If you’re looking to shed pounds and torch some serious calories, ditch the fitness studio for a Tabata workout. Discovered by Japanese scientist Dr. Izumi Tabata at the National Institute of Fitness and Sports, the practice is a type of high-intensity training, according to Active.com. Exercises in a Tabata workout are short, making them effective for those who don’t have a lot of time to spend in the gym.

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The main principle is this: work out hard for 20 seconds then take a 10-second break. Finish eight rounds and you’ll be exhausted, but on the way to achieving your fitness goals. Sure, 20 seconds of work doesn’t sound hard, but according to one Shape reporter, you should feel like you’re going to die. Shape recommends starting Tabata with a cardio workout that you’re comfortable with like treadmill running.

“This particular style of interval training has profound effects even on short-term post-exercise metabolism," Michele Olson, Ph.D., and Tabata researcher, told Shape.com. "It would take five times the amount of typical cardio exercise to shed the same number of calories you can in a four-minute Tabata."

Since Tabata doesn’t require the use of equipment, it’s also a cost-effective workout since you can do it at home. The workout is strenuous, and Breaking Muscle advises Tabata for more advanced exercisers. And like any exercise routine, a warmup should be included. However, once you’re comfortable with Tabata, Breaking Muscle suggests creating several different routines with up to 12 exercises that you can choose from.

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The fitness site also writes that it's best to choose exercises targeting a wide variety of muscles to get the most benefit. A sample list of effective exercises includes mountain climbers, burpees, squats, springs and dead lifts. Of course you can also target specific areas by focusing on the core, and Breaking Muscle offers a variety of already-built programs based on your preferences.

Here's more on how to start your Tabata routine:


Source: eReplacementParts.com

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