20-Minute Tabata Workout with My Go-To Exercises

20-Minute Tabata Workout with some of my go-to exercisesI did this workout the other week in my apartment after a long day of work. My brain was too burnt out to think up fancy exercises, so I just threw together a tabata workout using some of my favorite exercises. You’ve probably seen all these countless times on Pumps & Iron, and there’s a good reason why—they’re effective! In particular, this is a lower-body burner. My quads were feeling it the next day!

20-Minute Tabata Workout with some of my go-to exercises20-Minute Tabata Workout with some of my go-to exercises

20-Minute Tabata Workout

Equipment I Used:

You’ll stay on each exercise for four minutes, going through 8 rounds of 20 seconds of work and 10 seconds of rest.

20-Minute Tabata Workout with some of my go-to exercises

  • Kettlebell Swings: Start with kettlebell on the floor between your legs and lift it up to starting position with both hands, flat back, using your legs to lift. With kettlebell hanging between your legs, use your arms as a pendulum, and swing the bell to chest-to-eye level by thrusting with your hips while keeping your core tight as you stand up straight. Swing back down and repeat. Your knees should remain slightly bent, but the main source of movement is hinging at the hips—not so much squatting. I use a 25-lb bell.
  • Plank Jump Jacks: Start in a plank position with hands aligned underneath shoulders. Jump both feet up towards your hands and then quickly back to a plank. Then jump feet out to the sides (like a horizontal jumping jack) and quickly back together. That’s one rep. When doing the “jack” part of this move, try to hold a strong plank alignment with your upper body—don’t let your butt pike up into the air or hips sag downward.
  • Split Stance Squat Jumps: This exercise is like a combination of a jump lunge and a one-leg squat. Start with your right foot flat on the ground and the ball of your left foot planted on the floor a couple inches behind the right heel. Squat down low on the right leg, making sure the knee stays stacked over the ankle. From here jump up, pushing off the right foot and switch your feet midair, landing with your left foot on the ground and ball of the right foot close behind it. Repeat, pushing off the left foot now.
  • 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.
  • Step Ups (alternate legs each round): Start with one foot planted on a stepper, bench or chair. This will be your base leg: keep it planted on the stepper with the majority of your bodyweight in that heel through the duration of the exercise. As you step up, lift your back knee up, driving it into your chest at the top. Lower back down, lightly touching your back foot to the floor before driving powerfully right back up.

If you love Mean Girls and love spinning classes, you’ll appreciate this tank top as much as I do:

You Can't Spin With Us tank

WEARING | tank: Shop Betches // leggings: c/o Reebok // sneakers: Nike

20-Minute Tabata Workout with some of my go-to exercisesFor the record, I would never actually workout with my hair down. I’m just having a major complex about my new short hair-do. I hate how it looks in a ponytail! I need some advice from you ladies with shorter hair–how do you style it when you work out? I’m desperately missing my long pony.


Core Couch Workout

Core Interval Workout for the CouchI swear I’m not purposely being gimmicky with this workout. The other week I just really wanted to do a quick core workout while watching Netflix on my couch. Don’t judge me—you try teaching six megaformer classes in a day with the first starting at 6AM and the last ending at 8:15PM. Trust me, you’d want to workout on your couch, too.

It was perfect for doing at the end of a long day: challenging without being sweaty, and pretty mindless if you set an interval timer to beep at you when it’s time to switch it up.

Core Couch Workout

Equipment I Used:

  • 6-lb medicine ball (you can use any weight, dumbbell or just your bodyweight)
  • Gymboss Interval Timer
  • My couch (a stepper or bench would work, too)

Set an interval timer for 18 rounds of 30 seconds of work and 10 seconds of rest. You’ll go through the following circuit of exercises 2 times. In total this workout will take you 12 minutes. Want it to be more challenging? Go through for a third round.

