Tabata “Jacks” Workout

Tabata "Jacks" Workout -- this tabata workout will take you 16 minutes in total. Each set of exercises includes a "jack" (jumping jack, plank jacks, squat jacks, etc.)I’ve got a new workout for all you tabata lovers! “Jacks” = jumping, so this one will get your heart rate up. All you’ll need is a weight, and even that could be worked around if you don’t have access to equipment.

Tabata “Jacks” Workout

Equipment I Used:

A tabata is 8 rounds of 20 seconds of work and 10 seconds of rest (so a total of 4 minutes long). In this workout, you’ll be alternating between two exercises for each tabata. When you finish one, move onto the next tabata set. In total, this workout will take you 16 minutes (plus rest) to complete. Tabata "Jacks" Workout -- this tabata workout will take you 16 minutes in total. Each set of exercises includes a "jack" (jumping jack, plank jacks, squat jacks, etc.)


  • PUSH UP JACKS | For this push up variation, start in a plank position with your hands a little wider than shoulder width. As you bend your elbows and lower, jump your feet out wide (like a jumping jack). From your lowest point, press back up, straightening your arms and jumping your feet back together in starting position. These movement should be explosive. Jack wide at the same time you lower down with the arms, catching yourself in a wide low push up. Explosively jump feet and press back up together.
  • FULL-BODY CRUNCHES WITH DUMBBELL | Start laying on your back with legs outstretched and hovering a couple inches off the ground. Holding a weight in your hands, arms should be outstretched overhead and hovering as well. From this starting position, crunch up, bringing your knees in towards your chest as you lift your shoulder blades off the ground and bring the weight up and over towards your shins. Extend back out, lowering to starting position. The goal is to never bring the legs and/or weight to rest on the ground when you extend back out.


  • SQUAT JACKS WITH OBLIQUE SCOOPS | For the low body, think jumping jacks in a squat position. For the upper body, think paddling a canoe. This one can be like rubbing your stomach while patting your head, so don’t be frustrated if it feels uncoordinated at first—you can always eliminate the upper body movement and just hold the weight at your chest as you jump your feet in and out.Start in a low squat position with feet wide, weight in your heels, low abs engaged, hips back and a dumbbell held at your chest with both hands. Staying low in a squat, jump your feet in close together as you scoop the dumbbell down and around to the left of your left leg. As the weight comes up and back to center, jump your feet out wide again to the starting position. Repeat, this time scooping the dumbbell down and around to the right side of your legs as you jump them close together. The goal is to stay low in a squat as you jack your feet in and out, fluidly scooping the dumbbell side to side like a figure eight or canoe oar.
  • LUNGE STOMPS | Start in a low lunge position with your right foot forward, knee bent at 90 degrees and stacked directly over your ankle. Ball of the left foot is planted on the floor behind you, leg is long but knee is soft. To make these harder, hold a dumbbell at your chest; otherwise, just use your bodyweight (it’ll still be challenging—I promise!). From here, you’re going to press off the right heel as you shift your weight into the back left foot enough to lift your right foot off the ground, slightly kicking it forward in the air before landing back down in that starting low lunge position. The slight outward kick will help you land in a knee-safe position with the right heel stacked under the knee (you don’t want the knee to ever be farther forward than the toes). Switch the front foot each 20-second work interval (so in total you’ll do each side twice throughout the tabata).The pictures in this post aren’t the best visual of this move so if you’re new I’d look at this older post (better angle with the pics).


  • JUMPING JACKS WITH CHEST-TO-OVERHEAD PRESS | With your low body, you’re doing a jumping jack. With your upper body, you’re alternating between a front chest and overhead press. Start standing with feet together holding a weight at its ends close to your chest. Jump your feet out wide and as you do press the dumbbell straight forward in a chest press. As you jump the feet back together, bring the weight back in towards your chest. Next time you jump your feet out wide, press the dumbbell straight up overhead. Continue the pattern going as quickly as possible without sacrificing form.
  • FRONT RAISE PULSES | Holding your dumbbell at the ends with palms facing each other, extend your arm straight out in front of you at chest height. Make sure there’s a soft bend in your knees, your core is engaged (think of “closing” your rib cage) and your shoulder blades are slightly squeezed together to open the chest. From here, pulse the weight up a couple inches and down a couple inches, keeping it right around chest height. Try not to drop the arms during the 20 seconds of work.


  • FOREARM PLANK JACKS | Start in a forearm plank position with elbows aligned underneath shoulders. Jump feet out to the sides (like a horizontal jumping jack) and quickly back together. Try to hold a strong plank alignment with your upper body as you jump the feet out and in—don’t let your butt pike up into the air or hips sag downward.
  • BURPEES | Start standing, feet about shoulder-width apart. Squat down, bringing your hands to the ground by your feet and jump both feet back into a plank position. Quickly jump your feet back up by your hands and shift the weight into your feet, bring torso upright into a low squat position. From here, jump up, arms overhead. Land softly on your feet, sinking right back down into a squat and starting from the top.

Tabata "Jacks" Workout -- this tabata workout will take you 16 minutes in total. Each set of exercises includes a "jack" (jumping jack, plank jacks, squat jacks, etc.)

WEARING | leggings + bra (sold out but also love this one) c/o Forever21 // Onzie tank (sold out but also love this one) // Nike sneakers // Stephie ChicLokai & Alex + Ani bracelets

Any requests for workout structure/equipment/target area? I’m creating some new ones to shoot next week and would love to hear from you! 



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  1. This looks like a tough tabata, but a really fun one! I love adding jacks to workouts – they add a good intensity!

  2. Any ideas for working inner/outer thighs? I’ve noticed that the fronts and backs of my thighs are pretty strong, but the sides are pretty weak and I don’t know how to work them.

    • That’s definitely a common problem most people have (myself included). I personally love the megaformer workouts I teach in Boston because you get a ton of lateral movements to hit the inner and outer legs, but if you don’t have a Lagree Fitness studio nearby (or aren’t interested in that haha) I’d recommend resistance band exercises for the abductors. Here’s a workout I posted a while back that hits the area:

  3. This is great! I love tabata workouts. Can’t wait to try this one!

  4. Full thoughts on the Forever 21 workout clothes? Do they hold up well?

    • I’ve only had these leggings for a few weeks, but so far they’re great! The material of these is more of a spandex than the cotton feel you get from Lululemon or comparable leggings, but the waistband is wide and I find them comfortable. Would definitely get another pair. The two sports bras of theirs I have are comfortable for everyday wear but I don’t think I’d wear them during a high-impact workout like running. You get what you pay for, so I’m sure they won’t last me years and years like some of my more expensive workout gear, but for the price I think F21 has some awesome options.

  5. I did this workout this morning and it was killer – thanks and keep the tabata workouts coming!

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