“No-Rest” Tabata Workout with Isometric Holds

"No-Rest" Tabata Workout with Isometric HoldsDisclosure: This post was sponsored by Target® C9 through their partnership with POPSUGAR Select. While I was compensated to write a post about Target® C9, all opinions are my own.

Gooooooood morning! I know the Monday after Fourth of July weekend is, well, the worst, but I’ve got an awesome, no-frills bodyweight workout for you today, and there’s nothing like a good sweat to brighten your mood. Actually, I take that back—there’s nothing like a good sweat and a new workout outfit to brighten your mood…

Target(R) C9 activewearI recently got the opportunity to try out a couple pieces from the Target® C9 activewear collection, and decided on the Run Short with Knit Waistband and Sporty Layered Run Tank. They come in lots of color options, and I went with a fun, printed combo.

Especially now that it’s a million degrees outside with this good ol’ New England humidity, the shorts are perfect. The waistband is wide and comfortable; there’s a little key pocket attached to the inside lining; the material is lightweight; and there’s a built-in brief, which I always like. I still wear underwear with it, but I find that the built-in helps keep the shorts in place and prevents them from riding up as I run (adjusting your shorts every few steps is the worst!).

The tank is great, too! The built-in bra is supportive enough to do high-intensity workouts and run (if you’re using this as a buying guide, keep in mind I have a small-ish chest), and the cut is really flattering. I love the bra-with-flowy-tank-attached look, so this was right up my alley.

The best part, as with all apparel from Target®, is the price! You can get both items for about $40. The only downside to affordability is that I’ll run into Target® for paper towels and leave with like four new outfits, a couple DVDs, a new bath mat…oops. Anyone else have that problem? 🙂

Alright now that you’ve got something to wear, let’s do today’s workout…

“No-Rest” Tabata Workout with Isometric Holds

In a traditional tabata workout, you complete 20 seconds of work and then get 10 seconds of rest. Today, we’re swapping out the rest period with an isometric hold. This is a great workout to do when you’re traveling or don’t have any equipment at your disposal—you need very little space and nothing but your bodyweight.

Equipment I Used:

  • Gymboss Interval Timer
  • Exercise mat

You’ll stay on each exercise for 4 minutes, using tabata intervals: 8 rounds of 20 seconds of movement and 10 seconds of holding. Once you’ve completed all 8 rounds, you’ll do the same thing for the next exercise. As an example, for the first exercise, you’d do jump squats for 20 seconds then hold a deep squat for 10 and then go right back into jumping, and so on and so on.

"No-Rest" Tabata Workout with Isometric Holds

  • Jump Squats / Hold Squat: Feet about shoulder width apart, squat down, sending hips back and booty down (don’t let your knees shoot out farther than your toes). Explosively jump straight up, swinging your arms back for momentum. Land softly back in that deep squat position. For the isometric, hold your squat. If you’re advanced, you can hold a set of dumbbells while you do this. If you’re a newbie or you have knee issues, take out the jump: just squat up and down and then hold it down.
  • Push Ups / Hold Lowered Push Up: Shoulders aligned over wrists, do push ups either from your toes or knees (I made it through the first two rounds on my feet, then dropped down to my knees). For the isometric, hold the lowered push up, elbows bent, and chest as close to the ground as you can get it.
  • Bridge Hip Thrusters / Hold Bridge: Lay on your back, knees bent, feet flat on ground. We’re working your booty here. Lift your hips off the ground, squeezing those glutes. Lower back down, but not all the way—you never want to let your butt come to rest on the ground. For the isometric, thrust those hips high up towards the ceiling and hold ‘em there.
  • Mountain Climbers / Hold Plank: In a plank position, drive one knee forward, then the other, in a sort of horizontal running position. These should be quick! For the isometric, hold a plank position. If your wrists start to bother you, come onto your forearms for an elbow plank.
  • Leg Lifts / Hold Hover: Lay on your back, hands under your bum for support if needed (you want your lower back to stay glued to the ground as you do this—if you find it lifting up, placing your hands under your butt will help). Lift legs straight up, perpendicular to the ground and then lower them to where they’re hovering about 6” off the floor. For the isometric, hold that lowered, hovering position.

If you try this workout, leave a comment telling me the section that was hardest for you. Pushups definitely won that distinction for me! I tried to do “real” pushups, but after two rounds of those holds had to switch to my knees—and still struggled.

And if the pushups and mountain climbers in this workout aren’t enough to get your shoulders burning, check out this 5-minute video from Target® and POPSUGAR:



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  1. YEP! Love Target for almost everything. Adorable workout clothes, great Tabata!

