Beginner Tabata Workout – Full Body, No Equipment Needed

This tabata workout is perfect for beginners. No equipment needed, although a chair is helpful if you're a true beginner or working with mobility issues.

I have a few beginner workouts on the blog (you can find all beginner resources here), but haven’t yet made one in video form. This post is long overdue! And let me know in the comments if you want more beginner workouts. The hard ones tend to get a lot of positive feedback so I sorta get stuck on this track of trying to make each workout more challenging than the next, but I want this site to be a fitness resource for everyone. What sense does it make to cater fitness to only those who are already relatively fit?!

This week’s workout uses pretty much the same structure as last week’s, but is toned down a notch.

Beginner Tabata Workout

No equipment is needed for this workout (just have an exercise mat or some padding for the knees handy). If, however, you’re a true beginner or are working with mobility issues that will make it difficult to get down and up again from the floor, I’d recommend using a chair or bench throughout the workout. I’ll show you how to modify the exercises throughout the video.

This workout is made up of three tabatas. A tabata is 8 rounds of 20 seconds work and 10 seconds rest. I’ll give you two exercises for each tabata and you’ll alternate between the two during the 4 minutes. Rest 30 seconds after each completed tabata before moving onto the next.

This tabata workout is perfect for beginners. No equipment needed, although a chair is helpful if you're a true beginner or working with mobility issues.

Tabata 1

  • Squat with Pulse | Feet about hips-width apart, squat down, sending your hips and butt back and down (not the knees forward!). Keep your chest open, shoulders back—it’s natural to lean forward slightly as you lower down, but we don’t want to hunch forward. Bring your hands in front of you as you sink down to your lowest point, bodyweight staying in your heels. Pulse up an inch and down an inch. From there, powerfully stand back up, straightening your legs and thrusting your hips forward (squeeze your bum at the top!) and driving your arms behind you. Make sure you’re actively engaging the outer thighs to prevent the knees from caving inward (knock-knees) as you lower down into your squat. To modify, forget about the pulse and practice your squats using a chair (sit down on the seat and then stand back up).
  • Back Lunge with Pulse | Start standing with feet hip width apart. Step your left foot back behind you as you bend the right knee, sinking into a lunge. Get as low as you can, trying to bring the right knee as close to a 90-degree bend as mobility allows. From this low lunge position, pulse up an inch and down an inch. Stand as you bring the left foot forward in line with the right to your starting position. For balance assistance, you can place a hand on a chair. Alternate legs each round of work.

Tabata 2

  • Modified Push Ups | You can do these either on the floor from your knees or on your feet with your hands on a chair/bench/elevated surface (even a wall works!). Think “plank” with your core alignment as you bend and straighten your elbows. You want to maintain neutral spine and lower your torso as one unit, rather than just dipping your chest and sticking your butt up into the air.
  • Forearm Plank | Most of us are familiar with a plank, so just a couple form queues: think of stacking your joints, elbows directly below shoulders. Think of gently knitting the ribs together and pulling the low belly up and in. Squeeze the glutes and quads—notice how engaging these muscles helps straighten out your body even more. Fire up the entire abdomen by pulling the forearms and balls of feet in towards each other (you won’t actually move, you’ll just contract the muscles). If this is too much, modify by dropping to your knees or by brining your hands to a chair/bench/elevated surface.

Tabata 3

  • Twisting High Knees | Start standing with arms overhead. From here, march your right knee up towards your chest as you twist your torso to the right and bring your elbows to the outside of the knee. Return to starting position and repeat to the left. Make these as quick as you can. For assistance with balance, keep a hand on a chair as you do this. Just make sure to switch hands each 20-second round.
  • Modified Burpees | From a standing position, squat down and bring your hands to the floor (or a chair to modify). Step one foot back at a time to a plank position. Step one foot at a time back up to the outsides of your hands and stand back upright to standing position.

This tabata workout is perfect for beginners. No equipment needed, although a chair is helpful if you're a true beginner or working with mobility issues.

