Kettlebells are known as one of the most versatile pieces of exercise equipment and their ability to provide the user with so many different exercises is what makes them so popular. A kettlebell workout will target every single muscle group within your body, but there are plenty of ways to increase the challenge for yourself.
Tabata is a form of high-intensity interval training and one of the best ways to try these workouts for yourself is with a kettlebell. There are various Tabata kettlebell swings and exercises that can burn serious fat and build muscle in less time than a standard workout, but it’s all a matter of knowing which ones are most effective.
We’ve compiled some kettlebell Tabata moves that you can master to give yourself a challenging workout and target every muscle group. By combing the famous Tabata workout guidelines with the fun kettlebell, you’ll get a serious workout that will never become boring.
What Exactly Is Tabata?
There are so many fitness styles out there to try, but one that’s been proven time and time again for its effectiveness is high intensity interval training. Tabata is a specific form of high intensity interval training that features exercises you do for four minutes as part of a larger set.
Tabata was invented by a Japanese scientist from the National Institute of Fitness and Sports in Tokyo, Dr. Izumi Tabata. While researching the most effective methods of exercise, he and his team discovered that working out for high intensity periods of shorter bursts was far more effective on the aerobic and anaerobic systems.
Their findings concluded that a high intensity workout of four minutes and 20 seconds, with 10 seconds in between each spurt, was the ideal way to burn fat and continue doing so after the exercise had finished. This four minutes of exercise was even more effective than a full hour of moderate activity, highlighting just how much impact it can have.
All Tabata workouts follow the same time structure, but the exercise you do can be customized. You work out as hard as possible for 20 seconds, rest for 10 seconds, and complete this for eight rounds. Most people will mix up many different exercises for each of their sets, and using a kettlebell is the perfect way to do so.
Can You Do Tabata Training With Kettlebells?
Kettlebells are a versatile piece of workout equipment, and they’re perfectly suited to the style of a Tabata workout. It’s possible to perform many different high intensity movements with just one kettlebell, or even two if you have them, and you can tailor your own Tabata workout that targets every muscle group in the body.
Before you commit to a Tabata workout, keep in mind that although the rounds are short, they are also very intense. It’s best to start with just one four-minute block to see how it suits your fitness levels, and then add more when you’re feeling up to it.
A standard Tabata workout features four different rounds, totally just over 16 minutes for the entire workout. When done correctly, you can burn a whole lot of calories in this short amount of time and give your whole body a strength and cardio workout at the same time.
Examples Of A Kettlebell Tabata Circuit
Creating your own Tabata circuit is easy to do, as you’ll only need a total of four different exercises to do a daily workout. We’ve created this example circuit to show you what a complete workout looks like using kettlebells and the timing perfected by Tabata, so consider trying it out for your next workout session.
Continue performing standard squats with your kettlebell for 20 seconds, and then take a 10 second break before starting again. Perform these exercises for a total of four minutes.
Lay on your back with feet on the ground and perform twists to either side of the body with your kettlebell. Keep the continual movement of twists for 20 seconds, sit up and take a 10 second rest, and then perform the next 20 second set. Continue for a total of four minutes.
Curl To Press
Perform a standard curl and then press the kettlebell up above your head. Start on one arm and continue reps for 20 seconds, take a 10 second break, and then move to the other arm for the next 20 seconds of work with four minutes in total.
Perform reps for 20 seconds on each arm and then 10 seconds of rest after, then switch arms to repeat. Complete reps for a full four minutes in total.
As always with any type of workout, it’s essential to warm up your body first and then cool down with stretches upon completion. This Tabata circuit will be high intensity but it’s capable of working your entire body, strengthening muscles, and providing a cardio workout.
Getting More From Your Kettlebells
Having just one kettlebell in your workout equipment can deliver amazing results, so imagine combining its power with the effectiveness of a Tabata workout. The beauty of these workouts is that you can tailor them to your own needs and fitness requirements and because you move through everything so quickly, you’ll never get bored.
There are so many benefits to be found in a Tabata workout, and the same can be said for using a kettlebell. These instruments are cheap but effective and there’s no need to visit a professional gym or health club to get the same results.
Tabata workouts are perfect for people who don’t have a lot of time but still want to see fast results. They provide an effective aerobic and anaerobic workout that will continue burning calories long after you put the kettlebells down, so all in all, they’re a fitness fanatic’s dream come true.