Family Health

4-Minute Tabata Workout You Can Do At Home

Jan 11, 2017

Let’s face it, whether you are a stay-at-home mom or a working mom, it’s really, really hard to find time to work out unless you plan ahead. We tend to prioritize so many things over ourselves. Laundry, dishes, vacuuming, playing with the kiddos and even brining work home if you are a mom who works outside of the home. We push ourselves to the back of the list, make excuses and struggle with our brains to make ourselves a priority.

As soon as we wake up the crazy day begins. Personally, having a toddler, I never know what my day is going to look like. Is she going to be in a good mood or is she going to melt down at every opportunity? (“Oh no, I’m sorry, did I put your water in a green cup?") The joy of parenting is that it is so unpredictable. Well I am here to help! These workouts will check off all your busy mom (or dad) boxes.

Why 4-Minute Tabata Exercises?

  • They are QUICK – only 4 minutes.
  • You don’t need ANY equipment.
  • You don’t need a co-operative child.
  • You can fit them in-between any household chores.
  • They burn off some great calories.
  • All you need are runners and a stopwatch!

photo of shoes

What are tabata exercises?

They are a super-fast paced, high intensity interval workout which you complete in four minutes, that’s right only four minutes. You can stop after one or you can link more together for a lengthy workout depending on how much time you have. But who are we kidding, some days we only have a few minutes to ourselves.

The tabata system requires you to complete 20 seconds of max effort, followed by 10 seconds of rest. There is a catch though, you really need to push yourself to your limit (with good exercise form) during the effort portion for these workouts to be as effective as you want.

lucy doing lunges in her living room

BONUS: If you do these workouts correctly, you will be burning calories for hours after you have finished.

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How to build your tabata workout:

Pick two compound exercises – compound meaning they use more than one muscle group/body part. For example, a lunge or a squat is a compound exercise whereas a bicep curl is NOT. Don’t worry mamas, this doesn’t mean jumping and running, you can still do low-impact exercises at a high intensity if you have pelvic floor issues. But If you have been cleared by a pelvic floor physiotherapist/medical professional to jump and run, by all means add them into a routine. My favorite exercises are squats, lunges, plank variations, push-ups, burpees, mountain climbers and deadlift variations. See the video for six various tabata exercise examples.

You can stucture your workout like this, for example: 

20 seconds – Burpee
10 seconds – Rest
20 seconds – Push-ups 
10 seconds – Rest

REPEAT x 4 for a total of four minutes.

Note for new mommies and women with diastasis, pelvic floor dysfunction or pelvic organ prolapse: you can still complete tabata workouts, however, pick your exercises wisely. Do not use anything that will compromise your form or put too much pressure on your undercarriage. For example, avoid jumping exercises, front-loaded body exercises (i.e. front plank/push-ups) and twisting. Work with your health care professional to figure out which exercises are best for you.

Please check with a medical professional before starting an exercise regime.

Article Author Lucy D’Aguilar
Lucy D’Aguilar

Read more from Lucy here.

Lucy is the owner of an in-home and online personal training service specializing in postpartum fitness and core rehabilitation. She's a stay-at-home mama to an inquisitive little lady and an overly protective puppy which makes life very interesting. When she's not breaking up battles of whit between the two kiddies (puppy included) she's usually enjoying a cup of coffee that has been heated up about ten times. She is the self-proclaimed DIY master of her house, and loves to take on projects and gives herself a high five when she finishes it. You can find out more about her business at You can also follow her on Instagram and Facebook.



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