WEARING | tank c/o New Balance (on sale!) // Booty By Brabants leggings

Full Body HIIT Workout – No Equipment Needed (15 Mins)

Happy Valentine’s Day! This morning Crane + Lion stopped by Btone to surprise my last class of the day with free leggings–how sweet is that?? Everyone got to pick out a pair in the color and size of their choice. Talk about a great start to V-Day!

Full Body HIIT Workout – No Equipment Needed (15 Mins)

This workout is split into three tabatas. A tabata is 8 rounds of 20 seconds of work and 10 seconds of rest. We’ll alternate between two exercises during each tabata. To finish the tabatas, we’ll hold a 60-second plank, moving between hands and forearms every 15 seconds. In total, this workout will take you 15 minutes.

15-Minute HIIT Workout - total body, no equipment needed. You'll do three tabatas with planks after each

Tabata 1

  • Breakdancer Kicks | Start on all fours, hands under shoulders, knees under hips and hovering (plant the balls of your feet on the floor and lift the knees a couple inches). From here, you’re going to kick your right leg across your body to the left as you flip your torso to face the ceiling and take your left hand off the floor. Twist back through center and immediately over to the other side, kicking your left foot across your body and you flip and take your right hand off the floor. Confused? Watch the video for a visual; it’ll help more than a written explanation.
  • Low Push Up with Jacks | Start in a plank position with hands under shoulders. From here, rock forward a couple inches so that your hands are under the rib cage. Bend your elbows to 90 degrees and hold low push up position. From here, jump your feet out wide and then back in together. If you have the upper body strength, press right back up to straight arms. Otherwise, drop your knees to the floor, straighten the arms, and then lift the knees back up to starting position.

60-sec Plank

Start in a high plank position and every 15 seconds switch to a forearm plank or back to high plank.

Tabata 2

  • Sprinter Lunge Hop | Start in a low lunge with your right foot forward and your left fingertips on the floor. From here, stand up, bringing your back left knee up and into your chest as you hop off the right foot. Land softly on the right foot, shooting your left leg right back behind you inot a low lunge. Alternate sides each work interval.
  • Clock Crunches | Start in a seated position with your fingertips lightly on the ground behind you for support. Extend your legs straight out. From here, keeping your legs straight, you’re going to circle them over to the side, up, down to the other side and back down to a hover. Think of your feet as the hands on a clock. At 6 o’clock, your torso will be reclined back at a hover; at 12 o’clock, you’ll lift and crunch your torso up and in, bringing your body into a “v” shape. Fair warning: these can be uncomfortable if you have tight hips (bend your knees slightly to make it more manageable). Alternate directions each work interval.

60-sec Plank

Start in a high plank position and every 15 seconds switch to a forearm plank or back to high plank.

Tabata 3

  • Squat Jack to Plank | Starting in a low squat position with feet wider than hip’s width, jump your feet in close together (stay low!) and then back out wide. Next bring your hands to the ground as you jump your feet back into a plank. Jump the feet back up to the outsides of your hands, landing in a low, wide squat.
  • 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. 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). Alternate sides each work interval.

60-sec Plank

Start in a high plank position and every 15 seconds switch to a forearm plank or back to high plank.

WEARING | leggings c/o Sweaty Betty (old but Terez has a similar marble print) // adidas neo sneakers

If you have Valentine’s plans today, I hope they’re wonderful! Nothing fancy planned over here, but I think Joe and I might venture into Chinatown in search of cheap foot rubs tonight. #romance

Links to outfit details are affiliate.

The 10 Most Popular Workouts on Pinterest

I’ve been blogging for almost five years now, but the first couple it was really just a side hobby that I’d work on in my spare time for fun. In the back of my mind I might have fantasized about doing it as a full-time job, but it never seemed like a realistic option. And it would have remained that way if it weren’t for Pinterest.