  2. OMG – Nicole is trying to kill us all!

    Seriously, this looks like a great workout – thanks!

  3. Love the shorts. I have found some cute items at Target including some of my favorite workout tops. And you can’t beat the price.

  4. Saved! But I definitely never smile that much doing pushups…

  5. Hi Nicole!
    Your workout made it all the way to Germany. And those pushups killed me the most! In fact, I substituted them to dips after 4 reps

  6. envious of your summer tan 🙂

  7. I love your blog! It’s obvious you are truly dedicated to it! I’m just curious about how log does it take you to put together one of your workout posts…from start to finish?? Also do you have your guy snap the pics? Cause I’ve done ones similar and not sure if it’s just me but from taking the photos to photoshopping the collage, writing the blurb at the top and then descriptions and instructions for the workout…well let’s just say it took me some time! So I commend you on producing one every week!! Maybe I’m just slow…but any tips would be awesome! Thanks girl!

    • They take a gooood chunk of time haha. I have a Word doc with all the descriptions of exercises saved, so I can just copy and paste those which helps me cut down on some time. I’d say from start to finish they take about 3 hours to do (not including when I actually do the workout). I’ve had my boyfriend take the pictures a couple of times but he’s awful at it haha. My mom is a huge help any time I see her, or I just ask friends or use self timer.

  8. When I first started, I thought the squat jumps were the worts… until I got to the push-up part!!! Push-ups on my knees for me too! Haha! For the last part, I switch the leg lifts/hold hover for supermans. I am still healing a diastasis recti I got from my pregnancy, so I’m not into crazy core stuff yet 😉 Great workout!

  9. love the top! This workout was posted just in time! Ill be moving soon and this will come in handy. I’m thinking all of the exercises will kill me 😉 Great post.

  10. Oh god the push-ups. I only made 2 rounds of “real ones” too. Even tried to ease the pain throwing some wide stance and tricep in there. My shoulders were feeling it after the mountain climbers too. That was just added pain lol. Great workout!

  11. AWESOME!

  12. Definitely a workout to add to the collection. Also, love the new outfit. 🙂

  13. Have you washed the shorts yet! I have a couple of pairs in that style and both of the waistbands seemed to shrink. The nylon shorts fit the same, but the bands are tighter. I have more pairs of their regular shorts and it doesn’t seem to happen 🙁 just wondering your thoughts!

    • And push-ups and mountain climbers were definitely a tie for hardest move. Yikes!

    • Bummer! I haven’t washed mine yet, they’re in the hamper as we speak. I usually wash all my workout gear in cold water and line dry so hopefully that will help.

  14. Target is the best… I am pretty sure I have NEVER walked in there and not at least bought 1 thing I didn’t intend on. I am a total sucker for their workout clothes, $1 bins, and shoes! eek!

    I am loving this workout! I have to try it when I go to the beach next week since it’s all bodyweight & I will let you know the toughest part for me, but I am betting I am with you and the push ups will get me!

    Thanks for the great workout 🙂


  15. OMG I almost died. I thought I could totally hold the squat position and planks, but they proved impossible after a couple rounds. My shoulders and thighs are burning! Great, quick workout! I’m sweating everywhere!

  16. I might have to try this workout! I found another one of your workouts on Pinterest, and shared it on my blog today! (I linked back to you!) Glad I found your blog.

    And that outfit – I saw it at Target, but wasn’t sure how the shirt would fit. I wouldn’t want it hanging open showing any skin. Seeing how it fits, I might have to go try one on!

  17. Great Tabata Workout!! The mountain climbers got me since they came after the push ups!! Thanks for another great workout!

  18. So I saw this work out and thought ‘what a great idea to modify for my TRX class I teach!’ Word of advice: this work out on a TRX will make you wish for sweet death to rescue you from the pain and misery. I suspect this might have been the cruelest class I have ever taught. I made sure that Nicole received the whole blame though. 😉

  19. Great workout! I love all your workouts! This one was quick, but hard.

  20. butt=kicked

  21. Kira Matthes says:

    I just found your blog and feel like I’ve hit the workout jackpot. These were all tough! Even the bridges which usually don’t phase me unless I use a stability ball. I think I found the mountain climbers even harder because my shoulders were already gassed from the pushups. Great workout!

  22. Miranda says:

    I always think your workouts look simple and they are but they are also deceptively hard! The pushups and mountain climbers were the hardest for me but the leg lifts had the sweat rolling on my brow!

  23. The hardest was, for me, the two last rounds of each set (which I could not do :(…) I added a set of bridged and could go to 8 rounds on this one….next time I’ll to it ENTIRELY!!! Thanks!!!!

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