and burn major calories in a short amount of time. We rounded up the best such apps for 2016.
Tabata is simple, so it makes sense that an app designed for Tabata workouts should be, too. Bit Timer fits the bill with a “no frills” design. You can customize your work and rest periods, and how many times you want to repeat them. There’s a 10 second countdown to help you prepare, and you can pause and restart your workout at any time.
Interval Timer Pro
Customize everything, including the intensity of your workouts, the length of your intervals, the sound of alerts, and your playlist. You can save your workouts as templates with Interval Timer Pro, making it easy to recreate particularly productive sessions again and again. We also like that it’s compatible with both Facebook and Twitter.
Quick 4 Minute Workout – Tabata
If you just want a quick round of Tabata, Quick 4-Minute Workout might be the right app for you. It has HD videos for you to follow, and is designed to give you just one round of Tabata. Use them back to back if you want to get a more intense workout. You can even track your weight loss with this app, to see how all your hard work is paying off.
Seconds Pro is all about customization. You can set your own interval times, program the exact music you want to listen to during each interval, and choose between loud and soft alert sounds. The screen-sized timer and color-coded display mean you’re always on top of your game.
Tabata Pro – Tabata Timer
Yellow means get ready, green means work, and red means it’s time to stop. Pretty simple, right? Tabata Pro also allows you to customize your workout completely, pause and restart your session, and automatically starts your music when you get going.
When you’re in the middle of a 20-second Tabata interval, every second counts, and one thing we like about this app is the big readout, so you can check your time while coming down into a pushup. Also, you can customize your workout session, tracking how much time you spend exercising and resting, as well as how many rounds you want to do.
One of the great things about doing Tabata is that you can get creative with the exercises. But sometimes you just want someone to tell you what to do. The Tabata Trainer app comes preloaded with nine different routines, for those days when you’re lacking inspiration. We like the simple interface and the ability to share your progress on Facebook.