30-Minute Body-Weight Tabata Workout

30-min body weight tabata workout

Happy Monday! I hope you all had a great weekend (blogging is so weird—it’s like writing an email to no one in particular). I just got back from a couple days on Nantucket, which was a wonderful change of pace from the Boston weekend scene.

Body-weight workouts are the best because you can pretty much do them anywhere. Your living room, hotel rooms, the beach, your backyard, a gym…they go where you go. I usually put together these no-equipment-needed workouts when I’m visiting my parents on the Vineyard or in Maine. It’d be a huge pain to lug kettle bells and other equipment with me, so I just use the weight I already carry around with me every day.

This workout is a slight variation of a traditional tabata, in that I did 10 rounds for each exercise instead of the typical 8. Deal. With. It. And before I get into the specifics, let me just put it out there that I’m fully aware my pike jump skills are unimpressive at best. Laugh away at the picture.

30-Minute Body Weight Tabata Workout

For each of the following exercises, you’ll set your Gymboss Interval Timer for 10 rounds of 20 seconds of work and 10 seconds of rest. Once you’ve completed the 5 minutes of one exercise, take a quick drink of water and move on to the next.


  • Pike Jump into Squat Jump: Place hands on ground so you’re in a peaked pike position and jump your legs into the air. Don’t worry if you can’t get very far off the ground at first (I’m right there with you, dude!). When your feet land back on the ground, push up back into a squat position, and then jump in the air, arms overhead. Repeat.
  • Side Plank Lift with Knee Tuck (alternate sides each interval): Start in a side plank position on your right hand and lower your hips towards the ground and then lift back up into side plank position. Crunch your left knee in to meet your left elbow. Repeat. During the next 20-second work interval, you’ll do the same thing on your left hand. Continue to alternate sides throughout the 5 minutes.
  • Knee Tuck, Roll, Back Row: Start laying on your back and do a full body crunch, lifting your torso and crunching in your knees so that you can hug them. Extend back out, lowering onto back. Roll to your right so that you’re on your stomach and do a back row, lifting your legs and chest off the ground while pulling your elbows back in a row. Extend back out and roll to the right again so that you’re on your back. Repeat sequence, only rolling to the left this time.
  • Side Lunge Knee-Up Jumps (alternate legs each interval): Squat down on your right leg, extending your left leg out to the left in a side lunge. Bring leg back in, jumping up on your right foot and bringing that left knee up to your chest. Land back on right leg and repeat. During the next 20-second interval, you’ll do the same thing on your left leg.
  • Up-Down Planks: Essentially, you’re starting in an elbow plank position and, one arm at a time, going up into a regular plank position, then back down into an elbow plank…and so on. Just remember to alternate the arm you’re leading with.
  • Skiers / High Knees (alternate between the two exercises each interval): For skiers, you do a two-foot lateral jump, side to side, like you’re skiing down a mountain (think moguls section). For high knees, it’s like running in place only pick those knees up to hit your hands. You’ll do skiers the first 20 seconds, high knees the second 20-second interval, and so on and so forth.

What are some of your favorite body weight exercises?


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  1. This looks tough! I’m sure I’ll love it!!!

  2. Great workout, I really liked the photo’s too as a quick reminder guide! Very happ to find your blog as I am always looking for inspiration. Thanks

  3. ccmilan says:

    I did this today and I’m pretty sure that my pike jump was even more pathetic…I can’t overcome the fear that I’ll flip over.

    • Right?? I think I might try them against a wall next time so I’m more confident in going vertical with my torso.

  4. Nice. Good workout for Hotel Rooms etc!

  5. I have found a new found love in tabata! Great workouts! Thanks for this. I like switching them up all the time as well.

  6. Hi Nicole!

    Kind of an odd question, but I was wondering how you set up your timer? I use the Seconds Pro app on my iPhone (I think that’s the one you recommended?) I used the tabata timer and was able to set up my 20 seconds of work, 10 seconds of rest, and another 30 seconds of rest between each exercise. But, the app immediately made it 8 rounds of each exercise, and I could not figure out how to make it 10 🙁 Am I using the right app, and how did you set up your timer? Thanks!

    • Hi Tanya! If there’s not an option to switch it from 8 to 10, you might have to create a custom setup, separate from the tabata timer. I actually use the RoundTimer app. It’s a little low-tech but allows you to easily enter in your own intervals. Hope this helps and sorry for the late response!

  7. Random question, where are your pants from? I love the half zip on the calf! Great workout!

    • They’re Nike! I got them this fall at City Sports so I’m not sure if they’re still available, but you should be able to find something similar 🙂

  8. Marrett says:

    Hey Nicole,

    Do you generally run every morning before doing these work outs? Or how are you breaking that up? And how many days per week?


    • Hi! On a typical weekday, I’ll run in the morning before work and then do one of these workouts on my lunch break. I like spacing it throughout the day to break up those 8 hours I’m sitting at a desk job. 🙂 I usually workout 6 days a week, but I switch up the intensity of the workouts and lengths of my runs so that some days are easy and some are more challenging.

  9. Brilliant workout! Will do tomorrow 🙂

  10. What about the shirt? Where did you get that from? I love it!

  11. Chinelo says:

    This is hard, much harder than I thought it would be. I almost threw up while doing the knee tuck, roll, back row. ALL THAT BEING SAID lol this is a great workout! Good Job!

    • Oh man–I’ve definitely been there with the near-barf mid workout haha. So glad you liked this one 🙂

  12. Deborah Gevedon says:

    First day: Trying to get through it! On #4 Side Lunge
    Out of shape-Whew!!

  13. Deborah Gevedon says:

    Day One: Finished! But I’m not telling how many minutes I was able to do each one!!

  14. Do you post your reps?
    I want to make sure I’m pushing max effort.
    thx for posting the workouts I enjoyed it:)

    • So glad you enjoyed it! I don’t normally count my reps, but trying to beat your initial #s the next time you do the workout is a great way to push yourself!

  15. Couldn’t even finish the first time but I can’t wait to try again and get through it next time! Thanks for sharing!

  16. Just saw this on Pinterest. Very nice. I love finding new bodyweight workouts/variations.

  17. How many calories do you think this one actually burns?

    • Hmm I’m not quite sure–it would depend on how hard you push yourself during each interval. I’m getting a FitBit soon, and when I do, I’ll do this workout and let you know how many I burn! 🙂

  18. floridapeach says:

    I do cross fit four days a week (and I like to think I’m in pretty good shape)… but this workout is HARD! It’s absolutely a great workout, and I plan to add it to my routine. Thanks!! 🙂

  19. Kristen says:

    I really wish you had a Youtube! Any plans to make one?

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