When my first workout pictorial went viral on Pinterest (#7 on this list), it both excited and terrified me. Someone’s commenting on my blog other than my mom?! Who are all these people?! Where is this traffic coming from?! And then a coworker stopped me in the office (yes, in a past life I had a real 9-to-5) and said she saw a picture of me on Pinterest. I was mortified. My secret little hobby was now out in the open and while I was excited to see all the new traffic, I was also insanely insecure about it. One part of me wanted to delete everything, but that little voice in the back of my head that had fantasized about blogging as a full-time job was now going hmmm this shit might actually be possible. 

I’ll stop my trip down memory lane there, but if you’re curious about the rest of the story, I wrote about that transition here. Bottom line: I owe Pinterest and everyone who has pinned my workout tutorials a lot of gratitude. Since I didn’t get the chance to post a new workout this week, I decided to round up the 10 most popular workouts from the archives, as determined by Pinterest. Give one of them a try this week!

10 Most Popular Workouts on Pinterest

10. Med Ball Core Workout

176,000 repins

Med ball, 20-minute circuit

You’ll do eight exercises, each for 30 seconds back-to-back. Rest and repeat the circuit a total of four times.

9. Chair Workout

206,000 repins

Two chairs (or benches), 30-minute interval circuit

Let’s talk about that spelling error in the above graphic. “Tricept.” Because obviously there’s a silent “t” at the end of the word. Woof. This is a full body circuit workout that uses a 30 seconds on, 10 seconds off format.

8. Upper Body Hand Weight Workout (Emphasis on Shoulders)

231,000 repins

Light weights, 12 minutes long

This is a high rep, low weight workout similar to an arm section you would do in a barre or spin class. Don’t be fooled by the little weights–it BURNS.

7. Medicine Ball Interval Workout 

245,000 repins

Medicine ball, 30-minute HIIT format

Aw my first ever workout post. So many feels with this one! This is a total body workout that’ll take you 30 minutes. It uses a 50 seconds on, 10 seconds off format.

6. 8-Minute Abs 2.0

263,000 repins

No equipment needed

This was a remake of the famous 8-minute abs from the late 80s with different exercises. Quick and great as a finisher to a longer workout.

5. Quick Upper Body + Core Workout (Perfect to Pair with Running)

294,000 repins

Light/medium set of weights, 15 minutes

This 15-minute workout focuses on upper body and core.

4. Core Couch Workout

309,000 repins

Medium/heavy weight (dumbbell or med ball) optional, 12-min of intervals

What does it say about America that a workout you can do on the couch is in the top five?! *cry-laughing emoji* This could just as easily been named “bench workout” — you need an elevated surface but not necessarily a couch.

3. 30-Minute At-Home Workout

321,000 repins

Medium weights, a chair/stepper/bench

This workout is broken up into six 5-minute AMRAPs. Each AMRAP focuses on a different muscle group. Because the focus changes every five minutes, you definitely don’t get bored with this one!

2. Arm (+Core) Workout with Hand Weights

425,000 repins

Light/medium hand weights, 12-18 minutes long

Ok I have to call myself out because this is actually a great opportunity to talk about proper form in plank position. I have a tendency to lock out my arms and hyperextend through the elbow (I catch myself doing it in Downward Dog all the time!) and the below picture from this workout is a good visual of what NOT to do when you’re in a plank. When I lock out my elbows notice how they extend inward? All it takes to correct that is a softening of the joint. Force the muscles to work and add just that teeny, tiny, invisible bend to the elbows while in high plank. 

On a side note: Look how short my hair was!! Never again.

1. 5-to-50 Ab Workout

466,000 repins

Medium weight (for one of the exercises–could totally just do bodyweight, too)

Almost a half MILLION people have this workout saved to their Pinterest boards?? Cray. In this workout, you have 10 core exercises and you do 5 reps of the first, 10 reps of the second, and so on up to 50 reps of the last move.

Oh boy. This roundup was like a trip down memory lane of every apartment and neighborhood in which I’ve ever lived.

Have you tried any of these workouts? Which was your favorite? Want me to make video versions of any of them?