Core Interval Workout for the Couch

  • Suitcase Crunch: Start by laying on the floor, butt up against the couch, knees bent and calves resting on the seat of the couch. With a weight in your hands (I used a med ball but you can really use anything—or nothing) overhead, you’re going to crunch your torso up off the ground, bringing the weight forward and tapping your shins with it before slowly lowering down to your starting position.
  • Suitcase Crunch Hold: In the same position as the previous exercise, crunch up, torso lifted off the ground, and bring the weight in front of you so that it’s just hovering over your shins (don’t rest it on them). Hold this position for the 30 seconds.
  • Reptile Incline Plank: Start in a plank position with your feet on the couch and hands on the floor, stacked directly underneath your shoulders. From here, crunch your right knee up towards your right shoulder. Bring your foot back to starting position and repeat with the left knee. Continue to alternate sides, crunching those obliques while holding a plank.
  • Straight-Back Seated Leg Hold: This isometric hold is so much more challenging than it looks (for me anyway). I admittedly can’t hold it for 30 seconds straight and have to tap my feet down to the floor for a quick breather every 10 seconds or so. Sit on the floor with your back flat against the couch. With your fingertips tented on the floor for support, contract your lower abdomen and lift your feet off the floor, knees softly bent. Hold your feet hovering off the ground with back straight against the couch for the 30-second interval, taking as few breaks as possible.
  • Side Plank Bottom Leg Lifts (RIGHT): Start in a side plank position with your right hand on the floor underneath your shoulder and your left foot on the edge of the couch. Your bottom right leg should be free to move. From here, you’re just going to pulse your right leg down and up, never letting it come fully to rest on the floor (or couch).
  • Side Plank Top Leg Crunches (RIGHT): Stat in a side plank position with your right hand on the floor underneath your shoulder and feet on the couch. From here, you’re going to crunch your top left knee in towards your left elbow, squeezing that left sidebody while also engaging the right oblique to keep hips lifted and level in that plank position.
  • Side Plank Bottom Leg Lifts (LEFT)
  • Side Plank Top Leg Crunches (LEFT)
  • Reverse Plank: This is a plank, only belly-side up. With feet on the couch and hands underneath your shoulders, engage your glutes and back to lift your body up into a straight plank position. Hold position for the whole 30 seconds, being careful not to let that butt start to drop down towards the floor—hold it up! 

Core Interval Workout for the CouchWEARING | tank: c/o Cozy Orange // leggings: c/o Champion

The tank I’m wearing in today’s workout is another piece gifted to me by Cozy Orange. The material is so comfortable, and I love the back strappy detailing. Usually if I have a tank with cups in the bra, I immediately rip them out and throw them away (I’m weird and like looking as flat-chested as humanly possible), but I actually kept them in this top—I like the added oomph for once. :)


Quick Upper Body & Core Workout (Perfect to Pair with Running)

Upper Body & Core Workout (perfect for pairing with a long run!)This post was sponsored by FitFluential LLC on behalf of Mizuno. While I was compensated, all opinions—as always!—are my own.

I jumped at the opportunity to try out the Mizuno Wave Rider 18. Starting in college, I started having Achilles tendonitis flair-ups every time I went running—didn’t matter if it was 1 mile or 10 (LOL as if College Nicole would ever have run 10 miles…). For the most part, I just battled through it, but about two years ago, I switched over to a barefoot-feel running shoe and it was a total game changer. Haven’t had a single issue with tendonitis since. However, with that amazing improvement came another problem: my feet and knees started to hurt if I ran more than five or six miles. It was not quiiiiite enough support.

I’ve been wanting to try out a lightweight running shoe that offers some additional cushioning, and when I saw that the description of the Wave Rider 18 kept emphasizing this idea of “just enough” support, it struck home. After running consistently in them for a few weeks now, I’ve found that they really do have a great balance between lightweight flexibility and that cushioning shock-absorbent sole that I felt I was lacking. They’re so comfortable! But the big concern for me was that going back to a more supportive shoe would alter my foot strike and bring back tendonitis issues. Drum roll please…

So far, so good! Granted, I haven’t gone more than 5 miles at a time in the Wave Rider 18 yet, but no tendonitis flair-ups—yay! The Mizuno Wave Rider 18 retails at $119.99 and you can check it out HERE. I’m wearing it in Black/Silver/Florida Keys.

Mizuno Wave Runner 18

Since we’re on the topic of running, I wanted to share this quick workout that’s perfect for pairing with a long run. It’s all upper body and core work so those legs can save their energy for pounding the pavement (or trail or treadmill).

Upper Body & Core Workout

Equipment I Used:

You’ll do each exercise for 30 seconds before moving immediately on to the next (no breaks in between exercises). Once you’ve gone through the whole circuit, rest for 30-60 seconds. Repeat twice more for a total of 3 times through the exercises. I set my interval timer for 32 rounds of 30 seconds of work and 0 seconds of rest so that it would beep every 30 seconds, signaling me to move onto the next exercise (32 instead of 30 to account for two 30-second breaks).

Upper Body & Core Workout (perfect for pairing with a long run!)

  • Plank Triceps Kickbacks (RIGHT): Start in a plank position, left hand stacked directly under left shoulder, right hand holding onto a hand weight, elbow bent. Keeping your hips level as you do this (fight your body’s natural tendency to shift all the weight into your left side), extend your right hand straight back behind you, really squeezing the back of the arm (triceps) as you do. Hinging at the elbow, bring the weight slowly back to starting position.
  • Plank Triceps Kickbacks (LEFT)
  • Push Ups: You know the drill! If you need to modify, do these from your knees.
  • Russian Twists: Start seated, holding the weights in both hands at your chest, feet lifted off the ground with your knees bent. Lean back slightly, core engaged, balancing on your tailbone. Twist to one side, bringing the weights to the outer side of that hip; then repeat in the other direction. Really twist at the waist—you want your chest to be totally facing whatever side you’re bringing the weights.
  • Side Plank Row Extensions (RIGHT): Start in a side plank position, left hand stacked under left shoulder, dumbbell in right hand (start with a straight right arm, weight held a few inches off the ground. From here, row the right elbow straight up towards the ceiling and then straighten the elbow, lifting the weight up into the air. Make it two distinct movements: row, extend. Reverse the movement, bending the elbow and then straightening it downward to your starting position.
  • Side Plank Row Extensions (LEFT)
  • Seated Shoulder Press Ups: Imagine your forearms and elbows have magnets on them. Holding a weight in each hand, palms facing your face, hold your forearms in front of you, elbows bent at 90 degrees. Fight to hold the elbows as close to each other as you can throughout the whole movement. From here, you’re going to press your hands straight up, lifting the elbows, keeping forearms close together. Be careful not to shrug your shoulders up towards your ears as you do this. After pressing up as high as you can, slowly return back to starting. To engage the core, we’re going to do these in a seated position, legs out straight in front of you, posture straight and upright.
  • Serve the Platter in Plank (RIGHT): These are deceptively hard! Start in a plank position, left hand stacked directly under left shoulder, right hand holding onto a hand weight, palm facing up, elbow softly bent. From here, keeping your hips level (resist your body’s tendency to lean into that left side), reach that right hand forward, getting as close to a straight arm as you can. Slowly return to starting position.
  • Serve the Platter in Plank (LEFT)
  • Boat Pose with Serve the Platter: Start by getting into a boat pose position holding a weight in each hand. You’ll be balancing on your tailbone, leaning back slightly with a straight spine (squeeze those abs in tight!) with legs lifted off the ground. If you can, straighten the legs so that your body forms a V shape. To modify, keep your knees bent. From here, palms facing up, reach those weights up and out in front of you, extending the elbows. Slowly bring hands back to starting position, keeping legs lifted the whole time.

Upper Body & Core Workout (perfect for pairing with a long run!)WEARING | sneakers: c/o Mizuno // leggings: Nike // top: Lululemon

Next time you’re going on a long run (or short run) give this workout a try—it’s only 15 minutes long and is a great compliment to that lower-body cardio!